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.
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