May You Bloom Happily & Stay Fresh as the Dew

“To live in the world
with your heart undisturbed by the world,
with all sorrows ended, dwelling in peace —
this is the greatest happiness.” ~ from “Discourse on Happiness”

flowerfresh ~d nelson

Being out of the house
breathing pure, fresh air
seeing the beauty before me
helps my bloom, keeps me fresh.

Interesting that, for me, being indoors
staring at the computer
doesn’t make me feel as fresh
as does having the sky above, earth below
& reflecting on the guidance on happiness, below.

Yet I do get on-line to brief
myself on those latest events.
While such laments of suffering
fuel compassion, I can also feel blue,
despite the aspiration to have my heart
undisturbed, like a Buddha.

May you feel fresh, with inner happiness.
Savoring & taking refuge
in other’s freshness and blooms.
And may we all have more wise
than foolish ones to associate with
& offer compassionate guidance.

Discourse on Happiness

I heard these words of the Buddha one time when the Lord was living in the vicinity of Savatthi at the Anathapindika Monastery in the Jeta Grove. Late at night, a deva appeared whose light and beauty made the whole Jeta Grove shine radiantly. After paying respects to the Buddha, the deva asked him a question in the form of a verse:

“Many gods and men are eager to know
what are the greatest blessings
which bring about a peaceful and happy life.
Please, Tathagata (one of the Buddha’s names), will you teach us?”

(This is the Buddha’s answer):
“Not to be associated with the foolish ones,
to live in the company of wise people,
honoring those who are worth honoring —
this is the greatest happiness.

“To live in a good environment,
to have planted good seeds,
and to realize that you are on the right path —
this is the greatest happiness.

“To have a chance to learn and grow,
to be skillful in your profession or craft,
practicing the precepts and loving speech —
this is the greatest happiness.

“To be able to serve and support your parents,
to cherish your own family,
to have a vocation that brings you joy —
this is the greatest happiness.

“To live honestly, generous in giving,
to offer support to relatives and friends,
living a life of blameless conduct —
this is the greatest happiness.

“To avoid unwholesome actions,
not caught by alcoholism or drugs,
and to be diligent in doing good things —
this is the greatest happiness.

“To be humble and polite in manner,
to be grateful and content with a simple life,
not missing the occasion to learn the Dharma —
this is the greatest happiness.

“To persevere and be open to change,
to have regular contact with monks and nuns,
and to fully participate in Dharma discussions —
this is the greatest happiness.

“To live diligently and attentively,
to perceive the Noble Truths,
and to realize Nirvana —
this is the greatest happiness.

“To live in the world
with your heart undisturbed by the world,
with all sorrows ended, dwelling in peace —
this is the greatest happiness.

“For he or she who accomplishes this,
unvanquished wherever she goes,
always he is safe and happy —
happiness lives within oneself.” ~Buddha, Mahamangala Sutta, Sutta Nipata 1; translated by Thich Nhat Hanh, in Plum Village Chanting Book

111 Replies to “May You Bloom Happily & Stay Fresh as the Dew”

  1. Interesting that, for me, being indoors
    staring at the computer
    showing your beautiful images and words
    makes me feel almost as fresh
    as having the sky above, earth below

  2. David, it is nice seeing a post from you
    And although I also feel both happier and fresher outdoors
    it is healing and uplifting reading a post like yours.
    The beauty of the flowers alone.

    The many wise words.
    Now I go and talk to the garden for a while. 🦋
    Miriam

  3. Star nurseries are forming as I write this… as well as super-novas blowing apart. The trick is to just be & appreciate the mystery. Good to see you are here now.

  4. Fresh, luscious photos and verse. There is nothing like the experience and beauty of nature. Nature so stirs our souls, we forget we actually need it… or maybe that’s the instinctive, intuitive love connection… (Wow, I just made myself think — but you made me do it!)

  5. To live in the world without being disturbed by the world, letting sorrows fuel compassion. This fuels my thoughts on the alternatives of being disturbed….. peace, living at peace… calms my spirit as your posts always do.

    1. Thank you for sharing a personal takeaway, JoAnna!
      These are lofty aspirations
      worthy of going in the direction of.
      I posted a link to a reading
      of this verse, above.
      smiles, david 🙂

  6. Your photos in this and the previous post are so beautiful, David. Thank you for sharing them.
    I hope your community has started to recover from the fires. Is there help for those who lost their homes?

    1. thank you for sharing your joyful blossom, Sarah!
      as challenging as it is, local people are finding some relief.
      a big benefit was held here and raised funds for locals.
      a really big music benefit was held in SF last night.
      may all feel connected and safe 🙂

      1. Thanks for the update, David. A dreadful disaster brings opportunities for great acts of compassion. I hope the survivors get what they need. It sounds like they will as long as people don’t forget them too soon. Sometimes people who are made homeless by disaster are only remembered until the next big news rolls in. I will pray that this doesn’t happen.
        Stay safe. You are in my prayers.

  7. “happiness lives within oneself”
    Peace and happiness to you, David. Your roses are stunning.

  8. This is a wonderful discourse, and I’m grateful you put it up here for us, David! After a day of luxury problems, the tech problems of online accounts and email being down, a nice movie and dinner, it is so good to be reminded of what really matters. 🙏

  9. “Not to be associated with the foolish ones” This made me giggle. Avoiding fools (this includes myself sometimes) is a challenge these days. Thankfully, there is always simple beauty to be found amid the turbulence. Thank you for the pretty photos and words.

