smilecalm

Out with the Old, In with the Artichoke

in with the artichoke ~d nelson
in with the artichoke ~d nelson

While it’s been said that
an old dog cannot learn new tricks,
I say, “has anyone actually asked?”

in with the artichoke 2~d nelson
in with the artichoke 2~d nelson

Turns out that, when queried
14 year old Fang was quite articulate.
Given the right inspirational conditions
he was willing & able
to cultivate self empathy
then, do best for himself,
while considering what’s best for others.
Going from full-time meat shredding savage beast
to part-time mild-mannered plant-based eater.
Amazing!

A for artichoke, B for broccoli, C for carrot
A for artichoke, B for broccoli, C for carrot

Loving eyes & wagging tail convey
his grasp of beautiful endowments found
in all things consumed via mouth,
nose, eyes, ears & touch.
He now wishes to eat in such a way
that his compassion is kept alive
by reducing suffering of other living beings.


Well, if such an old dog can learn beneficial new tricks,
envision what each of us can do
to long-held habit energies
with empathy & love towards ourselves & others.

Just 3 deep, calm mindful breaths
can bring awareness of the miracle.
Fearlessly try this:  Breathe in, calm; Breathe out, smile. Repeat.
This year offers a bonus
gift of a Leap Second.
Enough time to awaken
that happy puppy, inside.
May your new year be in peace
as each moment leaps
into existence,
breath by breath.

Every morning, when we wake up, we have twenty-four brand-new hours to live. What a precious gift! We have the capacity to live in a way that these twenty-four hours will bring peace, joy, and happiness to ourselves and others. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

97 Replies to “Out with the Old, In with the Artichoke”

  1. Until the day he crossed the Rainbow Bridge at 17 years of age, our Mickey not only learned, he also taught, new tricks. And continues to teach with his loving memory.

    Happy new year, David, to you, Fang, and all you love! 😉 xoxoM

  2. It’s true, dogs love eating fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts. They especially love avocado. In fact, I had a friend who had an avocado orchard in California that he bought with his wife, and a large Great Dane male came with the property, he never fed the dog because he noticed that the dog would not eat the kibble he put out for him, the intelligent Great Dane preferred to eat ripe raw avocados that he picked up off the ground and ate when he wanted to.
    When he sold the farm he never missed the property but he did regret not taking the Great Dane with him to his new home, where he could have bought him avocados from a store. This was a guy who didn’t like digs before he met the avocado eating Great Dane, an older man he was, and it goes to show that people can learn new things that are of compassion and good for the All, too. 🙂

      1. often i get down to a meditation center in Escondido
        in the heart of avocado country
        and now i’ll be smiling even more picturing
        that doggie with his fruits ripening in the trees!
        wishing a happiness & peace this new year Genie 🙂

  3. Dogs just love fruit and veggies if given the chance.. There is hope for the rest of the world Yet LOL
    And what better way to start the New Year than to a veggie treat..
    And a treat it was to see your lovely four legged friends tucking in with smiles and delight..
    I am breathing in..

    1. Thank you for your kind contribution of fruits & veggies, Sue!
      we’re wishing you & your loved ones
      a diet of happiness and harmony
      this new year of calm, happy breaths 🙂

  4. Fireworks cracking the sky outside, the clock has ticked over, and we in Oz are there!
    My old dog learned all sorts of new tricks in the last 6 months after his stroke.
    To be true, the new tricks were old ones that he forgot while his brain struggled for a while,
    But my broccoli eating kitchen hound is back in action, with his head in the fridge vegie tray whenever I open it 😊
    Peace and quiet Joy to you and your pups in 2017 smilecalm, and thanks for your gentle wisdom shared.

    1. makes me happy knowing that you, and many others
      are safely, and happily already over
      on the other side, dear sasokisoaps 🙂
      now Fang is gonna be sticking his head in the frig when it opens!
      wishing you rest and beauty when again awakened
      in the new year, with love for & by all those in your life 🙂

  5. And this year my resolution is to get a dog who can teach me to eat vegetables and fruit in this year of the artichoke. Have a wonderful New Year…

  6. Happy New Year! Thank you for this wonderful post and a lesson from your dog 🙂 It is my belief that we should learn from the other inhabitants of the Earth. Wishing you all the best!

