I love Winnie The Pooh – there is something about this bear that appeals to the genuine and innocent self in me. I don’t remember how I came about this quote from Pooh, but I have had it on my office cubicle wall forever. And like all profound things in life, this one took its time to grow on me. For the longest time ever, I lived in my head, and by grace, I have started making little excursions to my heart in the past few years. And god willing – one day, that is where I will reside with occasional excursions to my head—this my journey from the head to the heart.
Anyways, I digress. I have been listening to a lot of Tolle, and one of the quotes he mentions is, ‘You teach the child the name of the bird, and you have made sure that the child never sees the bird again.’ What does this mean? Our minds (or head or brain) are like a library or encyclopedia – their job is to see something, categorize it and file it away for future use. And they are very narrow in their categorization; in a sense, it is just their view of the world – and not taking into account what somebody else views. And in mind’s need to be efficient – it sees one bird and then decides all other birds are similar and it is very boring to see another bird.
In reality, have you seen the bird beyond the four-letter word – BIRD and that it has wings and a beak. This is where your heart comes in. If I asked you to describe the bird without using words, how would you do it – and that opens up another world beyond words, thoughts – through the heart. There is so much more to a bird than its name.
I can explain this better with a dog example as I am privileged to live with one – Aki. Until I had Aki, I knew different kinds of dogs – retriever, poodle, labrador, german shepherd etc. When we say or think of the word – dog, our mind comes up with a picture of the dog, four paws, tail, ears – type etc. Or, it may even bring up feelings associated with the word dog based on your experience. When I saw a dog, I would try to figure out its breed and what I read about it on the internet, and that to me summed up the dog. And in my head, I knew everything I needed to know about the dog. But is that it – is a Dog just a concept in my head. No, there are depths to a dog that I am still discovering. It is hard to describe in words, but Aki is so much more than the word Dog, a being with his personality. And even beyond that, he lives in stillness, presence, mindfulness, which my true self shares. And the true essence of any being can be experienced only when we go beyond the mind into our hearts.
Next time when you label somebody as lazy or give them a name – will you be in your head or heart?