Category Archives: photography

Winds of Change

seeing sky streaming ~d nelson

Rising with sunshine, feeling
gratitude for a brand new day.
Vowing to bring happiness
during morning, to myself
& others; & reduce misery
in the afternoon.

15th holiday season for Fang the Terrible ~d nelson

Recently a friend said to me,
“life’s always been tough.”
Me: “yet, has it
ever been this tough for
so many at the same time?”

full fall color

Walking slowly in nearby park
taking in an array of natural expressions,
i.e. miracle of life, continuing
in all its hues & shades.

play chipmunks

Feeling gratitude for nature’s gift
of renewal & smiles
experienced when being with
mother earth’s plants & critters.
A few images for encouragement
to take a meditative walk in wilds.

 

 

May we offer each other,
whoever we are with,
supportive comfort,
warmth & little lights shining,
moving into this season’s
winds of change.

 

 

Impermanence makes everything possible.
We are often sad and suffer a lot when things change, but change and impermanence have a positive side. Thanks to impermanence, everything is possible. Life itself is possible. If a grain of corn is not impermanent, it can never be transformed into a stalk of corn.
~Thich Nhat Hanh

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Mindfulness Sweetens Our World

Rain’s freshness Healing this Dry Earth ~d nelson. Below is a letter sent to friends in my meditation community on Thanksgiving.

How wonderful that it is now raining in Northern California.
From Native Peoples I’ve lived with, especially Hopi, I learned to express
deep gratitude I feel for rains, which sustain all life.
These current rains here are blessing us with clean air to breathe and putting
out the devastating wildfire. Thank you land ancestors for helping me express this thanks.

I’m feeling very grateful for having Thich Nhat Hanh as my spiritual teacher for the past couple decades,
as he has provided compassionate & wise teachings for experiencing well-being,
while continuing to offer a beautiful example of practicing them at 92 years of age.
Furthermore, using skillful means he has spoken honestly to me about impermanence, explicitly climate change,
preserving mother earth, human relations & other issues of concern to us all. Breathing through an air mask for these past couple weeks, when outside, I’ve felt accepting of dry, smoky, unhealthy conditions as they were.

Skies were also smoky here many weeks this past summer. I’m feeling more solid as a mountain than I could have without our practice of stopping, conscious breathing & trainings to not do harm to ourselves & all beings. There is a sadness I feel for descendants who will not have the privilege I’ve had of growing up in a seemingly stable environment.
May they be happy & feel safe in the world they inherit.

I’ve great gratitude for being able to take refuge in a mindfulness community or sangha.
Such a wonderful condition of happiness being a part of a community
that practices living in harmony & awareness;
that we may awaken from the illusion of separateness.

On Thay’s (affectionate Vietnamese term for “teacher”) continuation day last month
some lay friends on retreat at Deer Park Meditation center gathered,
expressing gratitude to him by sharing the benefits of, or fruit, of their meditation practice.
Some were quite new, with real beginners mind. Others were more experienced brothers & sisters. A clip of these heartfelt expressions, including images of Thay enjoying tea at Tue Hieu in 2007 (his root temple, at which he is now spending his last days)
can be viewed here, if interested: “mindfulness sweetens our world.”
Wishing you sweet fruit from the practice you’ve chosen to bring happiness, healing & insight.

fruit of our practice (click to watch happy video)

Solemnly Remembering Paradise

Ashes of Paradise (foto taken at noon Thursday) ~d nelson

Remembering that time when
my journey landed me upon
a special high forested mountainside,
inhabited, mostly, with friendly older folks,
who called the place Paradise.
Perhaps you can remember
being in such a pleasant place, yourself.

Ashes of Paradise 2 (taken at noon on Thursday)

Hadn’t thought about Paradise
for such a long time (several hour drive there)
until the other day when darkness
suddenly descended at noon
and its ashes rained down on my valley.
A local witness said it was like the gates of hell opened up.

Ashes of Paradise 5 ~usda

Breathing in (with a carbon filtered mask), I taste smoke, again.
Breathing out, clean carbon dioxide.
Sadly reflecting on those lost, newly homeless,
continued windy, bone-dry conditions,
realizing another catastrophic California inferno.
Details are easily found on current news & here.  (my local air quality below)

Ashes of Paradise 6 ~epa

As a veteran, also remembering
those who gave, as Lincoln said
“the last full measure of devotion.”
May all live free, in a paradise;
with gratitude to those
who’ve helped protect us
& mother earth.

No Comments this time,
just solemn, respectful silence.

