Tag Archives: happiness

Traffic Cone Cycle Slalom

’round cone play ~d nelson

Been hurt going too fast
finally has slowed me down.
Yet, even moving slowly,
no faster than I can pedal,
seemingly unavoidable obstacles
hinder otherwise graceful momentum.

Hints of road rage become bells
of mindfulness to momentarily
pause, breathe calmly & smile.
Upon remembering I’m alive
& well, compassion is borne
for myself & others involved.
Staying ever vigilant of distracted drivers.

Many are, understandably, super stressed this season.
Tired of so much real losing; losing what
was once possible for humanity & all beings.
Losing income, losing homes to fires & foreclosures.
Sad, complex social, economic & political landscapes
ruled by unqualified, greedy & unworthy leaders
who heartlessly cage children, spew anger & hate
contributing to many losing their sense of community.

thanks for not making tracks on fresh cement!

Determined to live with dignity & peace,
I’m hugging the obstacles, which I can,
while maintaining joy & playing
around with the ones I cannot embrace.
Ours & our children’s future depends upon
experiencing moments of happiness & fearlessness.
When going out, let’s laugh & play; bring the young ones.

We are very afraid of being powerless.
But we have the power to look deeply at our fears,
and then fear cannot control us…
If we can relax when our strong emotions come,
then we don’t pass fear on to our children and to future generations. ~Thich Nhat Hanh




May You Bloom Happily & Stay Fresh as the Dew

“To live in the world
with your heart undisturbed by the world,
with all sorrows ended, dwelling in peace —
this is the greatest happiness.” ~ from “Discourse on Happiness”

flowerfresh ~d nelson

Being out of the house
breathing pure, fresh air
seeing the beauty before me
helps my bloom, keeps me fresh.

Interesting that, for me, being indoors
staring at the computer
doesn’t make me feel as fresh
as does having the sky above, earth below
& reflecting on the guidance on happiness, below.

Yet I do get on-line to brief
myself on those latest events.
While such laments of suffering
fuel compassion, I can also feel blue,
despite the aspiration to have my heart
undisturbed, like a Buddha.

May you feel fresh, with inner happiness.
Savoring & taking refuge
in other’s freshness and blooms.
And may we all have more wise
than foolish ones to associate with
& offer compassionate guidance.

Discourse on Happiness

I heard these words of the Buddha one time when the Lord was living in the vicinity of Savatthi at the Anathapindika Monastery in the Jeta Grove. Late at night, a deva appeared whose light and beauty made the whole Jeta Grove shine radiantly. After paying respects to the Buddha, the deva asked him a question in the form of a verse:

“Many gods and men are eager to know
what are the greatest blessings
which bring about a peaceful and happy life.
Please, Tathagata (one of the Buddha’s names), will you teach us?”

(This is the Buddha’s answer):
“Not to be associated with the foolish ones,
to live in the company of wise people,
honoring those who are worth honoring —
this is the greatest happiness.

“To live in a good environment,
to have planted good seeds,
and to realize that you are on the right path —
this is the greatest happiness.

“To have a chance to learn and grow,
to be skillful in your profession or craft,
practicing the precepts and loving speech —
this is the greatest happiness.

“To be able to serve and support your parents,
to cherish your own family,
to have a vocation that brings you joy —
this is the greatest happiness.

“To live honestly, generous in giving,
to offer support to relatives and friends,
living a life of blameless conduct —
this is the greatest happiness.

“To avoid unwholesome actions,
not caught by alcoholism or drugs,
and to be diligent in doing good things —
this is the greatest happiness.

“To be humble and polite in manner,
to be grateful and content with a simple life,
not missing the occasion to learn the Dharma —
this is the greatest happiness.

“To persevere and be open to change,
to have regular contact with monks and nuns,
and to fully participate in Dharma discussions —
this is the greatest happiness.

“To live diligently and attentively,
to perceive the Noble Truths,
and to realize Nirvana —
this is the greatest happiness.

“To live in the world
with your heart undisturbed by the world,
with all sorrows ended, dwelling in peace —
this is the greatest happiness.

“For he or she who accomplishes this,
unvanquished wherever she goes,
always he is safe and happy —
happiness lives within oneself.” ~Buddha, Mahamangala Sutta, Sutta Nipata 1; translated by Thich Nhat Hanh, in Plum Village Chanting Book

Community & Friendship’s Delight

delighted sitting Buddhas ~d nelson

Dear WordPress Community, and Friends on the path,

So easily mind goes here, then goes there.
The mind can go in a thousand directions
including thinking that it’s alone.
But, with mindfulness, concentration & insight
we can remember the path upon which we’re stepping.
On this path are also countless beings supporting us,
at this moment, some of them are of the human-type.

delightfully recycling, together in Deer Park

I’m reminded of so many elders and others
who are isolated and feeling lonely right now.
They wish so much to be with other human beings.
I’ve had these feelings arise, myself
and I’m only almost an elder.
Perhaps you’ve longed for human companionship, also.

