Compassion’s Prescribed Burn

feeding inner fires ~d nelson

feeding inner fires ~d nelson

Total freedom awaits these energy’s
return to cosmos’ frozen vastness.
However, during the remainder of this heart’s
brief precious lifetime on earth,
fires of love, compassion and healing, blaze.

cozy fireplace

cozy fireplace

There’s a wounded child
constantly crying for help
inside of this fragile heart.
Self love warmly kindles
while hurtful words & actions
gust hazardous firestorms.

Breathe in difficulties, breathe out empathetic connection.
May I continue listening to the difficulties & pain of others.
I’ve just read that:
now only 550,000 individuals are homeless in the US, nightly.
Most Americans cannot afford adequate health care.
Displaced workers are not adequately helped
reintegrate into the labor market and acquire skills.
Such injustices stoke anger’s flames.

Incoming government officials speak of registering
members of certain faiths, if not internment or deportment.
This before, or perhaps after building a wall between neighbors.
Meanwhile California’s drought has killed more than 102 million trees
in a die-off of forests that increases risk of catastrophic wildfires.
Inadequate funds are being pledged to reverse climate change
& our leaders talk of walking away from the Paris international agreement.
These injustices really intensify raging fires.

Dear ones, I don’t want this fire getting out of control.

I’ll care for myself by skillfully using controlled or prescribed burns
so not to start the whole forest ablaze.
I wish to be peace & calm in efforts for justice,
not walking around like a bomb awaiting one wrong word or action.
I’ll do my best & ask that you do your best
so that we can help each other make a better future
for seven generations of descendants,
by our wise, beautiful actions, now, in this moment.
Inside a child thanks you for helping
me prevent forest fires.

controlling fires, together!

controlling fires, together!

If your house is on fire, the most urgent thing to do is to go back and try to put out the fire,not to run after the person you believe to be the arsonist. If you run after the person you suspect
has burned your house, your house will burn down while you are chasing him or her. That is not wise. You must go back and put out the fire. So when you are angry, if you continue to interact with or argue with the other person, if you try to punish her, you are acting exactly like someone who runs after the arsonist while everything goes up in flames. Thich Nhat Hanh, from Anger

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97 thoughts on “Compassion’s Prescribed Burn

  1. AmyRose🌹

    David, dear David, I see change. I feel change. And this change is for the better. I am focusing on that change and fueling that energy with Peace and Love. I refuse to allow the atrocities of this world to eat away at me. This does not mean I am blind. No. I understand what is at stake here yet more and more people I have been speaking to in the woods, have confirmed for me that people are focusing on what is important … family, Love, friendship, Mother. It’s happening, dear friend, it really is. Build that fire of Passion for Peace and tend it carefully. I am. Anger is destructive but Love is all encompassing Life Giving Beauty. Peace to you this day! (((HUGS))) ❀

    Reply
      1. AmyRose🌹

        Dearest friend, the energies have been harsh and extreme. I’ve had to many time fight against them, going within, finding my Lake of Tranquility and staying there. I have my own way of calming my breath and mind, and one of them is repeating … Everything is going to be OK. I also pray and don’t stop until I feel the Calm embrace me. You can rise above the pandamonium to enter Calm, David. I have every Faith you shall. Peace, peace, peace ….. (((HUGS))) ❀

  2. sasokisoaps

    Dear David, true words spoken, and well said.
    Lately, I have been sharing an instagram post, but not sure who to attribute it to. It says:
    “chaos always precedes real change. Stand on the side of LOVE”
    Rest assured, there are many of us who feel the same way you do. Maybe with the strength of numbers and prayer-equivalent meditative loving energy, along with a multitude of small actions in a caring direction, things will change for the better.
    Maybe your protective burns will give healing smoke for a cleansing ceremony.
    IMHO, if we can hold fast to Hope, Faith (whatever that means personally), and Love, it’s as good as it gets.
    Best wishes to you,
    Sarah

    Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      thank you for sharing your efforts
      at holding the line, containing
      fire’s spread, Sarah!
      perhaps this is the wake up call
      for all to arise, come together
      and take actions for
      a future to be possible!
      wishing you a joyful day πŸ™‚

      Reply
  3. Jet Eliot

    Really moving words and analogies, David, and loving wisdom you have shared here. It is important that we do our best–as you say–to move forward, quell the flames and not add to them, see the beauty that surrounds us even during this time of uncertainty and fear. Lovely post.

    Reply
  4. Sonnische

    Very timely, and the photos of fire are very beautiful! Encountered a man on our walk in SW Florida this morning wearing a red hat with “Make America Great Again” on it. Had a cordial conversation with this nice fellow who doesn’t share our politics, but seemed okay anyhow. The more we can see “them” as fellow travelers along the path and see the common humanity, the better for us. Otherwise it’s taking the hot coal and putting it in our own mouths. As the Buddha said.

    Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      thank you for truly
      helping make America great, Sunny!
      by experiencing true connection
      & kindness others may less likely
      vote for simply an illusion
      and end up burned πŸ™‚

      Reply
  5. Hariod Brawn

    “Monks [and nuns], the All is aflame. What All is aflame? The eye is aflame. Forms are aflame. Consciousness at the eye is aflame. Contact at the eye is aflame. And whatever there is that arises in dependence on contact at the eye β€” experienced as pleasure, pain or neither-pleasure-nor-pain β€” that too is aflame. Aflame with what? Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion. Aflame, I tell you, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs.

    “The ear is aflame. Sounds are aflame…
    “The nose is aflame. Aromas are aflame…
    “The tongue is aflame. Flavors are aflame…
    “The body is aflame. Tactile sensations are aflame…
    “The intellect is aflame. Ideas are aflame. Consciousness at the intellect is aflame. Contact at the intellect is aflame. And whatever there is that arises in dependence on contact at the intellect β€” experienced as pleasure, pain or neither-pleasure-nor-pain β€” that too is aflame. Aflame with what? Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion. Aflame, I say, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs.

    “Seeing thus, the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones grows disenchanted with the eye, disenchanted with forms, disenchanted with consciousness at the eye, disenchanted with contact at the eye. And whatever there is that arises in dependence on contact at the eye, experienced as pleasure, pain or neither-pleasure-nor-pain: With that, too, s/he grows disenchanted.

    “S/he grows disenchanted with the ear…
    “S/he grows disenchanted with the nose…
    “S/he grows disenchanted with the tongue…
    “S/he grows disenchanted with the body…
    “S/he grows disenchanted with the intellect, disenchanted with ideas, disenchanted with consciousness at the intellect, disenchanted with contact at the intellect. And whatever there is that arises in dependence on contact at the intellect, experienced as pleasure, pain or neither-pleasure-nor-pain: S/he grows disenchanted with that too. Disenchanted, s/he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion, s/he is fully released. With full release, there is the knowledge, ‘Fully released.’ S/he discerns that ‘Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'”

    Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      i’m most impressed, Hariod
      that an entire discourse is
      offered in your generous sharing!
      during extended stays in monasteries
      i’ve been able to briefly touch the nature
      of emptiness & these ancient truths!
      so much more difficult to put out these flames while being in the presence of another while also
      taking a call & replying
      to a text, while driving!
      may all experience
      extinction
      of the destructive flames πŸ™‚

      Reply
  6. IreneDesign2011

    Important post David. I think, that people all over the world are fearing, what will come now. We need to continue sending out peace and love and maybe think more about, what we should learn by this.

    Reply
  7. sara

    David, you are right to be angry, and using anger as a controlled burn can be a very powerful energy for motivation, awareness and change. I love your imagery, it was very effective!

    Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      smiling to your supportive
      staying alive
      encouragement, sara!
      was saving these images
      for a special occasion.
      may we all tend to our fires
      without smoking
      out the neighbors πŸ™‚

      Reply
  8. Tom's Nature-up-close Photography and Mindfulness Blog

    “Inadequate funds are being pledged to reverse climate change
    & our leaders talk of walking away from the Paris international agreement.”

    Sad stuff indeed. They are not my leaders… though they may think that they are.
    (We’ll continue to contribute to the Sierra Club and to do the best we can environmentally. Additionally, there are on-line signature sites of protest requesting people to sign a request that environmental measures continue; please find them and sign them.)

    Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      smiling to your insight, Tom!
      yes, who is leading who?
      thank you for encouraging
      petition signing and whatever
      helps bring current fires
      under control πŸ™‚

      Reply
  9. JoAnna

    Fire sign that I am, I am drawn to life-giving water. Water will help. Like the snow sent by Glinda to wake up the travelers so they could get to Oz. So, that’s me running away cause I don’t want to mess with the fire at all. But you are right, we need to be careful and tend the fire. And in reality, I will be responsible and do my part.

    Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      i’m impressed how well you know
      your need for cooling waters. JoAnna!
      your words offer me a clear sign, also
      to remember the saying about
      being careful not to be burned.
      thank you for doing your part, for real πŸ™‚

      Reply
  10. Vicki

    Wise words. Careful burning off of excess undergrowth or bush fire material is essential, but needs to be well tended and carefully contained.

    ….and address several levels of thoughtful understanding.

    Healthcare in many countries is a problem and in my own case, living on a Government Disability Pension, I can’t afford my top-of-the-range private health insurance, but have to keep it up because I can’t afford to pay for treatment and surgeries without it. I could use the public health system, but with long waiting lists, I need treatment now (not in a few years time). I believe in Sweden they have free health care for everyone.

    Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      thank you for these insightful words, Vicki! i appreciate having a better understanding of your health care situation. in the US there is good care for the wealthy, for everyone else, it’s a separate & unequal maze of care plans or no plans. i’m fortunate to have insurance, while so many do not. when i lived in amsterdam, general care was available for all. thanks for bringing this up. may all be well & have the care needed when ill πŸ™‚

      Reply
  11. Annika Perry

    A timely analogy, David…you capture the the being of the fire itself and our responsibility in fighting it with wisdom and control. Superb quote by Thich Nhat Hanh and one I hadn’t come across before – messages such as yours need to be heard far and wide!

    Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      it’s wonderful that wisdom
      from the ages is readily available
      to help quell the fires of today!
      smiling to your kind understanding, Annika! may your day be calm & happy πŸ™‚

      Reply
  12. JC

    To quote the Beatles…

    Me used to be angry young man
    Me hiding me head in the sand
    You gave me the word
    I finally heard
    I’m doing the best that I can.

    … and my best is indeed getting better and more maybe more can hear the word and save our Mother Earth from those that harm her and from ourselves.

    Reply
  13. Dennis the Vizsla

    hello smilecalm its dennis the vizsla dog hay this reeminds me of the song by the faymus minstrel billy joel in wich he sez we didnt start the fire no we didnt lite it but we tried to fite it!!! fiting the fire duz seem like a better choyse then just running away frum it!!! ok bye

    Reply
  14. robert87004

    I don’t have a fire related remark fitting your excellent post but these words from the Beatles come to mind often. They become increasingly apt. My real concern is that we might become righteous….

    Head in a cloud
    The man of a thousand voices
    Talking perfectly loud
    But nobody ever hears him
    Or the sounds he appears to make
    And he never seems to notice
    But the fool on the hill
    Sees the sun going down
    And the eyes in his head
    See the world spinning round

    Reply
  15. robert87004

    I don’t have a fire related remark fitting your excellent post but these words from the Beatles come to mind often. They become increasingly apt. My real concern is that we might become righteous….

    Head in a cloud
    The man of a thousand voices
    Talking perfectly loud
    But nobody ever hears him
    Or the sounds he appears to make
    And he never seems to notice
    But the fool on the hill
    Sees the sun going down
    And the eyes in his head
    See the world spinning round

    Reply
  16. Alison and Don

    “Things are not getting worse, they are getting revealed. We must hold each other close and continue to pull back the veil.”
    I don’t know who wrote this but it helps.
    Alison

    Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      thank you for these wonderful words, Alison
      that open the veil to conditions
      of happiness which are always
      present!
      may your day be happy & well, david πŸ™‚

      Reply
  17. Sue Dreamwalker

    Wow David.. this was such a powerful piece of writing that spoke volumes to any heart that would read it.. Over half a million people homeless.. I know its awful.. Your wise words need to sink i
    into all who read them..
    “Breathe in difficulties, breathe out empathetic connection.” said it all to me.. Its time now to pull together to stop pointing fingers of blame in our world.. Here too in the UK.. no different, just various labels passed on down..
    Sometimes I think we are often pulled apart so that we can rebuild. And your warnings of controlled burns do well to be heeded..

    My thoughts are with those who are joining hands right now at Standing Rock.. I feel their pain ..
    As I do America’s..
    May you all learn to unite in the flame of LOVE.. Unity and Peace..

    Sending my love and thoughts your way to you and yours this Thanksgiving David.. Peace and Love your way xx Sue xx

    Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      thank you for this deep, kind reflection, Sue!
      It’s unfortunate that the so-called moderate, liberal, peaceful, loving types can’t actually reconcile and unify. Should they ever surrender into a “one” then the dark, ignorant, angry forces would possibly surrounded and transformed. i’ve sent out messages that Standing Rock is a call for all across Indian Country to unite and express indigenous unity to wake up the world. At the moment I’m appreciative of your loving gestures
      to all. May you and your neighbors
      embrace for the upcoming winter πŸ™‚

      Reply
  18. Michael

    Your words and images here, David, remind of the power of just being aware of our own feelings, and letting the little child speak. They cause me to shift gears and contact my heart. I think we all want to take that child on a walk through a beautiful world and I think sometimes we forget: we all are that same child. Each one we love, each moment we love, heals the child that we are…

    Peace!
    Michael

    Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      smiling to that heart’s
      young, openly honest,
      vulnerable-speak, Michael!
      we instinctively know that
      together our warm words, hugs and love
      will transform bully’s angry broken heart, eventually πŸ™‚

      Reply

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