“…you cannot know how many people your words, actions and thoughts have touched.
When I make a pot of oolong tea, I put tea leaves into the pot and pour boiling water on them. Five minutes later there is tea to drink. When I drink it, oolong tea is going into me. If I put in more hot water, making a second pot of tea, the tea from those leaves continues to go into me. After I poured out all the tea, what will be left in the pot is just the spent tea leaves. The leaves that remain are only a very small part of the tea. The tea that goes into me is a much bigger part of the tea. It is the richest part.
We are the same; our essence has gone into our children, our friends and the entire universe. We have to find ourselves in those directions and not in the spent tea leaves. I invite you to see yourself reborn in forms that you say are not yourself. You have to see your body in what is not your body. This is called your body outside of your body.”
~Thich Nhat Hanh (No Death, No Fear, pp. 119-120)
Our enemy wears the colors of ideology.
Our enemy wears the label of liberty.
Our enemy carries a fancy appearance.
Our enemy carries a big basked filled with words.
Our enemy is not man.
If we kill men, with whom shall we live?
~Pham Day (Thich Nhat Hanh, Call Me by My True Names)
…views themselves are ideas or perceptions. Any perception has two parts: a viewer (subject) and that which is being viewed (object). A self view, a person view, a living-being view, and a life span view are all objects of perception. They are neither independently existing or permanent. Like everything else, they are of the nature of interbeing.
~Thich Nhat Hanh, The Diamond that Cuts through Illusion
Each time we say or do something, write a line of poetry, disseminate an idea, send a letter, we go out in many different directions. Once we have set out in these directions, there is no way we can pull ourselves back to the place we were before.
~Thich Nhat Hanh (Understanding our Minds)
“…when consciousness manifests, it is not, at that moment, born. When it does not manifest, it does not, at that time, die. When consciousness manifests, there is differentiation and discrimination (vitalpa). Discrimination says, ‘this is self, and that is other than self.’ It is the sword that cuts and divides what is self from what is not self. But discrimination is not the truth. It is an imaginary construction, a fabrication of the mind. The Chinese ideogram for the term vitalpa means ‘universal comparing.’ To compare is to say, ‘This is inside, but that is outside. This continues to exist, but that ceases to exist.'”
~Thich Nhat Hanh, Understanding the Mind
As we walk the Spring Creek trail, the changes of the season often fade with the need to be vigilant for other dog walkers (Enya, our Irish Terrier, will aggressively verbalize her territorial rights), as well as for the cyclists’ refrain, “on your left.”
Over the past year my attention has also been drawn to the disappearing yoga class advertisements that dotted a small section of the trail with emerging international hostel signs, payer flags, and tepees.
The Tibetan word for a horizontal prayer flag is Lung ta, which translates literally as “wind horse.” The prayers of a flag become a permanent part of the universe as the images fade from wind and sun. Tibetans renew their hopes for the world by continually mounting new flags alongside the old. For 2017 the following dates are inauspicious to hang flags: February (2017): 21 -March: 31 -April: 12, 24, 30 -May: 11, 24, 26, 28 -June: 9 -July: 3, 16, 30 -August: 11, 25 -September: 7, 18, 21 -October: 3, 14, 30 -November: 10, 25 -December: 7, 22 -January (2018): 2, 14, 17, 29 -February (2018): 10
“Dear Mother Earth,
The Human Species is but one of your many children. Unfortunately, many of us have been blinded by greed, pride, and delusion, and only a few of us have been able to recognize you as our mother. Not realizing this, we have done you great harm, compromising both your health and your beauty. Our deluded minds push us to exploit you and create more and more discord, putting you and all your forms of life under stress and strain. Looking deeply, we also recognize the you have enough patience, endurance and energy to embrace and transform all the damage we have caused, even if it takes you hundreds of millions of years.
…There are times when we have not loved you enough; times when we have forgotten your true nature; and times when we have discriminated and treated you as something other than ourselves. There have even been times the, through ignorance and unskillfulness, we have underestimated, exploited, wounded and polluted you.
…we have turned to you dear Mother, and asked whether or not we could count on you, on your stability and compassion. You did not answer right away. And then beholding us a great compassion, you replied, ‘Yes, of course, you can count on your Mother. I will always be there for you.’ But then you said, ‘Dear children, you must ask yourself, can your Mother Earth count on you?'”
~Thich Nhat Hanh, (Excerpts from Love Letter to the Earth)
just being alive
and the poppy
“We humans have talented artist, but how can our paintings compare to your masterpiece of the four seasons? How could we ever paint such a compelling dawn or create a more radiant dust? We have great composers, but how can our music compare to your celestial harmony with the Sun and planets-or to the sound of the rising tide? We have great heroes and heroines who have endured wars, hardship, and dangerous voyages, but how can their bravery compare to your great forbearance and patience…” ~Thich Nhat Hanh, Love Letter to the Earth
submitted in response to Lost in Translation’s photo challenge.