 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. If you run after the person you suspect has burned your house, your house will burn down while you are chasing him or her. That is not wise. You must go back and put out the fire. So when you are angry, if you continue to interact with or argue with the other person, if you try to punish her, you are acting exactly like someone who runs after the arsonist while everything goes up in flames. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

This, the Best Season of Your Life!

best season country lane ~d nelson

Spring’s natural freshness bloomed
curiosity from life’s brand-newness.

Everything seemingly warmed up in summer;
emboldened, proud, glories, defeats.

best season ridge-line ride

Letting autumn linger as long as it will
– pleasant days & nights
to calmly breathe
in graceful advance
of winter solstice.

Despite short bursts of regret & worry,
this present moment is wonderful .

(click for beautiful live seasonal sounds)

best season neighborhood

“Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn,
a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter.
If your mind isn’t crowded by unnecessary things,
this is the best season of your life.” ~ Wu-Men

Have a Lot of Faith in Myself

mind, like pond, moves towards clarity & stillness ~d nelson

Looks like they are practicing Zen
sitting, walking, eating
& working meditations.
But are they really practicing?
Are we sure? And what about us?
Perhaps 50 percent,
or maybe just
10 percent of the time
or less, if being honest
with ourselves.

But part-time Buddha’s
are capable of strong aspirations
for diligently practicing virtues
with all their hearts
in order to transform
suffering & find peace
& well-being for self & others.

Mindfulness is to recognize
& know we have a body at this moment.
Mind may be shy to acknowledge this.
But then, with body, speech & mind
in perfect oneness it’s possible
to stand & truly behold
the expansive sky, the deep-rooted tree
and hear their whole stories.

When we plant a tree
& have faith it will thrive,
there’s hope for its future.
A mother’s belief that her child
will grow up is also necessary.
Without faith the tree & the child will prematurely die.
The same is true of our practice.
We may have failed a thousand times
but with faith in wholeheartedly practiced noble teachings
our full potential for awakening remains achievable.

This is the Best I’ve Ever Eaten

plant-based mushroom rolls ~d nelson

Now, the best thing ever eaten
exposes electric experiences
of Heavenly tastes, textures,
scents. Sometimes
memories arise.

real sweets memories

Preferring plant-based food
to care for myself & mother earth.
All the nutriments this son
of the earth needs for survival.

earth’s jumbo burrito

But being truly hungry
humbled his-self’s appreciation
of whatever foods are offered,
as they’re all gifts of the universe.
Hands extended, & receiving.

 

Hearing of those who raised funds locally,
then purchased food to prepare,
bag and serve to any who present
themselves as in need of eating,
as I did & do, when required,
still brings me to my knees in gratitude.

teamwork

  1. This food is a gift of the earth, the sky, numerous living beings, and much hard and loving work.
  2. May we eat with mindfulness and gratitude so as to be worthy to receive this food.
  3. May we recognize and transform unwholesome mental formations, especially our greed and learn to eat with moderation.
  4. May we keep our compassion alive by eating in such a way that reduces the suffering of living beings, stops contributing to climate change, and heals and preserves our precious planet.
  5. We accept this food so that we may nurture our brotherhood and sisterhood, build our Sangha, and nourish our ideal of serving all living beings. ~Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s 5 contemplations

Note: I’ll be on mindfulness meditation retreat in Oct. Look forward to reconnecting with WP friends by the end of the month. Wishing you happiness & well being, david.

We Are the Mural

 

together we are the mural ~d nelson

Speaking for myself, for the longest time
youthful buttons pressed,
some even before childhood,
seemingly pushed me, chronically;
to keep on truckin’ passed
supposedly known, or otherwise misperceived,
colorful, ordinary backgrounds.

Many difficulties later, after training to stop,
then, many more times stopping;
to be less busy,
I obtained glimpses of
spaciousness-yielding freedom.
Lots of stopping, conscious breathing.
Inner mud-to-lotus garden, blossoming glimpses.

Shape’s & color’s meanings reveal
when I recognize our relationship.
Moving slow, perhaps like an authentic self,
ancestors show themselves, at times, as creative art.
Whether they’re people, the plants, animals & earth,
all our relations, past, present & future, in-attendance.

With froglessness, a wishless stillness,
that which is going on inside
can be seen with mindfulness’ light shining.
Accumulated knots, once identified,
may be untangled & untied, oh joy!
This potential to remedy anxiety, anger, and more, is wonderful.
Start with aspiring to be free,
then actions expressed
which fuel happiness.

Have newly found expressions of yourself
been revealed on nearby murals?
Such a beautiful phenomenon
of our creative universe.

“Our most beautiful virtue
is the capacity to intentionally
be happy.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh