Category Archives: Zen

Happiness is…We’re Home!

dwelling happily in the present moment ~ d. nelson

Abiding happily
here, now
with
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
linger
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

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Sharing a Non-Selfie

originally posted Dec 14, 2013

non-selfie

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
interchanging
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,
interbeing,
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,
intoxicating.

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
heightened,
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

Better Way to Fix Flat Tires

super blue blood lunar eclipse ~ d nelson

A friendly visit to young neighbors
socializing brought smiles to us adults.
Eventually, I asked about the teen & pre-teen sitting over there.
Parents said, if heads are down, looking like they are bowing in shame,
noses glued to their cell phones, then they are playing.

I shyly went over and asked what they’re playing.
After some quiet moments, except for sounds leaking from earbuds,
I was told one name or another which I did not recognize.
“What do you guys do to play, outside”, asked I?
They said after being shuttled around, usually, they’re indoors,
“sheltered like plants in a nursery.”

As they continued to poke at their devices
I recalled going out, unsupervised to play.
We’d go out, look up at the sky & wonder.
By the time I was 7, I was out my own,
out seeing if the birdie would
eat the apple core I threw in the garden.
My friends & I would climb over nearby fences
and go play in creeks, in low & high water.

We’d dangle on the old monkey bars & jump on teeter totters.
By 3rd grade we’d be riding our stingrays a mile
to the beach, play on the cliffs & boogie board.
Their curious faces looked up from their phones
and asked how parents let us go out like that
& wasn’t I afraid of getting hurt or being abducted?

Seems it was a different time, back then in the 60’s.
I’m not sure how it’s more dangerous for kids now.
We had no computers, smart phones or 24/7 infotainment.
We got experience & paid attention to our self survival instincts.
I told them that we needed to know how
to do basic stuff like adjust our bikes & fix flat tires,
cause flats happened & still happen to this day.

In this past year I’ve had a half-dozen flats
with each one being caused by staples in the road.
They asked if those staples put in the road make me angry?
Me: “Perhaps they fell off a truck, or maybe they were put
in the bike lane intentionally, I don’t know.
I breathe in and calm my body & unpleasant feelings.
Then I take out the repair kit, patch the tire
and pump it back up.

The flat tire doesn’t make me happy, but
by showing love, caring and understanding for myself
I can show love, caring and understanding for who
or whatever reason that caused the staple to be there.
It’s still fun for me, an old guy, to play outside
& I hope you guys will get out to play more, too!”

Each thought, each action in the sunlight of awareness becomes sacred.
In this light, no boundary exists between the sacred and the profane ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Stopped by Mohave’s Mindfulness Lesson

marveling Mohave’s resilience ~d nelson

Sentimental journey down route 66
past San Bernardino mtn’s snowy peaks
into winter’s pleasant Mohave Desert.
A place I lived & worked many years.

One of the desert’s esteemed, waving residents,
the many-armed yuccas known as Joshua trees,
advice motorists & trains, alike,
to slow down, stop and be present.
Knowing that this precious desert being
understands resilience & fragility, I stop to listen.

See our uncrowded forest standing
joyfully; doing nothing more
than being present for ourselves, the sky,
the wind, the cold & the heat?
Can you do this, too?

By intentionally making time
to be aware & concentrated,
it’s possible to see the true nature
of what is right in front of you!
Can you do that, too?

Seeing the cloud in your ice tea,
seeing the misperception in your anger,
seeing the impermanent, non-self
nature of your self, are all possible
insights when truly paying attention.

Being stable, peaceful & without discrimination
makes you worthy of actions which
beneficially, help other’s survival;
not creating division or rocking the boat
during turbulent, dangerous times.

Sentinal of love

Lastly, the trees reminded me
that they, and other desert dwellers
are doing their best to adapt,
to stay calm despite increased heat
& fewer & fewer drops of rain.
Accepting the truth of things as they are.
Since 2001, the planet has recorded 17 of its 18
warmest years since record-keeping began (NASA).
Calmly, may you breathe in warm,
breathe out cool, dear ones.

Our Dozers of Love

mighty dozer of love ~d nelson

When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

dozer vs mountain ~d nelson

If it was left up to me, and you,
everyone would have an equal opportunity
to live a simple, joyful life with equal access
to clean air to breathe, clean water to drink,
food, shelter, education, healthcare,
to go along with life, freedom & pursuing happiness.
If I had my way, nobody would die working,
e.g., reach the end of life while still
needing to work until the very end.

dozer moving earth from under our feet

The common good, which benefits all of us
including above mentioned opportunity, access & assistance
is being bulldozed by those with power, privilege & wrong views.
Funding for our common good will further be eroded by tax cuts
that will likely generate enormous deficits for our children, decimate the currenly impovershed,
leave crumbs for the middle class and gift a huge benefit for the already wealthy.

many new dozers just over the fence

Let us embrace compassionate in & out breaths
to fire up our own heart/mind’s dozer of love
that we better understand the true nature
of greed, hatred & delusion, within & without,
to better care for ourselves & those in need,
to help build a better society & preserve
& protect our precious planet.

dozer awaiting our heart’s desire

In the coming year, we’ll need to continue offering our caring presence,
together supporting needs & aspirations of love & understanding.
Not sitting idly by while decent society gets dismantled one law at time.
Those of us who are actually paying attention can see the direction this is headed.
The forces of ignorance, of greed, of anti-science, of anti-reason, seem to have won.
But, with patience, we have the eternal law of impermanence on our side.

really big wheels keep rolling

Yes, I experience conditions of happiness any time, still
what is rapidly happening outside of me makes me sad, also.
As depression is contagious, let us not be trapped in passing despair.
We can take baby steps of action. We can use our mindful bulldozers
to move mountains of love & hope. There are hopeful signs, such as…
Women & others with ethics are running for office at unprecedented rates. We must vote for them.
Donations to social causes are up. Voices long dormant are being raised.
Many are waking up to what is happening. There’s worldwide support for special prosecutor’s criminal investigation.

dozer clearing obstacles of love

When we begin to emerge from this national nightmare,
we should remember the complacency that brought us all here
and never again take for granted that from those
to whom much is given, much must be expected.
With the new year, may all beings be happy, safe & free.
With our love, may the rights of nature be protected from unwanted dozing.

“The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment.” ~Robert Hutchins

dozer taking trees