Judge Me, Yes Please

sunflowers ~d nelson

Offering true
presence for you,
standing straight
stem to petals.


With your true presence’ glance
we are not two,
there is no other,
in this fresh
new moment.


Experiencing this
moment together
is the miracle.
Why want more?

sunflowers in plum village
sunflowers in plum village, france ~d nelson

I’ve heard of those
clever human minds,
able to reach glorious
brilliance & insight.


Yet, also darkly caught
in endless
running towards and/or away
from desires & fears.
Thinking, judging, thinking
is what it does, yes?
Seems an inconceivable busyness
demanding all time & attention.


I’ll understand if you don’t have
time for me now, maybe never.
Summer passes quickly
into autumn’s glory days.
Spring’s renewal is both
alluring & uncertain.


Whether you say “we’re beautiful”
or that we remind your heart of
an unfulfilled wedding vow
or that we will look better
delivered as a bundle
of dead sunflowers,
we will still be unconditionally
present for you, now.

sunflowers-8 ~d nelson

How would you deal with Osama bin Laden?, Anne Simpkinson asked Thich Nhat Hanh in 2002. “The first thing I would do is listen. I would try to understand why he had acted in that cruel way. I would try to understand all of the sufferings that had led him to violence. . . . I would need several friends with me, who are strong in the practice of deep listening, listening without reacting, without judging and blaming. In this way, an atmosphere of support would be created for this person and those connected so that they could share completely, trust that they are really being heard.”

92 Replies to “Judge Me, Yes Please”

  1. I love the whole post, but that final quote is amazing. I’ll sit with that for a while.

  2. This post touched me deeply. I wanted to be with those sunflowers, for them to know how I would seek deep presence with them. They are so generous and beautiful. Your pictures are fantastic. Every second with them is precious. And of course I loved your Thich Nhat Hanh quote.
    Thank you David, for always being such a humble inspiration.

  3. Good morning David, from sweltering but gorgeously lush South Carolina as we return north after our trip to SW Florida. Sunflowers are favorites of mine, and I love your photos and wise and timely words. One day at a time we’ve made huge life changes, carefully planned for several years, scarily uncertain and seemingly risky. We planned for, prepared and sold our NY home, I closed my clinical practice of over 20 years there and have successfully established another in PA, and this week we drove to Florida and after several years of following the market, chose a winter home. We feel almost giddy with our good fortune, wondering what comes next. Experiencing this moment, unknowing if or perhaps when, like Wile E Coyote, the proverbial Acme Safe could flatten one or both of us at any time. Filled with gratitude, wonder, hope and Metta, for all this and for you!

    1. smiling to your risking
      to follow your dream
      to where the weather
      suits your clothes, Sunny!
      may prosperity continue
      for your body, heart & mind 🙂

  4. Perhaps Sunflowers do think, in their own way, David? I imagine it’s a very singular kind of subjectivity, all to do with warmth, nutrient-seeking and seeds. There’s currently a Panpsychist theory of consciousness – Integrated Information Theory – that would suggest something like this. 🙂

    1. oh yes, Hariod!
      i can’t even imagine
      all the communication
      needed to create nature’s
      vast & intricate beauty!
      nature certainly has it’s
      perhaps, less burdened,
      mind 🙂

  5. Oh my goodness, David, so much wisdom found here today. The sunflowers one more beautfiul then the other. Thank you for that gift. And the quote at the bottom made me go very quiet, leaving me with much food for thought. Bless you for this divine post. Bless you! ❤

  6. Reading this, I thought about how magnificent sunflowers are. But you remind me also of their generosity, and the deep value of listening. Thank you for the wise message from Thich Nhat Hanh. I will carry this with me and take time.

  7. Yes! Listening without judgment is so important, for judgment skews what we hear.
    Listen with Love.
    Listen with Compassion.
    Listen with Courage.
    And Love.

