You were expecting maybe tranquil beauty and subtle perfection? Those come later (and no, I can only see those heights ahead – I haven’t yet attained them). Such experiences can’t come from something like a rose, so frail and fleeting. This Buddhist sees its beauty…and the decay inherent in even a perfect bud. A Buddhist should always be aware of the details of every moment, too.
I just happened to see this rose this morning, right on the cusp between its rise from the bud to full expansion and its inevitable downhill course through decay into nothingness.
Buddhism is terribly hard. So is anything that is really worth doing.
From Flowers of Deliverance (Theragatha v. 100 [Text 20], machine translation):
Fully trained and firm in right endeavor, dense practice and determination to right effort
With mindfulness one’s very own domain. To feel self-study in accordance with point
If with such flowers of deliverance one is decked, wear this flower liberation —