Category Archives: music

Listening to the One Note

If you ask the cloud, “How old are you? Can you give me your date of birth?”
You can listen deeply and you may hear a reply. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

one note, skilled lesson ~d nelson

I’m so happy being able to still
hear sounds, whether beautiful or not!
Bursts of wave energies traveling
from another’s heart to my ears to my heart.

So, so long ago forebearers
picked up hand-made instruments
expressing what they felt
but could not adequately say any other way.

Some played naturally from intuition
while most practiced at least a little
if not diligently for a lifetime
in order to perform adequately.

one note, conducted

Perhaps we’ve heard names
of truly achieved masters,
or infamous composers & imposters.
Many players go un-named & unknown.

Despite all, together we’re hearing each other;
continuations of long ago’s songs!
We may be out of tune or atonal.
Yet, we can also be one beautiful melody.
May we resoundingly choose harmony
in the eternal key of interconnection.

On this weekend of gratitude,
wishing you enjoyment
& offering this accompanying symphony
performed by a kind, pianist friend & orchestra.



Dancing, Embracing Before Fall

“Love one another.” ~ Last words of George Harrison

birch surrendering to the dance ~d nelson

In all our vibrant autumn glory,
graceful dances upon winds & sky.
Blue heaven welcomes us to fall up;
to eternally shimmer & shake
in its immortal jet stream.

surrendering to the dance 4 ~d nelson

Thank you for such an eternal gift
but we accept basic laws of nature.
We accept being rooted to earth,
& impermanent nature of our existence.

surrendering to the dance 5 ~d nelson

Aware of our karmic fate, we rejoice
sharing this brief manifestation, together.
With loving-kindness we embrace each other
Offering a felt sense of connection with touch.

surrendering to the dance 6 ~d nelson

Below, a creepy clown lurking in the woods.
Only those with strongest of roots remain unfazed
by this walking, talking abnormal cartoon of hatred
& his rebellion against goodness, a mutiny against sanity,
propelled by fear and greed and bitterness to hurt, while
perilously swaggering his given power to unleash nuclear winds.

With our greatest empathy & advice, as leaves,
we say, embrace each other, leave no one out.
Holding loved ones lessens the pain;
inviting all, while making the circle wider.
Let no one have to duck & cover, alone.

Collective energy of wisdom & compassion
nurturing acceptance to what is happening;
surrender to what is really happening
on the inside, and out.

surrendering to the dance 3 ~d nelson

In our calm, peaceful hearts & minds
we can act & move wisely into what is scary.
Colorfully shimmering, dancing, soaring,
falling, all according to nature,
what’s in & out of our control.

Leaving this post’s last words to George; give me love

Feets Flying & Defying Gravity

Let your life lightly dance on the edges of Time
like dew on the tip of a leaf. ~Rabindranath Tagore

dancing is life~d. nelson

Upon striking up the band(s)
body uncontrollably moves to grooves.
Pure physical pleasure.
In times such as these,
instantaneous reason to live.


Let’s dance
like there’s no tomorrow.  (perhaps to a song like this)
Go ahead & do that hand thing.
The time is now.
This is it!


Age don’t matter, just need a body.
While some of us skillfully
two-step, old-time traditional or jitterbug,
other’s of us line, Shmoney
or simply wiggle like worms.

Put on your dancing shoes
or bare those feet
for defying gravity,
entropy & mortality
– if only momentarily.


Dancing, feeling connected
with a heightened sense of space.
Mother Earth greets our gentle touchings down.
If we don’t laugh, smile
or dance, perhaps we’d cry.

in flowers i trust

When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That’s the message he is sending. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

exquisite bloom, golden girl rhododendron ~d nelson

delicate, ethereal beauty
with not a fret as to fate
or seeing grounds to wait.

only offering his or her best
in each transient moment.
there is oneness upon recognizing
true blossoming elegance.

not disposed to having complexes
of superiority, inferiority or sameness.
not needing to be liked or disliked.
not above the law –
not laws of humanity,
nor the laws of nature.

not into making others feel
troubled or uncomfortable,
or lose their sense of direction
no matter how alike they are
or different they are from so-called, others.

givers, offering vivid generosity
by a true, compassionate presence.
not taking from others;
not time, nor space,
not their livelihood, their dignity,
their healthcare, their freedom,
their loved ones, nor their lives.

if only i could live
a life of such humble, selfless dignity.
to be happy, even if cut
& put in a vase.
…at this moment, offering
forgiveness to myself
& others for so much
harm inflicted, in just this lifetime.
I wish that I could come back
as a flower.
For as a flower
others would smile
& have no reason
to lose trust.

Needing Roads, Bridges or Walls Poll

“Education is all a matter of building bridges.” ~ Ralph Ellison

brokeroads, no access to redwoods for some time ~d nelson

brokeroads, no access to redwoods for some time ~d nelson

If not for potholes & much bigger detours
oh, the places I would go!
Knowing that redemption & freedom
are my journey, itself
necessitates roads.

