Planting Faith and Practice in Harmony

Looking at the plants themselves [in the Simile of the Herbs] we can say that roots equal faith, stems equal precepts or practice, branches equal firm mind, and leaves equal wisdom. Plants as they grow must do so with each part in proportion to the others. A plant will not stay alive long if it has a massive root system sucking up nourishment and no stem or branches or leaves with which to transport the nourishment or to process it through photosynthesis. If there is a strong stem, lots of leaves, but no roots to soak up moisture and chemicals from the soil then the leaves will eventually whither and die. All of the parts of a plant must be developed in harmony with each other.

Lecture on the Lotus Sutra