    1. i’m happy to have some blooms to share with you, Sarah!
      while blue roses are not natural, i hear there are some gmo ones available.
      mine was organically cultivated in photoshop 🙂

  10. Thank you for these beautiful photos
    and the Discourse on Happiness
    Both help me feel fresh with inner happiness
    even though indoors and at the computer.
    I’ll take the fresh feeling with me and expand it
    when I walk outdoors later.
    Alison xox

    1. how wonderful we both
      can be happy indoors, or out, Alison,
      as i’m in a room writing now.
      but when i’m out
      it’s like a breath of fresh air!
      i’ll see you out there 🙂

  11. Joining, I have the same aspiration, too 🙂
    A discourse on Happiness,
    resting here gently for a moment,
    enjoyed listening to the reading
    as well as reading,

    and smelling the roses,
    full of water and life

    Next it’s the wildflowers

    This is my path…

    “To live in a good environment,
    to have planted good seeds,
    and to realize that you are on the right path —
    this is the greatest happiness.”

    🙂

  12. Wow, such beautiful photography.

    I’ve always enjoyed being outdoors more than indoors. I even love being outside in difficult weather. I’ve walked around during snowstorms on more than one occasion. I once walked for many hours at night enjoying the snow fall into my face and by the time it had stopped snowing about twenty six inches had fallen. 😀 It was beautiful.

    1. thank you for sharing your joy of being outside, dear ashiftinconsciousness! i can imagine you out playfully splashing in the rain outside my window, right now 🙂

  13. A truly profound Post David in all its layers my friend.. from your poetry to the blooms and to the quotation.
    While many of us may fail to understand the depths of life and death and the reasons behind the innocence of suffering.. One thing I see blooming more and more even if at times those petals are pale and blue and tinged with the dew of tears.. I do see Compassion blooming, and peoples hearts once again opening.. I see communities coming together, And while there are those who wish to spread out their seeds of violence.. I see many more seeds of love and compassion being sown as a result..
    This dualistic game we found ourselves as players, Is I feel beginning to waken hearts..
    Thank you David for your well wishes.. I know our hearts are going to bloom just fine, when more learn how to reach inside to feel their beat..

    Love and Blessings and exquisite photos ❤ 🙂

    1. i’m happy to internalize your wise
      intuition & hope for the light & good, Sue!
      the good we do now, in body, speech & mind
      will certainly have a wholesome continuation!
      may you day be well 🙂

      1. We have to continue to hope and do good, both in thought, word, deed and intention.. And in finding the good and love within ourselves, we help the world find the love in theirs. Many thanks

  14. David, like you, I MUST be outdoors in order to be at the core of Bliss. Although … I’m (again) teaching myself to Center myself within Heart and 3rd eye in order to “flow” through each day, serene and Happy. This post SO touched my soul and confirmed so much for me as to what I have (again) begun to do. Experiencing the triple deaths in less then 2 months totally stripped me bare and burned all around me. Now to rebuild (again). Bless you and much Peace to you this day, dear friend. 💝

  15. David, a wonderful post for me to read this morning. 😀The photos are stunning – I want to hold my hand out to the first rose and capture the raindrops as they fall from the rose petals. Being outside, part of nature is always soothing, healing I find…my mind and soul at total rest and equilibrium established. It is rather a tug of war as I also enjoy cerebral interests which take one indoors…a matter of balance and finding that inner balance wherever we are! It was interesting to read the translation by Thich Nhat Hanh of Discourse of Happiness…a lot of wisdom in those words!

    1. thank you for your kind, thorough reflection
      on the insightful teaching
      & fresh flowers, Annika!
      i’m happy to have gone out
      after the rain to share
      blossoms with you 🙂
      ps, thanks to you
      i’m using Grammarly 🙂

  16. “To live in the world
    with your heart undisturbed by the world,” that is something, isn’t it? The lovely comments and beautiful images help my heart remember how to live untroubled. Thank you David

    1. thank you kindly, Celia!
      i’ve felt brief success when staying at the monastery for extended periods, not hearing news from the outside. but if living in the world includes engaging with it, and to some extent, paying attention to what’s going on, then having heart undisturbed is more like attaining the moon. a sweet, lofty, worthy aspiration. wishing you and all beings success with those greatest happiness’ 🙂

      1. We need your help with sharing. If you share our website, we will do the same for you. Also, if you want to join our team—we will do that for you as well.

  17. Dearest David, the words and sentiments you shared here penetrated me in the most warm and wonderful way. These are all inspiring elements of happiness, and I am grateful to you for taking the time to share them.

  18. Thank you, David. The roses are splendid in their form and color. I will read your words over and over again. My heart is disturbed by the world and my being “happy” is just not that important – too much else to consider.

    1. thank you for your kind, personal reflection, susan. i can understand having a heart disturbed by the world. in that list of happiness’, being in the world with a heart undisturbed by it is the loftiest & most fleeting aspiration. but we need to touch moments of happiness as protection from being overcome with hurt & despair. as you breathe in & out, wishing you calm in body & feelings. 🙂

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