delightful flower

I’m offering a bow of gratitude for all the friends who came
joyfully together on retreat with me recently.
It felt very comforting, connected and safe to be vulnerable being
with those I’ve known for years, but see infrequently.
I feel so fortunate to have had conditions which introduced me to teachings
of understanding & love, the mindfulness community and many friendships.
I recognize that not everyone has had such favorable conditions.

interbeing rock delight

A diverse collection of friends took a moment to share in a beautiful portrait of what community is about, each in their own words. Community as relationships with others; sometimes neighbors, sometimes spiritual or like-minded friends, sometimes far away, or even scattered across the blogosphere.
I’m touched by their personal expressions of how crucial community is
to our most basic well-being and feelings of connection.
Their intention is to help others feel welcomed and welcoming into a community.
Some of us may feel encouraged to let go of feeling alone
& build or strengthen our own “community”.

collective energy of mindfulness

This 7 minute collage of many voices, entitled Community & Friendship’s Delight can be viewed on-line at:  (There’s even a rare glimpse of me towards the end)   🙂

Why Be Mad when it’s Fall?!

Summer ends, and Autumn comes, and he who would have it otherwise would have high tide always and a full moon every night; and thus he would never know the rhythms that are at the heart of life. ~Hal Borland

soaring above fall ~d nelson

soaring above fall ~d nelson

Upon warm colors I glance
bringing me joy at the sight
undeterred by
the recognition
that there is little time left
in this temporal season.

today's oily route home ~d nelson

today’s oily route home ~d nelson

Disrupting my otherwise perfect
subjective amble across town
an oily, smelly obstructed road.
Momentarily, feelings of road
rage sprouts-up inside.
How shall I put an end to this anger?

Again glancing down at the beauty
while soaring above,
pleasant feeling arises.
That is until a passing driver
quickly turns, veering right
towards me innocently
peddling my bike in the bike lane.
Heart beating fast, despite efforts
at calm breaths.
How shall I put an end to this anger?

Being hit by an arrow causes much pain.
But I’m reminded that being hit by the second arrow
is not twice, but at least 10 times more painful.
The harsh words given me when young
have continued to cause wounding
in body, heart, mind & spirit
for many years.
Suffering’s blow now sufficient & embraced
for true compassion’s cultivation.

Beautiful leaves awaken my realization
that the time to cool the flames
of anger, compassionately
is now, or never.
My calm contentment & perhaps your’s too
can use supportive encouragement,
from time to time.
Reminders of times passing,
leaves falling & times coming.
Nature’s reoccurring cycle
dynamically in motion.

fall oak acorn

fall oak acorn

A delightful wisdom teaching
which has provided candlelight to myself & others
from the darkness of fear & anger
is being offered here for you.
Mindful, meditation friends & I
read this ancient healing & restorative teaching,
5 compassionate ways to end anger, below.
(I read the second bit)
We hope you enjoy & benefit from it,
to become awareness, itself,
to courageously soar as the bird in the top image.
May we look for the message of this season
with wisdom & eyes of compassion.

This blog’s next post will be an account of an upcoming, sweet mindfulness retreat!

“From time to time, to remind ourselves to relax and be peaceful, we may wish to set aside some time for a retreat, a day of mindfulness, when we can walk slowly, smile, drink tea with a friend, enjoy being together as if we are the happiest people on Earth.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

It’s beginning to feel like that time of year

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When I was young I believed that, despite how difficult and ugly life appeared, things would get better eventually. Even if they had to continue getting worse first, then get better. After waiting and waiting, I found Zen and stopped waiting. Well, that’s a short children’s story version. So in the here and now I’m experiencing that this is both the best and worst of times, simultaneously. At least that’s my idea, and perhaps some living beings might agree, and others not. Moments of true wonder and happiness, simply seeing the blue sky, the smile of a friend or even a stranger. Moments of heartbreak seeing so many struggling in their lives, either right before me walking down the street or at the market, or in the parade of horrible, violent news stories. Moments of enjoying simple, personal insights, moments of wondering what a society would be like with wise, compassionate leadership. Imagine Gross National Happiness replacing the paper’s business section. It seems wonderful and awful at any given moment in my perception of the world and inside my thoughts. Well at least that is what comes to mind after sitting alone and meditating, a month into trying to heal from bronchitis, cough, cough. But good fortune has me inside, warm, dry, well fed and feeling that I belong somewhere. This year has had its ups and downs but I am grateful that no one is shooting at me, at least with bullets. My heart goes out to those who mostly suffer in every moment.

For this holiday season, and all the days that follow, a wish that we are all taken care of, offering care to those in need:

May all be well. May all be safe and cared for. May all be happy and free of anger. May all have a voice, if only unto their own heart.