Community & Friendship’s Delight

delighted sitting Buddhas ~d nelson

Dear WordPress Community, and Friends on the path,

So easily mind goes here, then goes there.
The mind can go in a thousand directions
including thinking that it’s alone.
But, with mindfulness, concentration & insight
we can remember the path upon which we’re stepping.
On this path are also countless beings supporting us,
at this moment, some of them are of the human-type.

delightfully recycling, together in Deer Park

I’m reminded of so many elders and others
who are isolated and feeling lonely right now.
They wish so much to be with other human beings.
I’ve had these feelings arise, myself
and I’m only almost an elder.
Perhaps you’ve longed for human companionship, also.

delightful flower

I’m offering a bow of gratitude for all the friends who came
joyfully together on retreat with me recently.
It felt very comforting, connected and safe to be vulnerable being
with those I’ve known for years, but see infrequently.
I feel so fortunate to have had conditions which introduced me to teachings
of understanding & love, the mindfulness community and many friendships.
I recognize that not everyone has had such favorable conditions.

interbeing rock delight

A diverse collection of friends took a moment to share in a beautiful portrait of what community is about, each in their own words. Community as relationships with others; sometimes neighbors, sometimes spiritual or like-minded friends, sometimes far away, or even scattered across the blogosphere.
I’m touched by their personal expressions of how crucial community is
to our most basic well-being and feelings of connection.
Their intention is to help others feel welcomed and welcoming into a community.
Some of us may feel encouraged to let go of feeling alone
& build or strengthen our own “community”.

collective energy of mindfulness

This 7 minute collage of many voices, entitled Community & Friendship’s Delight can be viewed on-line at:  (There’s even a rare glimpse of me towards the end)   🙂

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84 thoughts on “Community & Friendship’s Delight

  1. Sonnische

    Thank you for such a loving look into Deer Park Monastery and your most wonderful community, David! Was that yourself just before the last lovely woman spoke?

    Reply
  2. Sonnische

    Reblogged this on Shielagh and commented:
    Are you a member of a community? We belong to several and are very grateful for them. Quincy Square, Pinecrest, Friends of Bill W, and more. Here is a glimpse into a wonderful, warm, community I would love to join, if I were close by. But then, perhaps I already am….

    Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      thank you for your kind words & sharing, Sunny. Yes, these friends share their experience being supported by the communities of which they are a part of, which was many.

      Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      Twas such a relaxing hammock
      on which one could float over
      the abyss, that was until the coyote
      found delight in playing with it,
      tore it up good, and it no longer
      worked well for relaxing. Yes,
      it was me, dear Hariod
      some years ago 🙂

      Reply
  3. Erik Herndon

    Wow! Beautiful and insightful! The piece about small things and “fundamental community” really spoke to me. I really appreciate everyone’s input – great message! I have to say, the Saturday mornings when your blog arrives in my inbox are always appreciated and I feel a little extra bounce of gratitude in my spirit. Thank you David!

    Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      smiling to your kindness, Erik! it’s wonderful when we have positive relationships with those around us, and those afar. i’ll be filming at the mien conference in june. wishing you a happy day in friendship, david 🙂

      Reply
      1. Erik Herndon

        I wish I could attend the conference but I am happy to spend June in Poland! I will get to a MIEN conference again one day. If you ever get to Atlanta, you have community here!

  4. litebeing

    Retreats can be so restorative and full of light. Thank you for sharing yours with your WP community. Wonderful to “see” you too. 🙂
    blessings, Linda

    Reply
  5. dapplegrey

    I think I’ve been searching all my life for the feeling of being part of a community, and the WordPress one has become a very real one for me. I’m grateful you shared this here! As one of your co-retreatants said, (if I’ve remembered it right) ‘community is in the kindness of small moments’. Wherever there is a moment of connection, there is community.

    Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      smiling to your deep, kind reflection, dapplegrey! a sad irony that social beings are denied the basic conditions of coming together with caring and fearlessness. wishing you success finding, or helping make your tribe. the internet can be helpful finding like-minded on sites such as meetup.com. may you be well, david 🙂

      Reply
  6. IreneDesign2011

    You do really have a beautiful community, David 🙂
    I just came to miss being part of a beautiful community, while I lived my last years in Denmark. It is more challenging here.

    Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      thank you for sharing your challenge, Irene. I’ve moved around much of my life and I can understand the difficulty of feeling welcomed in new places. Yet I keep doing my best. May you find connection with those around you. smiles, david 🙂

      Reply
      1. IreneDesign2011

        Thank you David. I have moved much around too for many years and know, it might be challenging to find new and good connections. We just need to remember to appreciate them, when we find them 🙂

  7. JoAnna

    This post is really stirring up some thoughts for me, encouraging me to in a therapeutic way to evaluate the various communities I travel in and how I spend my time. At first, my thoughts were about being an introvert who can behave like an extrovert, but I get tired of that after a while, so I want to retreat from community altogether. Years ago, I went to a drum circle I loved. It was full of supportive people who were meditative by nature, but the group moved to a less peaceful location when the leaders moved away, and things changed in my life, and I don’t go to drum circle right now. Then I remembered that I do have a community who I met painting a community mural and do occasional volunteer work with them. I’m realizing that I feel peaceful and authentic with these people. This is helping me clarify that I am most comfortable with and nourished by calm people and in peaceful or creative environments. I’ve always known this on some level, but I need to honor this more. Thank you for bringing me here, David. This means a lot to me. Oh, and I love the painted rock!

    Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      Thank you for this honest reflection, JoAnna! The rock was being painted as I arrived in Deer Park; I like it too. Community is a rather loosely used term. But thank you for getting to the essence, which is connection & relationship with others. I’ve lived where people were more open and welcoming, and also where people are not welcoming at all. I tend to do enjoy the feeling of being included. I believe that is our human nature. May those who are feeling isolated be comforted with a kind friendship and sense of community 🙂

      Reply
  8. Healing Grief

    Together we can do so much, together we can heal. A beautiful reflection of community David. Knowing we are connected to everything in the world, we can find comfort and support anytime. Namaste 🙏🏻

    Reply
  9. J.D. Riso

    Thank you for sharing your community, David. It’s interesting for me to observe, because I’ve never been part of one, or rather, my “community” is made up of other solitary nomads whose paths I sometimes cross. I can understand the appeal of being included in a large group, and that most prefer it, but it’s not for everyone. 🦉

    Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      Thank you Julie, for your reflection.
      The retreat crowd was a temporary gathering of a larger community of zen mindfulness friends scattered across the world. Nice to get together, if only occasionally. I believe most of us, being social beings, need to have our needs of connection met by being with other people, some more-so than others. I’ve been happy most of my life simply being connected to local nature. Some folks may feel they need to be among crowds, many of us are satisfied being with a few close friends or loved ones. My intention was to encourage those who are alone to seek out others as a way of letting go of their loneliness. I’m smiling to your community of solitary nomads 🙂

      Reply
  10. Sarah

    It was great to see you and hear your gentle voice, David. ❤ What you said about being victims was very poignant for me because I felt rejected by my sangha. I never went back and nobody ever contacted me to invite me back. I have no idea what I did wrong so I suppose I should have gone back even if it was just to find that out. By giving in without a struggle, I told myself I was being non-attached and equanimous.
    Overall I’m glad that things worked out the way they did though because it would have taken me a lot longer to find God if I hadn’t lost my trust in people (for the umpteenth time). Now I have all the angels and saints and all the Catholics around the world as my community, and I only have to drive ten minutes to kneel before my God instead of driving for hours to get to the Buddhist community.
    I know it was kind of the other way round for you, David, and I’m truly sorry if my story upsets you because of that, but I have found authentic love, and I wish you would come back and find it too. I pray for you.

    Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      Thank you for this kind Easter sharing, Sarah! Community may appear as just another option for many living in consumer societies. With the marketplace meeting many of our personal needs, being with others may seem like just another choice, or nice idea. We can interact with our neighbors, or not. Yet, when we’re really with others we find how deeper needs of feeling connected to other people is natural & beneficial. I’m happy you feel welcomed & nurtured in a loving Catholic community. Buddhist teachings on love, understanding and compassion are all worthy aspirations, but many of us will need lifetimes to fully master them. If community members are not welcoming all, without discrimination, then are they really putting into practice the true teachings? In the meantime, it’s wonderful to have success getting along with those in our spiritual community, those near and dear, and living close by. We’re all connected, & somehow in community together, whether we think so, or not, right? smiles, david

      Reply
      1. Sarah

        Thank you, David. Yes, I agree very much so, we’re all connected. I’ve had a few vivid spiritual experiences that attest to that. As you say, it would take most of us lifetimes to master the teachings though. We can’t be saints just by wishing it so. 🙂 I’m very lucky to have found a community where I feel nurtured at last. I’m glad you have that too.

