Monkey’s Signless Solstice Sea

On this darkest day my monkey’s
curious from where he’s come from
& whether he’ll be gone
when he’s no longer here.

curious, book-learning monkey

Zen Master helped monkey
realize a key to reality
through conscious breathing & meditation.
Contemplating manifestation & continuation
he began touching signlessness;
our true nature of no
birth & no death.

Just as the ocean becomes cloud,
cloud begets rain, begets living things
he saw the cloud in his tea, in his food.
Ahh, this clever monkey recognizes he
is a continuation, & large part cloud, sun, earth, banana…

sightseer’s beholding earth & sky ~d nelson

When conditions are sufficient monkey manifests.
When conditions are no longer sufficient
monkey will no longer manifest in this body.
Certainly I’ll continue in a new form, beautifully, thinks monkey.
Quite happy, now to be, to inter-be,
hanging around, smiling.

Where should we look to find the world of no signs? Right here in the world of signs. If we throw away the water, there is no way for us to touch the suchness of water. We touch the water when we break through the signs of the water and see its true nature of interbeing. ~Thich Nhat Hanh, from “The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching”


42 Replies to “Monkey’s Signless Solstice Sea”

  1. That is one deep thinking monkey, I have pondered along with him.
    He is cute too, reading and relaxing under a red blanket.
    I have my Lavender bear speaking for me often.

    Your photos from the sea almost bring tears to my eyes, longing to be there.
    Beautiful post.


  2. Always a blessing to read your inspirational posts. I hold onto your profound insight (quoted below) of the continuity, transformation, and interconnection of life on Mother Earth.

    “Just as the ocean becomes cloud, / cloud begets rain, begets living things / he saw the cloud in his tea, in his food.”

    Within the Cosmos, Earth thus becomes one living organism on a fixed trajectory around its life-giving star. We humans could then be considered as mere cancerous cells that would have to be destroyed to restore the well-being of the whole.

  3. Beautiful post and images, David.

    I continue to be inspired, uplifted and reminded to live my life Mindfully, each day, each moment, each precious second (by Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings). Thay is truly one of the most masterful teachers of our time.

    I think I can truly say, now I am more housebound, have 2 new heart conditions and in more pain than ever before, that if I had not read Thay’s books and words online, I could not have coped with the last 15+ years. Even after my heart attack 2 months ago, I lay in the ambulance remembering his words….. to breathe, to count each breathe……. and to survive.

    Your blog continues to remind me of all that we are and all that nature brings us.

  4. Lovely images and reflection, David! I especially liked: “curious … whether he’ll be gone
    when he’s no longer here.” Wishing you peace and joy in the lovely quiet of solstice season, and each of us a monkey mind that is — at least sometimes — as sweet and curious as this one. 🙂

  5. Really appreciated the words of wisdom here, from you, the monkey and Thich Nhat Hanh, David. Fantastic photos, too. Sending best wishes to you in the new year ahead for days of signs, nights of peace, beautiful times of ease and wonder.

  6. What an enchanting post, David. Thank you for this one. (Though you posted it on the Solstice, I’m just now reading it on New Year’s Eve – which is perfect.) Beautiful photos also.

    Wishing you all the best for the new year. 😊

  7. To understand the Oneness of everything Monkey became wise..
    Wonderful photography David,
    May we all come to that understanding my friend,
    And become One within the Ocean of Life…

    I hope you had a wonderful Christmas David..
    Sending you all the very best for the start of another Decade here on Planet Earth..
    Happy 2020 and Beyond my friend ❤
    Hugs Sue

  8. Charlee: “Happy New Year! We are back!”
    Chaplin: “And we are sending lots of purrs that you have a great year!”
    Lulu: “And tail wags, too! And by the way, does your monkey have a squeaker inside it, by any chance?”
    Charlee: “Why are you asking that, Lulu?”
    Lulu: “Umm, no reason …”

  9. This to me is one of your most profound posts!
    This monkey is one with banana, part of cycle, part of clouds. The inclusion of banana and monkey hanging exercises made me chuckle. The cycle. Water flows through all… that rainbow is so incredible, it makes me gape!

    Our solstice was so peaceful. We did a labyrinth walk with the baby, and it was her first! So, here, we are, for all eternity—together! Many blessings to you and your family and all!

  10. Thinking of you David.
    Hoping your part of this crazy world is safe and peaceful at the moment.
    Sarah from Oz
    : )

  11. Just dropping by dear David as its been a while since December…. Hope all is well with you, sending thoughts and well wishes as you continue your journey my friend 💖🙏💖

  12. I was thinking about you this morning, David. It’s comforting to come here and visit your calm wisdom…. transcending. The monkey brings a gentle smile. I hope you are well. Sending peace.

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