Swept Safely

(originally posted Feb 2, 2013)

broken bottle in bike lane

broken bottle in bike lane

This peaceful moment of typing has been preceded by strong angry thoughts and feelings, oh my! After many seconds of stopping to breathe mindfully I’m feeling solid in the present. Breathe, let go of today’s “close call” with danger. I’m remembering a Thich Nhat Hanh designed watch that has the word “now” replacing numbers on the old-school dial. The time is now. A quarter to now, or half past now, is still now. In all my “nows”, I want to feel safe and happy venturing through daily activities among fellow citizens, especially on local roadways. Could anyone truly want to feel differently? I am a most special and precious being; no more and no less than everyone else. Clearly, all have this desire for safety and happiness at their core.

old bike hanging

bike hanging in the Amsterdam museum ~d nelson

Cycling for some exercise earlier, on a most beautiful, blue and warm gift of a winter day, I met a freshly broken beer bottle in the bike lane. Yesterday this slightly downhill route was clear. Instantaneously my relaxed calm breath turned shallow and hard as I quickly swerved to avoid large and small glass shards. Fortunately the Gatorskin tires offered excellent flat protection as glass pieces extended 30 or more feet along the bike lane. Steering, as I did, out into traffic was quite dangerous, and my good fortune that no cars were zooming by at that moment. So who would intentionally produce actions that threaten the safety of others, my mind quickly wondered? Children, parents, commuters could easily have a flat on the spot or shortly afterwards when the glass works its way in. After some calm breaths I realized that someone likely has hurt feelings or thoughts to produce an action that could injure others. This drop of compassion inside helped me send a wish that the suffering that cause people to hurt others be understood, comforted, held and healed, with kindness, in time. I also recognized my uncertainty on how that broken beer bottle really ended up in the bike lane. Perhaps, instead of intentionally thrown, it just bounced out of the back of a pickup. I don’t know how it got there, just that it was there.

bike lane bottle swept

bike lane bottle swept

Looking deeply I see connections between us and our parents, ancestors, the clouds, sun, earth. Strands woven into the web of life. When one suffers, we all suffer. We can all benefit from acts of kindness. Walking down the street with a smile is infectious, has been my experience. Walking with a scowl can generate fear. If there are hazards in the street near our home, such as glass, we can easily clean, thus create safety and happiness. Pedaling home to fetch a broom and dustpan, then returning to sweep up the glass and a nail I felt a positive action has changed a negative action’s karma. I’m grateful that my dogma did not hit your karma. May you feel happy and safe on and off the roadway; cars, bikes pedestrians, & all critters.

joyfully towards the trail ~d nelson


Happiness is…We’re Home!

dwelling happily in the present moment ~ d. nelson

Abiding happily
here, now
nowhere to go,
nothing to do,
no longer
in a hurry. (click this link for sweet song)
Hay, let’s smell that beautiful flower!

blooming in dry conditions

May gratitude
for sweet moments
of this precious, short life
until us cows
come home.

i am here for you

Contentedly we cows
chew, chew, chew
getting the most
of mother earth’s nutritious gift,
before stepping out peacefully,
graciously on our earth.

our hillside

A lesson offered
by meek, modest beings
who wish to be safe,
& free from harm
while moooooving slowly,
already home in the present moment.
Happiness dwells following
their slow, non-harming way.

Humankind’s survival depends on our ability to stop rushing.  “Stopping” is not only to stop the negative, but to allow positive healing to take place.  That is the purpose of our practice–not to avoid life, but to experience and demonstrate that happiness in life is possible now, and also in the future. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Sharing a Non-Selfie

originally posted Dec 14, 2013


non-selfie ~d nelson

The self is only made of non-self elements.
But before we can truly understand our nature of non-self
we must understand ourself, first. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Since beginning-less time
impelling energies & matter
from form to emptiness
and back again
through space, including earth
to ancestors
who photosynthesized, swam, crawled,
flew, walked, then stood up,
until co-arising as a self
for the sake of argument
we can call me,
in this moment’s configuration.

quick, get a selfie!
as this self will die
and be reborn
in each new moment.

non-selfie with non-tree

non-selfie with non-tree

Five streams flowing, eternally.