      1. Thank you, David.
        And I especially love your image of the sunflower’s center, where the seeds of potential life and nourishment reside. Beautiful! xoxoM 😉

  8. As usual, your words calm and inspire – and then you finish with a cracking quote that leaves us in no uncertain terms the work that is required. Thank you for those lovely photos and the sunflower poem; just beautiful.

  9. Why would we want to disconnect from beauty, warmth, energy and unconditional love? Because we forget we belong to one another. A beautiful reminder of this connection and warmth David. To stay close, listen, love and learn from one another. Beautiful.

  10. David I love Sunflowers and have some, yes in my allotments growing between the sweetcorn.. these are beautiful as are your words my friend.. If we all judged less and lived more in love.. judgements would not need to be made.. For more harmony would surround us all..
    In love and light.. As I keep on keeping on Dreaming..

  11. “With your true presence’ glance
    we are not two,
    there is no other,
    in this fresh
    new moment.”

    Love the usage of possessive plural, this is sophisticated stuff! I’m impressed, not only with your poem (in its entirety), and photos, I’m impressed to see such wisdom in the usage of correct English! What a difference it makes in how the above quoted part reads, had it said:
    With your true presence glance
    we are not two,
    there is no other,
    in this fresh
    new moment.

    It would be way less effective, to be specific about what kind of glance (true presence’), is an enlightened way of speaking (and correct English too, which I love because language is important to master).

    Anyway, that’s my English lecture for the day! lol 🐉

    1. Happy that you took on
      my challenge, Genie and judged
      this post with the insight
      of a good English teacher!
      I’m glad I passed this time.
      How fortunate that it sounded right
      when it wrote itself.
      Wishing you a fresh, joyful day, dear one 🙂

      1. David, it’s only because I trust you and know that you won’t judge me for pointing out the correct usage of punctuation (concerning possessive plural), that I made the comment that I did; I felt exited when I read your poem — it reminded me of how much work it takes to use punctuation correctly, although once mastered, it becomes automatic (most of the time!), like riding a bicycle.
        I remember a poem that I wrote 5 years ago, about how punctuation is mind breath.

        As an editor, I know this on a deep level, in fact, when I read anything, I always read the punctuation too (which is actually the correct way of reading).

        Geez, and here I thought I was only giving one English lecture for the day! lol 🙀

  12. Your ode to sunflowers was a true pleasure, David, along with the accompanying photos, close-ups. I especially like the Plum Village photo, with all the sunflowers pointing in the same direction. Now that’s mindfulness. Sunflowers offer such joy, thank you for passing it on….

  13. Don’t you love how they can’t help but stand to attention with the attention of the sun… whether one or all together, they are such a gift. Lovely captures and words David 🌻🌻🌻

  14. There is something inherently joyful and stately about sunflowers. Your words have captured their essence. 🌻

  15. There is so much to say about this post…I hardly know where to begin. So I will say I do not sit in judgment, I have only allowed my soul to FEEL all that is here! Such a good feeling ❤

  16. Beautiful, David. I love the way nature presents us with such consistent devotion, and how you have woven that into Thich Nhat Hanh’s discussion of listening like those flowers to Osama bin Laden, in a human bouquet of loving kindness. Thank you for flowering with such inspiration!


  17. Beautiful post as always. I do so love sunflowers, and that final quote. The humility ‘I would need several friends with me’ is so inspiring, because it reminds me that it’s ok that I still find it difficult to listen deeply to people who challenge me, even the best find that they need to be surrounded by like minded friends in order to open and hold that space. So human. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing 🙂 Love and humility, Harula xxx

  18. We are one but out of sects in the minds that this is mine, this is not yours– division is forced to keep one down, pushing another away to take benefit of this and that situation, keep one humiliated by sick minds . In the same society one is made to feel guilty for having the same opportunity by those who are powerful or think so.I have been experiencing it time and again. Several extremely clever & deceitful folks trying to take my advantage in different situations. Every time an osama is born , it is the clear reflection of some kind of disease in the society at that stage. He is only the outcome it. Shall we overcome? 🙂 After all we are one.

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