Teacher’s Good Karma

Current scientific findings are clear that in order to regulate emotions (one of the most critical right-hemisphere functions), youth are dependent on mature brains to assist in the micro-regulation of their physical and emotional world. – Arlene Montgomery, Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin

sweet children's program ~d nelson

sweet children’s program ~d nelson

Through your glossy eyes
what I’m feeling
& seeing is fresh
with potential
& renewed hope.



Witnessing our youth
guided by skillful teachers
who know where
we’ve been & how far
we’ve come
thus bestowing a most
nurtured from quiet mind’s clarity
moments connecting to the invisible
revealing blossoming heart’s wisdom.

Had I such guidance
as an impressionable youth.
my child may not have been
wounded and so long
in rehabilitation
to experience basics of
safety, satisfaction and connection.

seeing 2

seeing 2

Seeing these students glowing
now makes me smile.
Their karma will be instantly lit
with mindfulness for recognizing when they’re stuck
and skillful means for changing situations.

Lamp’s illumination does not discriminate
on the basis of darkness’ longevity.
Let there be light, instantly darkness is transformed.
Teachers offer bright hope
to students of all ages.

“A Teacher can nourish, can build, healthy, happy human beings” – Thich Nhat Hanh

This year’s mindfulness in education conference showcased several inspiring educators, & was presented here. You’re welcome to view the cutting edge keynote talk and other inspiring plenary panelists on the www.mindfuled.org site; sample clip below.

Summer’s Mindful Camp Smiles

“In a true you-and-I relationship, we are present mindfully, non-intrusively, the way we are present with things in nature. We do not tell a birch tree it should be more like an elm. We face it with no agenda, only an appreciation that becomes participation: ‘I love looking at this birch’ becomes ‘I am this birch’ and then ‘I and this birch are opening to a mystery that transcends and holds us both. “ ~David Richo

summer smiles 13

summer smiles 13 ~ d nelson

At camp we discover our true potential,
unburdened by pressures
from peers or external media,
supported by friends
and nature’s nurturing.

summer smiles 7

summer smiles 7

How natural we play
peacefully & happily together
when curious minds
and open hearts
are in balance.

painting nun

painting nun

Creativity blooms
along with the bright
smiles on our faces.
The teen in us
always vital
& willing to share
the enjoying of his
or her freshness.

Lets play

Honk honk honk for Fire Fighters

“If your house is on fire, the most urgent thing to do is to go back and try to put out the fire, not to run after the person you believe to be the arsonist.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

where went the deer? ~ d nelson

where went the deer? ~ d nelson

Breathing in Rocky Wildfire particulates
from over 100 square miles blackened,
my lungs burn figuratively & literally,
breathing out carbon dioxide clean of particulates.
Fatigued, but resting calmly
I fall asleep accompanied by
California Gov. Jerry Brown’s voice
who makes it clear that fire danger still looms
in the coming months and years
for this drought-stricken state.

“I think this is a real wake up call,”
Brown says. “California is burning,”
then, emphatically he asks political candidates,
“What the hell are you going to do about it?” (regarding CO2 emissions, climate change…)

burnt ridgetop

burnt ridgetop

Waking up, I keep breathing in
sometimes wheezing-in
calmly to clear the air,
while the smoke affects my thoughts.
Where would I be without fire?
Colder, eating uncooked food!
Forests and grassland ecosystems
depend on fire’s power of rejuvenation.

Human presence & actions challenge
harmoniously living with this vital natural force.

Pylee & Emily's Gratitude

Pylee & Emily’s Gratitude

Waking with gratitude for having survived
the flames, in lungs, body & spirit.
Sending compassion to the living beings
who have lost home, possessions, habitat
or did not survive this fire; including
deer, squirrels, birds, fish, among others.

Thank you firemen
who face dangers of intense flames & smoke
risking all in actions of love and compassion
for the benefit of all in harm’s way.
This morning a mindfulness bell
sounds like honk, honk, honk, honk.

Nature’s Lake of Youth

Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet ~Thich Nhat Hanh

yosemite young lake sunset ~d nelson

Yosemite young lake sunset ~d nelson

Still feeling happiness & healing
from weeks in nature’s embrace,
a song is coming into form.

But, as it’s still ripening
I’ll share a glimpse
of last week’s Yosemite images
& a nature inspired song
written back in the 70’s
when I was a little younger, about 20.
I believe it was a proclamation
at the time
about not wishing to
live in a little box
on a hillside
made of ticky-tacky.

yosemite young lake

Yosemite young lake

My Insanity

The banging of the pans (against the backpack)
let me know I was alive
climbing up the mountain
searching for the sky.

