Example #1 is still confusing me:
 Three squares separate the lotus (petal or flower) and the wind (single or multi).  The dragon moves up into the middle square which is under the influence of both tiles. From the rules: "The nearest tile in the direction which holds the greatest influence affects the dragon".  The lotus is in the direction which holds the greatest influence, so it pulls the dragon one square to the left (the dragon is three squares away from the wind and is out of its range of influence).
What does "the greatest influence" mean here? Both the lotus and the wind move a dragon one space, and the dragon is exactly between them - I admit that I don't get why the lotus 'wins'. Then Example #2 and #3 flow from that - the lotus always moves first.