Retreating into Deep Safety

Each time we find ourselves dispersed and find it difficult to gain control of ourselves by different means, the method of watching the breath should always be used. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

deepening together ~d nelson

Can I share my most sacred secrets with you, dear brown flower?
Inquiring minds want to know that they are safe.
Emotions need to feel they are safe.
Fragile bodies want to feel safe
to relax, to dance with the trees

Tai Chi 4 1 & all

despite inner storms
& weather fluctuations
acknowledging inner flames
& that the first three months of 2015
set new global heat records.

going with the flow ~d nelson

Coming together, deepening together,
flowing, returning, never leaving
year after year, yet somehow
timeless & eternal.

path climbing

There are beautifully blissful moments in the pure land,
as well as depressed-despairing moments in hell
here in this earthling’s tiny vessel
which often rests in equanimity,
experiencing ripples, briefly.

cook’s moment

Thank you for returning
to create this sacred container
made of precious deep safety
in which to be real
in this crazy, beautifully-delicious world.

point of practice

Gratitude for this gift, this moment
embracing with love
& humble high aspirations
of doing no harm
to living & non living beings
even if they have harmed me.
Understanding that actions of body, speech & mind
are my true continuations in the world.

Buddha nature is natural

Heart of the World

“In mindfulness one is not only restful and happy, but alert and awake.
Meditation is not evasion; it is a serene encounter with reality.” ~ Thích Nhất Hạnh
above the water

above the water

So this sister says to me,
with her heart heavy and eyes sad,
that the big company
plans to drill holes
and inject toxic chemicals
at super high pressure into the ground
corrupting the water supply
& fracturing underground rock
while extracting natural gas.

So we sat together
the drought
here in earthquake country.
Our collective insight is that water
is too sacred to poison
any more.
Helping protect the children
of the future
must be done, now.

a redwood

a redwood ~ d nelson

So I sat down and wrote this song entitled “heart of the world”. The lyrics and recording is below

May we live in harmony with the world so that a future is possible
It’s simple seeing myself
connected to everything else, yes it is
letting my eyes be windows, windows to the heart
heart of the world beating inside me

It’s simple to openly care
protecting life-giving water and air, yes it is
letting my eyes be windows, windows to the heart,
heart of the world beating inside me

It’s simple living with grace
preserving surroundings for all children to embrace, yes it is

the forests and mountains, rivers and seas
shout out show us the love!

It’s simple to love animals & birds
to be truly present, to touch the earth, yes it is
letting my eyes be windows, windows to the heart
heart of the world beating inside me

May we live in harmony with the world so that a future is possible!

Hope you like it!

I’ll be on a retreat in nature, in trees and along a creek.
Will share my experience with blogging friends when I return on-line.

Seeing Inter-being, Now?

In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous. ~ Aristotle

webbed drops ~d nelson

webbed drops ~d nelson

“I’m pleasantly surprised”
he said upon arrival, long ago.
Experiencing with warmth
from Water Beings,
a sense of connection,
compassion and love.

“We are water,
surrounded by water
and as long
as there is water
our fundamental conditions
of survival & happiness
are met”, she said.


“It’s so easy being happy
dancing harmoniously
embraced by paradise,
free from notions of selves
separate from our essence.”


Gradually understanding
Water Being’s message,
of his own water-nature,
of  web’s connecting
all as one organism;
tangled & untangled
by perpetual impermanence.

webbed drops 4

webbed drops 4

After unbounded summer sunshine,
so long after each last
of those drops
had vaporized
into clouds of fresh potential,
newly manifest Water Human Beings
contemplate impermanence
& inter-being among the entirety
of nature’s cycles.

webbed drops 2

webbed drops 2

If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating on your sheet of paper.
(clouds, rain, sunshine, forest, tree, hard work, paper…) ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Be Free Where You Are

Steal a little and they throw you in jail
Steal a lot and they make you king ~Bob Dylan, from Sweetheart like you

free in nature ~d nelson

free in nature ~d nelson

In tribute to my sick Community of Mindful Living friend, Dharma Teacher Bill Menza,
who dedicated much of his life offering meditative healing to those locked-up inside,
please view his lesson about true conditions inside super max prisons. This clip provided listeners of my “Shooting Stars” children’s radio show a realistic, solemn impression. His clear takeaway message to “be free where you are”, whether inside or out, is insightful and moving.

If I had lived a life
of blameless conduct
would past’s thoughts be
fields of endless spring blossoms
un-littered by artillery craters
& unexploded ordnance?

