To the Bhutanese, the lotus flower symbolizes
our most noble qualities of kindness, tolerance, and compassion.
I asked why this was. I was told that the lotus is a precious flower
that grows out of the mud. Like the symbol of the lotus, the Bhutanese
remind us that we often grow spiritually through hardship. When we
suffer we open to the suffering of others. This is compassion. When
things don't go so well we discover patience and humility.
One sees these lotus carvings all over Bhutan. They act as reminders
to the Bhutanese of the hidden treasure that lies buried in difficult
circumstances. It became evident to me that the master craftsmen
and artists needed a place to pass on not only their skills, but
these messages of enormous courage and wisdom that make up the
Bhutanese culture. The Cultural Center of Bhutan will encourage
and pass on these traditions.