Battered by endless concerns
when all they really care
is getting where they’re going
when it isn’t even there.

Shaking in the snow
stretching by the fire
wondering how far I’ve advanced
each night as I retire.
And you know
the good that I’m doing might not be seen
we’re all learning what we mean.
By getting away
I regain my insanity.

Melting snow to get a drink
by a crackling open fire.
Searching out surrounding hills
distant echo is heard
of wild birds who
call this mountain home.

A pack can get old and dusty
when it’s challenged by a trail.
But when I depart for society
my soul is still at full sail,
our soul’s are at full sail.

Shaking in the snow
stretching by the fire
wondering how far I’ve advanced
each night as I retire.
And you know
the good that I’m doing might not be seen
we’re all learning what we mean.
By getting away
I regain my insanity.

What’s your purpose?

The quality of our life depends on the quality of the seeds that lie deep in our consciousness. ~Thich Nhat Hanh from Understanding Our Mind

what's your purpose? ~d nelson

what’s your purpose? ~d nelson

In this most rare & wonderful life
what shall be our aspiration, dear ones?
This is food for thought
to be contemplated slowly.
Perhaps after an hour or two
of slowly ripening
please let me know.

Are you a do-er,
a be-ing,
a dream-er,
a musician,
an instrument,
awaiting a bath,
or rejoicing being
part of something much bigger?

Aside from enjoying
the wonders of life,
what is your purpose, dear one?

Future Freedom

Freedom is not given to us by anyone; we have to cultivate it ourselves. It is a daily practice… No one can prevent you from being aware of each step you take or each breath in and breath out. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Every school child should know
that freedom is possible
only with responsibility.

teachers listening to each other

teachers listening to each other ~d nelson

Experiencing empathic, skilled teachers
offering methods of mindfulness to their students,
supporting their emotional & intellectual growth
makes me happy.
These skilled, happy teachers
are changing the world
helping make a future possible.

calligraphy by Thich Nhat Hanh

calligraphy by Thich Nhat Hanh

May these children grow
with calm, compassion in their hearts
and clear, insightful minds
with resilience for the world
that will have changed considerably
since I was their age.

It will soon be possible to view the full presentations given
during last week’s Mindfulness In Education Network’s Annual Conference
the MIEN’s website, www.mindfuled.org .
Until then, I hope you will enjoy the above three minute trailer,
Mindfulness In Education 2015 Conference Spotlight

Breakable Beauty

Paradoxically, we achieve true wholeness only by embracing our fragility and sometimes, our brokenness ~Jalaja Bonheim

d chihuly 8 ~d nelson

boats towards the other shore, d chihuly 8 ~d nelson

Dreamed of a way to offer
protection to you, my dear ones.
In this dream I ask,
“what if you were not affected
by a lack of, or excess amounts
of water?”
This prolonged drought
out west could not harm you.
Nor could high waters
from floods or risings seas.
Resulting social & economic distress
would not worry your breakable heart.

d chihuly ~d nelson

d chihuly ~d nelson

Upon awakening I realized
that manifesting most colorful,
earth & fire sculptured
water-independent beings,
devoid of life-giving breath
who would still be quite fragile,
created as much,
if not more, sadness
for us both,
despite such vibrant beauty.

d chihuly 2

d chihuly 2

Perhaps a rather silly
glassy-eyed dream.
I own it, it’s my dream.
And what dream of yours
offers visions of a happy, resilient
continuation for future generations?

Faced with possible disappearance
of 75 percent of animal species
within just three human lifetimes
during, what’s now called
a sixth mass extinction
presently set in motion,
dreams, even abstract-glassy ones
offer me hopeful energy.

Breathing in
I know you are there
a miracle
at the same time
I am here
& this makes me
very happy.
Offering nothing less than
my hand-blown
fragile heart of love
that all beings be from harm
now, & long into the future.

If we allow despair to take over, we have no strength left to do anything at all. That is why we should do anything that can prevent despair, including meditation… Because people know what is happening but allow it to happen and cannot do anything – there are so many of them – because they have despair in them, and they try only to survive. You can help them to sort out [what is] inside, you can help them to have hope, to have peace in themselves, and suddenly they have strength to come back to themselves… and that person will be an instrument for protection of the environment. ~Thich Nhat Hanh