Growing into simplicity

By Subodhi Schweizer


When I was asked to write an article about simplicity, I immediately felt a deep ‚yes‘ inside. If I think about simplicity some images arise:  an innocent child playing and connecting with no goal or expectation.  A monk carrying water from the well, doing nothing but what is needed in this moment. In both of the images is simplicity of mind and no emotional enmeshment. To me simplicity equals meditation, a state of being and watchfulness, not making a big fuss about things, not being complicated.


In the past years I feel I have become simpler and in consequence my life has also become apparently simpler. I have been facing my conditioning and fears, which were preventing me from being simple on an emotional level. For me it was a big challenge to let go and trust into the moment and life and find more simplicity in my life.


Somewhere on the way we loose that ease and simplicity. We get caught up in our hopes, expectations, beliefs and judgements. We are stuck in our patterns and conditioning, which in fact we need to face.  Facing them often causes us pain or anger and so we try to avoid going there in order not to feel the discomfort. Avoidance creates problems. Problems create tension and the mind will find problems everywhere: in relationships, the world around us, family etc. And we keep ourselves busy with our partners, family or body. We stick our nose into other peoples affairs, are busy with gossip or power games. We simply are in a habit of keeping our mind busy and focused. To the mind the inner and outer world seems complex and does not allow any simplicity.


In order to step out of the complexity we need to get to know ourselves. We need to understand our mind, gather more awareness about our patterns and personality. In order to let go and move into simplicity we need to look at our attachment to being busy. Only then we can start letting go of the judgements and expectations that we put on ourselves or which feel is put upon us by the world.


This process of letting go might not be an easy one, as the mind is no longer the master of the moment. If we no longer are attached to having or creating problems, if we stop believing in the security of being busy, we are going to be confronted with nothingness, boredom, loneliness or fear.  And this is where meditation comes in. It helps us to relax into this uncomfortable state and it allows us to stay connected to ourselves and leads to a different attitude and understanding inside. An attitude of dis-identification and connectedness, which opens up into a feeling of ease and simplicity.


On my path to living more simply, I found it incredibly challenging not to jump onto the next train into complexity, past or future or the problem-oriented world. My busy schedule, planning 3 years ahead and dealing with a lot of people and of course being responsible for all normal life duties are offering me a lot of opportunities to get hooked into doing and activity. For example I do what I can but I don’t feel responsible for my clients, I don’t feel I have to control everything when working in a team, I much easier speak out my truth even if it might bring up conflict. In general I feel more trust in myself and that makes life a lot more simple.


After going through a really rough time in life, in which I was confronted simultaneously with overload, boredom and the meaninglessness of life, seemingly conflicting states of mind, I had to let go of many ideas about being perfect, about relationships. I had to look at my tendency of overworking and my deep need to be needed. I started letting go of many habits and I feel I have come to a point of relaxation and simplicity that gives life a new taste. A taste of ease, flow and simplicity.


My capacity of dealing with any kind of life issues has grown. They have become wonderful challenges to be dealt with. I get less agitated or stressed about them. I feel a lot more inner space and time to be with what is, even though on the outside things have not essentially become less demanding. Life is simple even if I hit my old habits and mindset.

I am working as a therapist, tending my garden and living my friendships with more fun and joy. I am certainly more in the moment and often have a sense of simplicity and ease in life just like the monk carrying the water from the well and the innocence of a child.