Allan Watts once said:
“When the old master Hiakajo was asked ‘What is Zen?’ he said ‘When hungry, eat, when tired, sleep…'”
Did he mean that Zen (being in the eternal moment of Now, having no thoughts, no judgement of right or wrong, of good or bad, and experiencing everything as it truly is) is as easy as eating and sleeping?
Is it that simple? Is that it?
Well, yes and no… Yes, it’s that simple , but No, it’s not that easy!
You see, simple does not mean easy. They are two very different things.
Quit your job, sell all your stuff, and with the money you get, buy camping equipment and go hiking. Live in state parks, enjoying nature every day for the rest of your life. Live the dream! – Simple, no?
Well… Simple maybe… But not easy! – and not practical for most of us either.
There is a secret to all this simplicity…
A secret key that needs to be found and then turned so you can live in peace for any significant period of time, and this little simple key is balance.
Many eastern philosophies talk about this in detail. Masters like the Buddha, Lao Tzu, the father of Taoism, and my favorite, Sosan (Sengstau, The 3rd Zen Patriarch) in his work The Book of Nothing.
Balance is about finding the middle ground. Not trying to bite more than you can chew. Not going to extremes, but finding the middle way – going with the flow, instead of swimming against the current?
So our approach is to simplify our life gradually, but effectively. Picking our battles by dividing and conquering small areas, one after the other, instead of trying to tackle the whole thing at once. Slowly but surely. Fake it till you make it.
Stay tuned for future posts on specific, real life examples and techniques to simplify your way to lasting peace.