One morning when I was living in Rishikesh, I was sitting on the floor at a low table on the patio of a quiet restaurant, waiting for my morning chai which had become a ritual of sorts. Perhaps not quite in keeping with sacred teachings, but that chai always warmed my heart so I figured anything is sacred if received as such without harm to others! A deck of well-used Zen Cards nestled in between books that travelers left behind caught my attention.
It was early and the hot sun had yet to work its way high enough to make the air dry and the temperature over 108°F! I was gazing at the distant Himalayan foothills listening to the peaceful background music created by birds, monkeys, cows, children and ringing puja bells, wondering what lies ahead for me.
My attention was pulled to the deck of cards, so I picked one, flipped it over and read: COURAGE.
I flipped through the book that explains the cards. There, I found it, COURAGE…I softly laughed with delight, relief and recognition when I read it. This I had to share!

‘ … Seed cannot know what is going to happen, the seed has never known flower. And the seed cannot believe that he has the potentiality to become a beautiful flower. Long is the journey, and it is always safer not to go on that journey because unknown is the path, nothing is guaranteed. Thousand and one are the hazards of the journey, many are the pitfalls — and the seed is secure, hidden inside a hard core. But the seed tries, it makes an effort; it drops the hard shell which is its security, it starts moving.

Immediately the fight starts: the struggle with the soil, with the stones, with the rocks. And the seed was very hard and the sprout will be very soft and the dangers will be many. There was no danger for the seed, the seed could’ve survived for many millennium.
But the sprout starts towards the unknown, towards the sun, towards the source of light, not knowing where, not knowing why…but a dream possesses the seed and seed moves.

The same as the path for man. It is arduous. Much courage will be needed…The flower shows us the way, as its passion for life leads it out of the darkness and into the light…be courageous enough to grow into the flower you are meant to be.’

Life presents us with many challenges. We can either struggle with them, deny or resent them, blame others for them, or we can face the challenge and grow. If we aren’t growing we are simply shrinking…life is an infinite current of energy and movement.
COURAGE, what a great way to start the day!