The Beauty of Simplicity

I was recently watching a video where the instructor mentioned that we are often skeptical of simple practices. We don’t trust that they will work. But actually, the opposite is true.

The more complicated something is, the more it is born of ego.

The simpler it is, the more it is in alignment with nature, the natural order of things, and how we are designed to operate.

This is an empowering distinction, and it immediately helped me to understand meditation even more, and why it has benefitted humanity for millennia.

When I first meet people and offer them mindfulness instruction, I start by asking the question, “What does mindfulness mean to you?”

We all have moments that naturally elicit mindfulness.

We may have traditions in our family or religion, or perhaps people in our lives who exemplify mindfulness. One person aptly recollected preparing their morning coffee, how the steps took time and required presence, and that was a moment of their day when they were able to be conscious of and in tune with their experience.

Just watch this moment without trying to change it at all. What is happening? What do you feel? What do you see? What do you hear? 
Jon Kabat-Zinn

That’s the beautiful thing about mindfulness. It is a natural human quality.

But what about when things aren’t going so well? 

When we’re experiencing difficulty in our lives, it can be easy to dismiss the potential benefits of meditation and mindfulness. Being told to bring our awareness to the breath when the world is on fire can seem insulting, downright stupid and irresponsible. Yet if we recognize the simplicity of the practice as being in tune with our inherent nature and see ourselves as part of the nature that surrounds us, starting with the breath begins to make sense as an appropriate response.

Meditation and isolation are not mutually exclusive. Practice has the potential to wake us up to our surroundings, to engage, to be in community. As our connection with our inner and outer world deepens, so too our resolve to act authentically and in relationship to the current circumstances.

I’m inspired to uplift simplicity. Simplicity is strength. Honoring simplicity in my daily rituals brings me in touch with myself and my life. In what other ways do you resonate with simplicity? I can think of ways I prioritize simplicity in relationships (making eye contact). I can recognize the ways simplicity is what’s best for my health (in the food I eat). I can recall the ways the simplest impulses (taking a walk, calling a friend) have the power to transform my mood and change the trajectory of the day.

It’s time to recognize the beauty of simplicity. In a world where there is so much distraction, the earth is being depleted of its resources, and we’re fed the idea of there never being enough from the time we blink our eyes open, a return to simplicity is needed now more than ever.

In honor of clearly seeing simplicity, I invite you to consider the following reflections:

1. In what ways have I dismissed simplicity?

2. What can I learn from simplicity?

3. How am I already honoring simplicity? (Perhaps in ways I haven’t recognized until now)