With a lot of help from my (spiritual) Friends


making the serious joyful

making the serious joyful

One interesting thing about greed is that although the underlying motive is to seek satisfaction, the irony is that even after obtaining the object of your desire you are still not satisfied. The true antidote of greed is contentment. ~ The Dalai Lama

May we all have the spiritual friends needed to support us in these difficult times.
To help us see our inner lotus
as well as our deep mud
so that we may cultivate our gardens
and create beauty for ourselves and the world.

With support of others
great difficulties can be faced.
Together we can study, learn and live
in such a way that we cause less harm
to people, animals and the earth.

May our mindfulness grow
and practice of the four elements of love
that we can overcome
the three poisons of greed, hatred and delusion.

faith's symbols

faith’s symbols

May we cultivate enough compassion
that we can bow to those we oppose,
to those whose actions create war
and destroy the earth
for they have so deeply helped us
see how much we truly care for life on earth.

These thoughts were recently shared by two senior luminaries of engaged Buddhism,
Ajahn Sulak Sivaraksa and Joanna Macy.
Please enjoy this inspired, edited version of their talk:

I look forward to again being with my spiritual friends in the blogosphere
when I return from retreat and participating in the UN Climate March.

If our love is only a will to possess, it is not love. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Building Clarity Hamlet

chanting compassion

chanting compassion ~d nelson

Gratitude for the compassionate ways
of the sisters at Deer Park Meditation Center/Monastery.
They teach the ways of understanding and love,
living in harmony with nature.
They are there as friends to all
who present themselves;
whether people
or minerals.

sister's new dwelling

sister’s new dwelling

For the past 14 years they’ve lived
in small bath houses (next to the unused swimming pool),
without insulation
cold in the winter
hot in the summer.
Still they walk peacefully
and smile to all.

Finally a new, eco-earth friendly
straw-bale nunnery is being built for them
thanks to the generous donations of time and money.
This short video above offers a brief impression.


More info about the efforts to complete
the building of Clarity Hamlet at


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
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
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