Category Archives: Zen

Our Cloud Never Dies

cloud is us ~d nelson

From highest high peaks
towards street level & lower
our cloud continues, falling,
dancing, splashing, sustaining life,
steadily settling into calm clarity.

Recognizing our cloud, within
proffers insightful glimpses:
nature’s cycles persisting
as they always have;
inter-playfully patient & wise,
manifesting of elements,
energies & unknown;
all when conditions
are just right.

Isn’t it a miracle being here
& now across space & time
with you, my friend?
Smiling to breathed replies.

“A cloud can become snow, or hail…or rain. But it is impossible for a cloud to pass from being into non-being. And that is true with your beloved one. She has not died. She is continued in many new forms. And you can look deeply and recognize herself in you and around you.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

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February Promises

 

Feb 1 rose bud ~d nelson

Yes, another coldest night
followed by another coldest day
felt in delicate, dark, places of fragility
in earth’s life forms, big & small.

Feb 1 blossom

Slowly breathing in this coldness
compassionately breathing out warmth.
Thawing mine & the world’s blossoms;
Once revealed, grateful at being witnessed.

Feb 1 blossom 4

This morning’s warmed moment’s potential
of next warmed moment’s possible
makes me smile as I discover
another hidden rose bud, inside.

“So take refuge in Mother Earth and surrender to her and ask her to heal us, to help us.
And we have to accept that the worst can happen;
that most of us will die as a species and many other species will die also and Mother Earth will be capable
after maybe a few million years to bring us out again and this time wiser.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Feb 1 blossom 2

Bloom’s New Continuance

Compost Transformed into Roses Cozy Harmony ~d nelson

Wonderful, our continuation into this
new year, dear refreshed fellow, yet fragile
blossoms in the garden of humanity.

calligraphy by Thich Nhat Hanh

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

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)

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.