Mindfulness Sweetens Our World

Rain’s freshness Healing this Dry Earth ~d nelson. Below is a letter sent to friends in my meditation community on Thanksgiving.

How wonderful that it is now raining in Northern California.
From Native Peoples I’ve lived with, especially Hopi, I learned to express
deep gratitude I feel for rains, which sustain all life.
These current rains here are blessing us with clean air to breathe and putting
out the devastating wildfire. Thank you land ancestors for helping me express this thanks.

I’m feeling very grateful for having Thich Nhat Hanh as my spiritual teacher for the past couple decades,
as he has provided compassionate & wise teachings for experiencing well-being,
while continuing to offer a beautiful example of practicing them at 92 years of age.
Furthermore, using skillful means he has spoken honestly to me about impermanence, explicitly climate change,
preserving mother earth, human relations & other issues of concern to us all. Breathing through an air mask for these past couple weeks, when outside, I’ve felt accepting of dry, smoky, unhealthy conditions as they were.

Skies were also smoky here many weeks this past summer. I’m feeling more solid as a mountain than I could have without our practice of stopping, conscious breathing & trainings to not do harm to ourselves & all beings. There is a sadness I feel for descendants who will not have the privilege I’ve had of growing up in a seemingly stable environment.
May they be happy & feel safe in the world they inherit.

I’ve great gratitude for being able to take refuge in a mindfulness community or sangha.
Such a wonderful condition of happiness being a part of a community
that practices living in harmony & awareness;
that we may awaken from the illusion of separateness.

On Thay’s (affectionate Vietnamese term for “teacher”) continuation day last month
some lay friends on retreat at Deer Park Meditation center gathered,
expressing gratitude to him by sharing the benefits of, or fruit, of their meditation practice.
Some were quite new, with real beginners mind. Others were more experienced brothers & sisters. A clip of these heartfelt expressions, including images of Thay enjoying tea at Tue Hieu in 2007 (his root temple, at which he is now spending his last days)
can be viewed here, if interested: “mindfulness sweetens our world.”
Wishing you sweet fruit from the practice you’ve chosen to bring happiness, healing & insight.

fruit of our practice (click to watch happy video)

81 Replies to “Mindfulness Sweetens Our World”

    1. i’m happy there’s cleaner air for you, dear Rosaliene!
      i understand being resigned to
      expecting more fires.
      i was out in the fresh air today.
      may all experience fresh air ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. thank you for sharing empathetic gratitude, dear Rupali. after a couple days of rain i was out today enjoying the freshness.
      it was a pleasant thanksgiving.
      wishing you days of thanks, also ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. thank you for caring, Ka!
      after a couple days of rain
      i enjoyed being out in the fresh air today.
      makes me happy you were able to see
      familiar Deer Park sights.
      wishing you happy moments ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. a smile to your kindness, dear Rose!
      that’s a wonderful expression
      being grateful for teacher(s)
      & passing on teachings
      to those around us
      who are open to learn ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. I am happy to hear the rain has finally arrived to soften the harsh conditions that has affected so many in California. May Thich Nhat Hanh continue to support us and encourage us to find gratitude, no matter what our outside conditions are. ๐Ÿ™‚ .

    1. Went out for a walk today. Blue sky, fresh air and wet leaves along the forest trail; wonderful!
      I believe Thay’s maintaining the will to live is an important example. I’m grateful for your kindness & reflective counsel, Karen ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Mindfulness certainly sweetens our word and I thank you for this peaceful and deeply thoughtful
    post. To take time to thank for the rain, for the wind, for the sun. All life giving elements.
    Would it that we could all live in such harmony.
    I always wished I could have met Nhat Thich Hanh, he is one of the first to fill and exhilarate
    my soul and mind that were hungry.


    1. thank you for this kind expression, dear Miriam!
      yes, sad he’s no longer able to lead retreats & walks.
      yet, many practice his mindful way of life
      so that his continuation still feeds the hungry.
      may you be well, david ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Beautiful, So pleased to know that the rains are falling, We take so much for granted the Clean air that we breathe. and the water that we drink.. Without these two, we would not be here..
    This last Summer in the UK, who normally have lots and lots and LOTS of rain…:-) Had a summer of drought.. It brought home how we take our rain for granted, when my husband had to do two hours of manual watering our veggie plot each day..
    May the rains continue
    And I hope you and yours had a wonderful Thanksgiving..
    Stay Blessed David. โค

      1. Awww.. thank you David.. the rains keep falling, and the winds keep blowing… making up for the drought in the summer.. So always thankful ๐Ÿ˜€ what ever the weather . โค

  4. Charlee: “We got some rain here in southern California too!”
    Chaplin: “Yes, Dada says we really needed it, and that we need more.”
    Charlee: “We’re glad your air is cleaner up there now and that those awful fires are almost under control!”

  5. Dearest David, how our world is in such desperate need of healing in so many ways. May the masses “wake up” to mindfulness, not only of one another but this planet that is our home and very much a part of us. Bless you for this post. Peace. ๐Ÿ’ž

    1. i’m grateful for your kind words,
      of understanding the situation, dear Amy!
      wishing you a happy day capturing beauty
      with your camera & your heart ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Such a beautiful post. ๐Ÿ˜€

    I feel like a glutton. Weโ€™ve had so much rain recently in New York. I went to the post office and grocery store today and was so wet when I got back I had to change my clothes. โ˜”๏ธ ๐ŸคฃThe plants are happy. ๐ŸŒฒ

    1. smiling to your kind weather report, dear shiftinconsiousness!
      nice that it’s fresh here.
      wishing you continued rains
      and other favorable conditions ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. David, a beautiful and uplifting post. I sense the deep sigh of relief as the rain finally arrived for you all and helped dampen down the nightmare of the fires. The images from the affected areas are horrendous and it was hard to believe this was real and not a movie set. As the news organisations disappear I think of all those whose lives have been drastically changed, to try and find a new home for the near future before rebuilding even starts.

    I am touched by the serenity and peace of your post, your grace and calm reminding me to breathe, reminding me there is so much more. The videos were lovely to watch and I was taken with Thich Nhat Hanh wonderful interview with the girl. His poise and manners draws one in.One in a million!

    1. thank you for taking time to express a deep caring, dear Annika!
      makes me happy that you had a chance to see the videos and touch their intention.
      Thich Nhat Hanh has been a beautiful example for me and many others.
      May we each be wise & compassionate teachers for ourselves
      and those in need. smiles to you, david ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. So glad for the rain, which you honor with your words and gorgeous images, David. I especially love the vineyard and “our last smoky evening.” May it cool and nourish the land and console all creatures who suffered and survived the fires.

    1. thank you for recognizing rain’s beauty & renewal, dear Cate!
      while it’s so easy to forget the trauma of a month ago,
      i’m still grateful for today’s fresh air & moist ground.
      wishing you a happy day, david ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. It is good to hear that you and many others have come out of this experience even more resolved in mindfulness and the though that we are ONE in everything for we owe that much to our children’s children in trying to leave them with a better world than which we left it… jc

    1. smiling to your kind understanding, dear JC!
      may your words come true
      that myself & others maintain resolve
      to act with reverence for children & all beings ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Oh how I enjoyed the video, David, and the many different voices sharing their experiences of how mindfulness has sweetened our world. The fires we have been experiencing in California have been a challenge, but your wonderful words here and the voices in the video, are a much-appreciated reminder of embracing impermanence and the joys of living, being mindful. I found it interesting in my own experience of wearing the mask every day. Breathing was so audible when I had to breathe in the mask. The very action that I have been trained to bring stability, was challenged with the mask; but gradually the evenness of the breath, regardless of the mask, did come. I so enjoyed your work here and in the video, David, thank you.

  11. One of the best moment for me is to practice while snowing outside. I feel kind of magic atmosphere all around…thank you for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. This post made a deep impact on us, David. Thank heaven for rain!
    We really enjoyed the video. Your spiritual teacher is very special and so is you.

    1. thank you for kindly appreciating the rain, Dina!
      we’re fortunate to be getting some right now.
      i’m happy knowing you enjoyed hearing
      others share about how mindfulness
      sweetens their world!
      may your day be in beauty ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. How incredible that you lived with the Hopi. They have always intrigued me. So much to learn from Native Americans who have retained their beliefs.

    1. i was fortunate to spend nearly 20 years
      living and working on Indian Reservations.
      yes, so much to be learned from the ways
      of indigenous peoples & ancestors ๐Ÿ™‚

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