    1. your poetic breeze makes me smile, Rosaliene!
      yes, may we all realize that we’re in
      this sea of warmth & frigidity together!
      wishing you a happiest of new years 🙂

  7. Wish you a happy new year with your loved once David 🙂
    Even I’m vegetarian and my dog loves spinach and other veggies, I do take care, that he gets his meat too. Both dogs and cats are Carnivors and need their meat too.

    1. thank you for this advice, Irene!
      yes, the doggies are still eating
      some meat, as is their nature,
      but a bit less so!
      a happy new year to you
      and your artistic works 🙂

  8. hello smilecalm its dennis the vizsla dog hay an artie choke!!! my dada luvs artie chokes!!! he kalls them a delivry sistem for butter!!! he yoozed to bring them to wurk frum time to time and his frend wood say he wuz eeting a kaktus!!! happy impending noo yeer!!! ok bye

  9. Interesting post David. My dog does love fruit too and I thought he was unusual! You are right, we all have immense potential to learn so much. Each new year and day is such a gift to each of us, and I wish expansion, abundance, love and peace to us all for 2017. I also look forward to more inspirational posts from you. 🎉🙏🏻🎉

  10. Happy New Year, David.
    Here’s hoping this year will be filled with Change.
    Change for the better and Better for the Planet 🙂
    May all those Minds filled with Anger and Destruction be filled with Calm and Peace.

    1. thank you for your kind wishes
      and me and the other living beings
      on this beautiful planet, Vicki!
      may your 2017 days be filled with joy,
      well-being and adventure
      there “down under”, david 🙂

  11. bonne année, Monsieur-Sir David! 🙂 mille merci-thanx a bunch of your favourite flowers for dropping by my playground and for your nice lines… send you my very best for 2017: health, joy, peace and tons of inspiration… cheers! santé! Mélanie Bedos Nicolas

  12. “Breathe in, calm; Breathe out, smile. Repeat.” Got it! Thanks for another wonderful post and for the lovely New Year’s wish, David. Blessings back to you and yours, human and animal, and indeed, to all of us. (I think Fang eats better than I do; I must look into that. :))

  13. we have twenty-four brand-new hours to live…i love Thich Nhat Hanh…peace is every step is one of the first books i got from my yoga teacher…compose a wonderful smiling and caring new year David…lovely post…i love dogs too ❤

  14. Happy New Year to you and yours David! 🙂 It seems that Tom has pointed up the need to exercise caution when feeding certain foodstuffs to dogs, and doubtless you are aware of most of them – grapes are a definite no-no, even though most dogs will eat them readily. Other than for the need for such caution, then Vegan diets are certainly viable for dogs, as many will testify. 🙂

    1. thank you for the caring doggie advice, Hariod. these doggies won’t be eating a grape, or most other fruits or veggies. anyway, the post really wasn’t about doggies, at least the canine types. wishing you ease, joy and maybe a cycle this new year 🙂

    1. so kind of you to share this, JoAnna!
      i believe it’s possible for many of us
      old doggies to learn new, beneficial ways,
      especially with divine support 🙂

  15. This is so adorable; the perfect soft, smile inducing, warm, wise way to offer an important invitation. And I LOVE artichokes 😉 Love and blessings to you and your inspiring four legged companion…xxx

  16. @Thich Nhat Hanh… he’s quite popular in France, too… I love his wise quotes… ❤ and I also appreciate les artichauts… 🙂
    * * *
    last June, on the road to Monterrey, I passed by Castroville, California – the international capital of the artichaut-artichoke… 🙂

    1. never knew we’ve been enjoying
      such tasty French cuisine, Mélanie!
      i’ve enjoyed visiting Plum Village many times, along with happy local Francophones 🙂

  17. Amazing how much can change in a leap second! Compassion can arrive as quick as lightning in the right conditions. It takes even a little longer to digest an artichoke… 🙂

    Peace and Happy New Year, David!
    Your words are a treasure throughout the year–
    Michael

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