Friday, April 08, 2016

Simple and Profound

Sometimes I have an idea for a post that seems too simple. Part of me thinks it needs to have multiple paragraphs, a story, etc. but the fact is, so much of what I practice, study and teach is the kind of simple profundity that merits a single paragraph of reading - and a lifetime of constant contemplation. I don't always trust I can communicate the simple profundity, even though I know full well I've experienced it many times in something as small as a haiku. Or simply lying in bed, or meditating.

What is my post today? Lying in bed this morning, I heard the Wisconsin April birds chirping: Robins, Cardinals, Finches, Sparrows, Black-Capped Chickadees. Because we live less than a block from a major street and a busy intersection, in less than a breath the bird sounds were covered by trucks and traffic. And it hit me: some part of me believes the birds stops singing when the trucks go by. But they don't. I just stop hearing them.

This may sound obvious, but that's how simple profundity works. More and more I think it is about the gap between our conscious knowing, which says: of course I know I just don't hear the birds at that point, just like I know the sun hasn't gone away when the clouds cover it from my view; and our child mind, our unconscious and naive perception, which isn't so sure. 

We like to think our conscious mind and beliefs are what drive us: rational, logical, adult. But the fact is, they don't. So many of our decisions and opinions are shaped not by what we know in a conscious sense, but by our unconscious beliefs. 

That's what I have to say. Almost scoffable in its simplicity. Scoff if you want. But I am going to keep paying attention. These moments pop open my perception and give me a glimpse of the complexity and richness of my mind and the world around me, if I let them. This morning, right now, I am letting them. I invite you to, too.

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