Dandelion Smiles

“I have lost my smile, but don’t worry. The dandelion has it” – Thich Nhat Hanh

What a beautiful thought. This week in several of my yoga classes I invited students to reflect upon this quote, and I also shared some of my own explorations of these lovely lines. Here I would like to share my ponderings on this quote and also explore further.

“I have lost my smile, but don’t worry. The dandelion has it”

First of all, I confess I adore dandelions. They are tenacious, growing up through sidewalk cracks and skipping across lawns everywhere, whether they are welcome or not! They are an important food source for honeybees. When a groundhog lived in my yard I often saw him feasting on the leaves of the tallest dandelions he could find. This made me happy. Most people complain of the damage groundhogs do to their gardens. This friendly ‘whistle pig’ was just helping out with weed control. But are dandelions really weeds? Isn’t a weed just a misunderstood flower? The health benefits of the dandelion plant are so numerous that it should really be classified as a medicinal herb. But let’s save that topic for a blogging herbalist. I would rather discuss the more spiritual aspects of the dandelion.

“I have lost my smile, but don’t worry. The dandelion has it”

Two little lines. Two lines overflowing with beauty and wisdom. The dandelion is such a small and common thing, and yet, it has His smile. Happiness can be found in small things, and in common things. Happiness is there, among the ordinary moments of our lives, just waiting for us to notice. Notice the small things, the hidden gifts and the simple pleasures, for this is where joy resides.  Are you waiting for the BIG moments? For GRAND gestures? For RARE gifts? Those things are wonderful, but why wait? Why refuse small things and daily moments of their gifts of happiness?  Why deny the happiness available to you right now? Don’t postpone joy waiting for some imagined future happiness. Smiles can be gleaned from dandelions.

“I have lost my smile, but don’t worry. The dandelion has it”

Maybe we never really lose anything.

Maybe it is just somewhere else for a while.


He lost his smile, but he found it in the dandelion. It was never really lost. The dandelion had it the whole time. Sometimes we just need to shift our focus. If we focus on lack, we won’t see abundance.

And finally, maybe this is a teaching on inter-connectedness and inter-dependency. Maybe it doesn’t have to be all about ME ME ME!!! On days when I am feeling blue, I can find peace and contentment knowing that the dandelion is smiling. Or more practically speaking, if my friends are smiling, I can share their smiles. If my loved ones are happy, I can find happiness in that. If a stranger smiles at me, I can share that smile. On days when I am focusing too much on my own sorrow, I can shift my focus to the happiness of others and share in that abundance. Some people have the VERY mistaken idea that if someone else is happy, or wealthy, etc. it somehow means that there is less happiness and wealth available to them. THIS IS A TOTAL FALSEHOOD created by a grasping ego. In fact, the opposite is true. When others around us are happy, wealthy, healthy, positive, etc. it means that the ENERGY of these things is strong here, and you can tap into that energy so easily because it is close to you. Really, you can tap into it at any time, but it is easier for us, in the beginning of the journey, to work with the energy when it is close to us. So SHARE in the JOY of others. Share in the smiles of the dandelions. Tap into the energy of joy, abundance and happiness at every opportunity.

If the sun could rain like clouds do, then the dandelions would be the droplets of sunshine clinging to the grass. (I think I need to write a song dedicated to the dandelion.....)

My favorite thing about dandelions is when the white fluffy seed-heads form. In the last hours of daylight, when the sun sits low in the sky, the angle of late day sunshine hits these white puffs in such a way that they appear aglow with their own light, like faerie orbs floating just above the lawn.

Come to think of it, there have been MANY times when the dandelion had my smile too!

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