mindfulness of squealing

worn down tires

worn down tires

Before starting the car
I know where I’m going.
The car and I are one.
If the car goes fast, I go fast.  ~Thich Nhat Hanh

dearest passenger

dearest passenger

To show I care for you
my most precious cargo,
I will slow down,
be no closer than
one car length per 10 miles per hour
following other vehicles,
and travel at a safe speed.
Please do not fear.

In a past lifetime
I drove crazy,
spinning donuts
in the parking lot,
racing at green light’s spark
crossing multiple lanes
to take an off-ramp
failing to consider the
two-thirty-seconds of an inch
of rubber between me
and the hard, sharp
of pavement, steel and glass.

Through deaths and near deaths
I now humbly understand how to appropriately
express my deepest aspiration
of non-harming
while focusing on controlling
a vehicle of compassionate action
and not a powerful weapon of destruction
of myself, loved ones, strangers, bicyclists,
pedestrians and innocent by-standers.

May we all have peaceful get-a ways
in our get away cars.

Meditative Walk in Beauty!

Are you paying attention to me, Feet say to Mind.
Mind abruptly stops its chatter momentarily to say
I know you are there. Of course I know.
Feet respond that they would like to feel mind’s presence.
Mind says there are many important things
for me to think, to remember, to plan.
You are so clever, thinking highly of yourself
and the endless seductive ideas that pop
on and off of your screen, says Feet.
Please offer me your full attention
and together we will walk in freedom,
free from illusions and ignorance,
free to truly love and feel loved
free to fully embrace and enjoy
the miracle of walking in beauty
on this precious planet
at this very wonderful moment.

Helped by mindful breath’s calming
Mind smiles while letting go of its thinking
and experiences the miracle
of being alive
walking with Feet.

being present for the gift

being present for the gift ~d nelson

Walking Meditation

Take my hand.
We will walk.
We will only walk.
We will enjoy our walk
without thinking of arriving anywhere.
Walk peacefully.
Walk happily.
Our walk is a peace walk.
Our walk is a happiness walk.

Then we learn
that there is no peace walk;
that peace is the walk;
that there is no happiness walk;
that happiness is the walk.
We walk for ourselves.
We walk for everyone
always hand in hand.

Walk and touch peace every moment.
Walk and touch happiness every moment.
Each step brings a fresh breeze.
Each step makes a flower bloom under our feet.
Kiss the Earth with your feet.
Print on Earth your love and happiness.
Earth will be safe
when we feel in us enough safety.
from: Call Me by My True Names: The Collected Poems of Thich Nhat Hanh

walking together in beauty

walking together in beauty

 

 

Cast the First Stone

multitask rock

Where the mind is without fear and the
head is held high,
Where knowledge is free, …
Where tireless striving stretches the arms
toward perfection,
Where the clear stream of reason has not
lost its way
into the dreary desert sand of dead
habits,…
My father,
let my country awake.  ~Rabindranath Tagore

small rocks & Buddha

Sticks and stones
help make my bones
and words can gently heal me.
Without any need for thinking
digestive tract breaks down
vegetables, fruits and other foods
revealing
vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, carbohydrates
water and other micro nutrients
made available for body’s well-being.
Our body offering ancient physiological wisdom
without anger or discrimination.

peace rock

Need it be difficult for mind
to see rocks as messengers of peace;
to see wooden sticks as signs of love,
as building blocks of humanity
as the providers of well-being they are, in the right dose?
With a little support and camaraderie
we can learn to live
in harmony with the earth
and each other.
Casting our stones, visibly
for peace and love.

peaceful wood & stone

peaceful wood & stone

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joyful artistry together

May We All Have Beautiful Continuations

hold me while i'm warm

hold me while i’m warm

You are like a candle. Imagine you are sending light out all around you. All your words, thoughts and actions are going in many directions. If you say something kind, your kind words go in many directions, and you yourself go with them. We are …transforming and continuing in a different form at every moment. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