Ain’t gonna let nobody turn me around
I’m gonna keep on walking, keep on talking
marching onto freedom land. ~civil rights song

After crossing over to other sides &
experiencing their exotically sensual beauty
it’s unimaginable to burn bridges
or allowing their disrepair.

Don’t burn down the bridge
you just might want to come back. ~Albert King

Needing shelter from the storm
it feels comforting having 4 walls surround me.
But there’s no place for more barriers
separating me from neighboring countries,
those of different faiths, cultures, or other
fellow brothers & sisters of humanity.



And how about you, dear friend? In need of roads, or road repair?
How about needing a bridge, to get back home or across a great divide?
Aside from a home, are you in need for mightier, fortified walls?
If so, are these walls or fences to protect you
or to protect others from you?
Thank you for taking this poll
by contemplating and satisfying my curiosity.

I’ve built walls
A fortress, steep and mighty
That none may penetrate
I have no need of friendship
Friendship causes pain.
It’s laughter and it’s loving I disdain.
I am a rock
I am an island ~Paul Simon

Uncertainties True Certainties

If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things. ~Rene Descartes

sky un-certainty ~d nelson

Between Earth & Sky
truth’s uncertainty abides.
Experienced with open 3rd eyes,
hearts & minds beholden
of certain inter-being.

Now an alleged post-truth, emotional-disconnect age ?
Well, integrity doesn’t allow sending fake-news!
Were I a tweeter my heart’s messages would be,
have courage dear sisters & brothers
as a frigid moon shines brightly
against light years of darkness.

Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. ~Buddha

If I could tweet a song it would be:
Light one candle  (click here to listen to Peter, Paul & Mary’s performance)
Don’t let the light go out!  (click here to listen to Peter, Paul & Mary’s performance)
It’s lasted for so many years!
Don’t let the light go out!
Let it shine through our hope and our tears.
~song by Peter Yarrow


clouded un-certainty

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.~ Rabindranath Tagore


natural un-certainty

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy ~Francis of Assisi

Hundreds More Smiles

One standing a little left
the other just a little to the right,
Teacher & Student both near
yet, somehow far apart.

Hundreds of smiles,
along with the fate of humanity
await this reconciliation.

Oh, to embody wisdom teachings
borne from ancient ancestor’s desires to transcend
life’s minor pains & major devastations, varying as
scrapes, aching shoulders, misunderstandings; even anger & terrorism,
to dwell contentedly among fellow flowers in this vibrant garden.
Peaceful, well-being can clearly be
seen at bottom of pool’s shallow end.
We can play there with our water fins & waders
as we build up endurance for the deeper, darker end,
– a worthy, attainable aspiration.

Sitting Between Steps, Thich Nhat Hanh & students ~d nelson, flickr. Taken during a walking meditation rest at Prajna Temple (Bhat Nah), March 2007.

While healing one or more lifetimes of misunderstandings & hurt
in a short while is too much to ask for,
it is most possible to find near pain-free, happy relief
by stopping in this moment, yes, this one,
fully aware of breathing going on,
then rejoicing for that gentle pause
with a gratuitous, big smile!
At that moment
the teacher within
& the wise teachers, without
come together, to also
rejoice, smiling.

You’re warmly invited, my friend
to witness Hundreds More Smiles
of those who recently attended
& benefited from a mindfulness retreat
entitled, “Breathe, It’ll Be OK.” held at Deer Park, California.
Genuine expressions of real happiness & refuge
attained with supportive friends
who offered their true presence.
May it water your own smile’s seed of happiness
& bring a few moments of inner peace!

Gratitude to my friend Elizabeth who plays her piano so beautifully
& the Heart & Soul chorus for offering backing vocals
on my song, “Thank You, Dear Teacher.”

Conscious, mindful  breaths, along with peaceful steps & genuine smiles can clearly bring us ease and reduce anxieties & fear. These actions of peace in ourselves, and peace in the world are also for children far into the future.

“We say we want to strike against terror, we want to destroy terrorism, but do we even know where to find it? Can we locate it with a radar? Can the army find terrorism using its night goggles and heat sensors?

Misunderstanding, fear, anger, and hatred are the roots of terrorism. They cannot be located by the military. Bombs and missiles cannot reach them, let alone destroy them, for terrorism lies in the hearts of human beings. To uproot terror, we need to begin by looking at our own hearts. We don’t need to destroy each other, either physically or psychologically. Only by calming our minds and looking deeply inside ourselves will we develop the insight to identify the roots of terrorism. With compassion and communication, terrorism can be uprooted and transformed into love.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

smiles-124 ~d nelson

smiles-124 ~d nelson