Breathe in air’s precious gift
highlighting gratitude
for others generous kindness.
Even after repeated lashing out
& behaving like a victim
in words & actions,
I was offered patience & forgiveness.

Favorable conditions, indeed
now being aware of precious
sights, sounds, tastes, smells & embrace.
To be, often, free
from self-imposed imprisonment.

Looking deeply I can see myself
in those who are unforgiven.
Having committed actions
against themselves
or against others,
against humanity;
words & action that were
bad or worse.

What are just conditions
for those locked inside?
Continuing stripping them
of humanness with punishment
& solitary confinement?
In my heart I believe
compassionate treatment
guided by healing mercy
is loving rehabilitation
for us all.

Freedom is not given to us by anyone
we have to cultivate it ourselves. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Eastern Embrace

When we respect our blood ancestors and our spiritual ancestors, we feel rooted. If we find ways to cherish and develop our spiritual heritage, we will avoid the kind of alienation that is destroying society, and we will become whole again. … Learning to touch deeply the jewels of our own tradition will allow us to understand and appreciate the values of other traditions, and this will benefit everyone.” ~ Thích Nhất Hạnh, Living Buddha, Living Christ

dragon-kissed sky ~d nelson

dragon-kissed sky ~d nelson

Opened my front door
to hear a young guy
share the gospel in his heart.
Was invited to attend
an upcoming ceremony
in remembrance of Jesus’ death.
I remarked how Jesus
seems alive in his compassionate faith.
He paused, then smiled
and gave me the flyer.

Before walking away
I mentioned that a local monastery
was celebrating Chinese New Year
with music, dances & food
in a downtown park,
suggesting that he check it out
for the cultural experience.

lion dancing ~d nelson  (press for larger view)

lion dancing ~d nelson (press for larger view)

I admit having doubt he would attend
but gladly was wrong
as later I saw him there
enjoying the sights, sounds & an egg roll.

One of the young drummers
who came from China commented to me
how happy he is that many local people
came out for the event.
They had rehearsed for weeks.
It made him and his classmates
feel welcome in this rural town.
Experiencing openness & inclusiveness
on this sunshiny day
made me smile.

Driving Karma with Younger Self

The highway’s jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive
Everybody’s out on the run tonight, but there’s no place left to hide ~ Bruce Springsteen, from Born to Run

tire damage ~d.nelson

tire damage ~d.nelson

His life poem’s
beginning now happy,
well, happier than it was.
Thank you dear Younger Self
for surviving to tell harrowing tales
from hard knocks driving school.

No matter how fast you went
someone would always go faster.
No matter how crazy you got
someone always went crazier.
Without luck & good fortune
you would have driven your karma
over the bluff, like those other
rebels without a cause.

Now experiencing joy while driving,
we are arriving, relaxingly
with each calm breath
in the present moment.
Not needing to wait
until reaching another destination
to be embraced with happiness.

So wonderful that Younger Self & I
mindfully use proper attention
to nurture inner peace & smiles.
Sitting here in nature
truly feeling tree’s & lake’s freshness.
We recognize how unwholesome thoughts
create foul weather & traffic accidents.

May we all manage
to enjoy our slowing down,
use rest stops
& reduce blowouts
on life’s sacred highway.

There is no way to happiness
happiness is the way ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

When it’s Spring in February, Bloom!

Fearlessness is not only possible, it is the ultimate joy.
When you touch non-fear, you are free. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

early bloom pollen ~d nelson

Richly hued, fragrant blossom’s
delicately vulnerable beauty
belies her calm wisdom.
Yes, I know, she says
I am here early,
clearly days are still short.
But I answer to nature’s
eternal, life giving mystery.
With February becoming
California’s new March,
conditions of soil, sun
& moisture bring out my
sensually-inviting pedals.

It is not my spirit
to worry anxiously
or become mad or sad.
This is my time to manifest,
my short, sweet time
for offering beauty to the world.
Thus, I do my best,
doing no less than to fully bloom,
contributing colorful transitory
prospects of continuation.

early bloom pollinator

early bloom pollinator

Sending sweet wishes to
those who are uneasy
about changing weather,
east coast arctic vortexes, record cold,
contrasting west coast lack of rain & snowfall.
Have calm patience,
while dwelling boldly
in freedom of negativity,
or divisive words or actions.
Express your authentic
inner & outer beauty.
Peacefully abide with heart’s wisdom
for living in sustainable harmony
with our mother earth.

And also consider utilizing those
spare Keystone XL pipes
to build a cross-country
water pipeline
benefiting humanity,
& other living things
which need water
to thrive & bloom.