First, body: who’s physiology burns calories to fuel it’s movement, bearing new cells as old ones age, and die.

Second, perception: streams in a feast of images, sounds and contact through eye, ear, nose, tongue and touch.

Third, feelings: experienced as pleasures, pains, comfort, and discomfort in heart, mind and body.

Forth, thoughts: appear, interpreting, analyzing, judging, valuing what is happening, has happened and may or may not happen.

Fifth, consciousness: colors all physical and mental formations
mystically owing from individual and collective karma impressions.

An ever-changing self
energetically flowing
as a drop in the river
of humanity.
And at least for now
humanity flows,
among every transcendent river
past, present and future.

orange blossom special

orange blossom special ~d nelson

gentle breeze freshly
awakens my face.

lovemaking orange blossom ~d nelson

fruity, floral scent,

most delicate bud
sparkles in shade & sunshine.

miracle revealed
by buzzing sounds.

there aren’t adequate
words to describe
tastes I’m savoring
so that you, too
experience this
divine flavor.

with senses
can i pour
you some?

“For things to reveal themselves to us,
we need to be ready to abandon
our views about them.”
~Thich Nhat Hanh

Out standing in her field

Blossom’s beauty
gently lies with not
being caught
in notions
such as beauty.

Blooms burst out, aware of their
emptiness of separate selves.
And yet naturally awake of being
completely filled with non-flower ingredients,
namely, stars, universe & miracles.

Not too long ago,
or that far into the future
visual signs of blooms appear absent
except to those exhibiting  wisdom
of looking deeply, seeing
our ancestral interbeing nature.

This is where it is at,
dwelling happily in the present.

Distress & grief concerning these most
dangerous of times gently thrown-out.
Fires of ignorance, greed & delusion extinguished,
transformed into exquisite colors & forms.
Blossoms bestow marvelous example
for all beings, including humans,
of returning to what’s possible right now.

“To be empty is always to be empty of something. When we contemplate a flower like this, we see the flower is full of everything: the cloud, the sunshine, the Earth, time, space, the gardener—everything has come together to help the flower to manifest. Why do we say it is empty? It is empty of only one thing: a separate existence. A flower cannot be by herself alone. A flower is full of non-flower elements. It is clear that the flower has to inter-be with everything in the cosmos. She cannot be by herself alone. To be by oneself alone is impossible. So we begin to see the interdependence of everything..” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

For Our Lives

us capitol rotunda frieze ~d nelson

In school we USA citizens learned
of our right to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness.
Every student knows that when the first right is denied,
then so are the others, no?

march4rlives 3~d nelson

Best I recall, shootings at schools were quite rare
way back when I was a student.
So far in 2018, they are averaging
one a week. Yes, one school shooting a week.

march4rlives ~d nelson

It’s said more guns than people in the US.
Why are there so many guns pointed at schools?
Why are merchants of death so wealthy, students ask?
With such a history of using & glorifying guns
in this society, makes it hard to call it civilized.
What is a well regulated militia, anyway?

I’m out today supporting local students
who are present, letting everyone know
they’ve had enough & don’t want
to be the next victims of gun violence.

Imagine a future free of fear,
firearms deaths, mass shooting headlines
& statues glorifying weapons.
Bowing to youth marching for our lives,
in my town, your town & at America’s house.

Negative habit energy always tries to emerge, but if you are mindful, you recognise it.  Mindfulness helps us to recognise the habits transmitted by our ancestors and parents, or learned during our childhood. Often, just recognising these habits will make them lose their hold on you. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

touching angel

sitting beside angel ~ d nelson

On the good days
of which there are many,
you’ve still gotten lost in my forgetfulness
or pushed away by my armour.

Often enough now, I’m noticing
your wing’s move, above & below.
An energetic presence
within & without.
Composed of me
& non me, eternal elements.

May your guardian angel,
whatever name this presence embodies for you,
be smiling beside you, encouraging
your smile towards whats
going on, whether it be
pleasant or unpleasant.
May another find their
angel in you.

Sitting quietly, just breathing in and out, we develop strength, concentration and clarity.
So sit like a mountain. No wind can blow the mountain down. ~Thich Nhat Hanh