Lithophragma bilbifera is a flowery name for a tiny unassuming wildflower. A red stem arises from basal leaves that look like splayed fingers of green upon gritty volcanic soil. The stem is topped by little bulbs and beautiful lacy white blossoms. The Latin name lithophragma translates as ‘rock wall’, referring to the rocky environments the plant prefers. One common name for the flower is ‘prairie star’. I am now gazing at a field of these stars in the colorful landscape of the Painted Hills.
For wildflower lovers like me, witnessing a super bloom of a particular species is an exquisite gift. I muse about all the causes and conditions necessary to stimulate this kind of growth. In a desert environment, a delicate balance of sun, soil, and moisture need to be present for a single flower to bloom let alone foster the rare event called a super bloom. Enveloped by all this beauty, I can do nothing more than fall to my knees in gratitude. Even though I know the flowers will disappear in a few days, the beauty will never end.
When we recognize something as extraordinarily beautiful, we become weak-kneed. We can be overwhelmed by an expression of nature’s dream as it unravels our tightly held assumptions about beauty. We re-cognize, remember, the true nature of our mind through the radiance of nature. In other words, our mind radiates as self-recognition. Of course, this can happen any time we dissolve the filters of habitual thinking and see through fresh and unconditioned eyes.
The fruit of our meditation practice spontaneously arises as beauty everywhere. Amidst wildflower and dust, sun and storm, ease and challenge—the exquisite dance of arising and dissolving permeates the universe. When we recognize this mirror of unaltered awareness, a flash of insight brings us to our knees as an offering of humility and gratitude. May we aspire to walk in pure awareness, open to a super bloom of spontaneous presence in every waking moment.