With summer’s heat it was wonderful to experience impermanence this week in the form of clouds & rain. Cool, pleasant temperatures along with unexpected moisture and gorgeous sunrise colors; a blissful moment. If you asked the cloud, “where did you come from?”, the cloud would wisely say, “I did not come from anywhere. When conditions are sufficient, I manifest. And when conditions are no longer sufficient, I stop manifesting.” The cloud is a wise teacher who can help us understand the nature of non-self and interconnectedness. The cloud is aware that it cannot truly die. It turns into rain, or perhaps hail or snow. Knowing that it does not become nothing, the cloud is happy recognizing its continuation is in a new form. On and on throughout time, sun, vaporizes oceans, lakes and other bodies of water. Temperatures, pressures, winds and geography provide conditions for clouds to appear. And we humans have our conditions and continuations, our selves and non-selves just as does all of nature.

cloudy conditions

cloudy conditions

During this summer’s 21 day retreat in Plum Village, France, Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh spoke on the theme, “what happens when we die.” During which he asked poets and musicians to share their inspiration on these deep teachings of fearlessness and interbeing. After much meditation, reflection and polishing, my humble reponse is below.  I hope you like this tune entitled, Beautiful Continuations (lyrics below). Gratitude to Jo-ann and Charlie for your sweet violin and arrangement.

Unborn, & undying, I am
flowers and mankind the same.
We’re made of seed, sun, soil and rain.
So simple that even a young child can understand;
conditions are just right
now here I am.

Gratefully swimming this river of time.
Aware I’m more than this body
a liberating insight.

Please hold this hand, my friend
while still warm to the touch.
Remember I loved you so much.

In the west sun sets
while in the east it dawns.
Night and day play hide and seek
dancing on & on.

May footsteps of what I say and do
tread light as bygones
& May my karma be a beautiful continuation.

May birds always sing
May air & water always be clean
& May we all have beautiful continuations.

© 7/2014 D. M. Nelson

images from the music video, below

Drought scape

With inner peace as the guide and criterion for all our actions, we transform our way of living into one genuinely capable of bringing lasting peace into a troubled world. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Dear Ancestors of the rainy North & South
thank you for understanding
that we must let go of your gift
of valuing the aesthetic
of green grass & other thirsty landscaping
even in, what are, natural deserts.

I’ve loved walking barefoot in the grass
also, playing Frisbee and having picnics.
I’ve faithfully watered, mowed, raked
trimmed, edged, and cared for the yard.

But I’m hearing the concerns of descendants
who will not know such abundance
of water and other resources.
Less rain now falls with climate changes.
They ask why was so much water used
when precious reservoirs ran dry?

Today I read that, despite the calls for conservation
with the drought, more water is being used
in California this year, than last.
I muster a smile knowing that many understand
that what we do now affects the future well-being
of all living things.
That many are putting their understanding
into action by replacing water-intensive landscaping
with xeriscaping  and native plants.

May all beings have adequate clean, fresh water
now and 7 generations into the future.

Seeing Happiness

Dwelling in the present moment, we can see so many beauties and wonders right before our eyes–a child’s smile, the sun rising, the autumn leaves ~Thich Nhat Hanh

flowers often seem nicer on the other side ~d nelson

flowers often seem nicer on the other side ~d nelson

“Are you blind?” I asked the young man sitting next to me in the park. I had offered empathetic listening as he explained at length how there’s nothing to do here and that’s why this town is boring. If only he could get a ride an hour to the nearest city there would be fun things to do so he wouldn’t be bored. He replied that he had two good eyes.

I told him of my moon watching meditation last night.
How the golden hues of sunset were still setting the hills ablaze
with a golden glow as this super full moon rose up behind them
in plain view for all to see.

Oranges, yellows, greens, browns whites,
blacks, blues, magentas, among others
in the shapes of rolling hills, oaks, pines, moon
clouds, lake, waves, rocks, geese, ducks.
Such an amazing display of colors and shapes.
A true miracle to behold
to let touch my heart through
perception & my eye’s consciousness.

Such a miracle to see, at all.
Offering more than enough conditions for me to be happy.

super moon

super moon

I shared with him about diabetic patients I used to care for.
How, over time, many lost their vision
due to the corrosive effects of too much glucose
running through eye’s blood vessels.
And how they became so sad and unhappy
when they could no longer see well, or at all.

I asked if there is anything he really likes to look at
and he told me how pretty his girlfriend is.
After a few more comments to each other
he went off to be with his special friend
where he was going to look at her with new eyes
and tell her how special she is to him.

I am happy that he decided to open his eyes
to beauty present before him
and let go of the idea of being bored.