    1. smilecalm Post author

      smiling to your happy Easter love & acceptance
      of me and all others, as we are, Val!
      thank you for being part
      of my community, here 🙂

      Reply
  11. Jet Eliot

    A warm post, David, in every way, thank you. I really enjoyed the video a lot. You linked the beauties of nature with the thoughts and kind words of this loving community, and did a fine job of embracing the gift of life. My warmest smiles to you, my friend~~

    Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      I’m grateful to receive your kind words, Jet. In this short, sweet life it feels wonderful to be reminded of our connections to each other. How fortunate being part of the vast community of humans and all those other living beings, you so compassionately seek out, then shine the light on, introducing them to the rest of us. Happy Easter 🙂

      Reply
  12. Sue Dreamwalker

    David this was a delightful post.. One that filled my heart. Such is the world I constantly envision. Where all people from all walks of life come together within a community such as this..
    Sharing gifts, strengths, skills. Ideas, peace and love.
    And I also feel many of my WP community of friends share this mindfulness.. As we endeavour to spread unity and harmony within our posts..
    I loved ‘Seeing’ you David..
    And I know many are now joining together within their thoughts, uniting, and creating sacred places of unity.

    Many thanks David for sharing this..
    Love and continued Blessings to you and yours this Easter Sunday ❤
    May we all rise up in Love and Light..

    Sue 🙂

    Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      Thank you for so kindly helping
      me feel connected and seen, Sue!
      While I experience more connectedness
      with those who offer their physical presence,
      the WP community does offer connections
      across time & space which are quite beautiful!
      I know you are there
      and that makes me happy!
      a joyous Easter to you, david 🙂

      Reply
      1. Sue Dreamwalker

        Bless you David.. 🙂 And what makes my heart glow even more David, is knowing that there are now such communities as you are part of springing up around our World.. Giving hope that all can come together and work in unity and love.. ❤ The gifts such communities are bringing are the ways in the future we will have to learn to live by.. ❤

  13. JC

    Such a wonderful film about community, full of lovely people. I feel a part of this gathering even from the distance of time and space. I must admit I’d like to go and find that coyote and see his community.

    Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      smiling to your being a member
      of this community of humanity, JC!
      i’m happy you enjoyed the clip.
      at Deer Park, that meditation center outside of Escondido, CA, the coyotes are protected & roam fearlessly up and down the canyon. I enjoyed hearing them howl just a couple weeks back. Owwwwwwhowhowhowwwwwwww 🙂

      Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      thank you for being the kind
      smiley face community member, robert!
      wishing you a relaxing, joyful Easter
      and plenty of film
      in your camera 🙂

      Reply
  14. Cate

    Such a lovely reflection and reminder of our need for one another. Thank you, David! I am glad to know you are out there, a part of my community, even if we never meet.

    Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      thank you for being a caring member of humanity’s community, Cate. Nice we’ve met here and perhaps we’ll meet elsewhere along the way 🙂

      Reply
  15. Tom Cummings

    Your posts are always so rich with the spirit of your kindness and compassion, David. But with this post, you have completely outdone yourself! And it was awesome to see your face and hear your voice, however so briefly, at the end of the video.

    Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      makes me happy hearing how community & friendship touches you so deeply, Tom. i feel the same. thank you for your kind reflection on the clip. may it help other’s find ease in connecting with like-minded, supportive friends. smiles, david 🙂

      Reply
  16. AmyRose🌹

    Oh, David, this is truly soul touching. And to see YOU what a delight that was! How lucky you are to have been able to experience that retreat with other like-minded friends. The paths we have chosen many times we walk alone. I dream of days when I can be with my “clan” and totally be me. I am now, don’t get me wrong, but not too many folk appreciate that about me. 😉 Bless you!! ❤

    Reply
  17. Kathi

    Beautiful, David! Loved the video- generates smiles in me and waters happy seeds- It was so wonderful to be at the retreat, sharing with Community- Helping with the painting on the rock was special- I love that! Hope to meet you at the next retreat..( in person)

    Reply
  18. Aquileana

    A moving and convincing post!… powerful message. I truly believe that we can get so much more done when people come together. Your post reminds me of a quote by Lana del Rey in her song “Ride”: “I believe in the kindness of strangers”– 😉 Sending much love! ❤

    Reply
  19. Annika Perry

    David, a beautiful post celebrating community. The video is amazing with such deep wisdom and insight into community and what it means for us all, I’m so touched listening to them all – so many statements that should be heard not only here but beyond and relevant to us all. Your retreat sounds wonderful and I can only guess at the strength and positive spirit it must give you all. Yeah…great to put a face to you, David and hear you speak!😀

    Reply

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