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32. How the Dude Learns from the Birds in the Trees

Updated: Jan 19

In the previous two blogs, we have been considering how the Dude is rooted in the present moment.  And without wanting to sound like Eckhart Tolle, the present moment is the only moment where life is.


When as dudes we are trying to be like the Dude, we often have a bunch of ideas in our head of how we should be, how we should react in certain situations, and so on.  The Dude, however, is not trying to be like anything.  The Dude is simply a Dude naturally.  And this is the point that these blog posts are trying to explore.


While having a coffee, the Dude isn't having a head full of ideas.  He or she isn't thinking, well, yesterday I was really undude in that moment and I shouldn't have reacted in that way.  The Dude is simply enjoying the coffee.

The Dude Hears the Birds, and the Birds Hear the Dude

Drinking coffee, noticing the sparrows (pictured) chirping in the trees.  This is the moment.  Being fully present to it is turning up to life.  And in the same way, a dude shouldn't be trying to be like a Dude, we shouldn't be saying to ourselves, well, I must be in the present moment, I must listen to the birds and taste my coffee.  That's just bullshit.


Look at the birds.


Is the sparrow thinking, I must be aware that I am standing on this branch?  Is that sparrow thinking, like yesterday, man, I was really unsparrow-like?  I was growing fat picking up crumbs from McDonald's cafe rather than chirping in this oak tree?




Only we think like this.


So, look to the birds and they will show you something that you cannot learn from books.  They will show you what it means to be.  How it is to be.

To Be, or Not to Be, That Is Not the Question

If you want to "be" then be like the sparrow.  The sparrow's dark eyes are simply watching.  They are not judging.  Its mind is clear and not full of thoughts.  It is not thinking of the future or the past, or even the present.  It is simply here.


The Dude is no different.  The Dude comes from the same place of Presence.  Just looking, just seeing, not judging, not thinking, not stuck in the past, not worrying about the future.  The Dude is simply present.


As dudes, trying to emulate the qualities of The Dude, we overlook that our root is the same as the sparrow.  The root is in the silent space of no-thought, where only Presence resides.  Call it Presence, call it Life, or something Divine, it doesn't matter.  It is your true self.

I Think Therefore I Am?

Descartes got it wrong. I am therefore I think, might be better. People are mostly lost in thought.  And those thoughts usually don't serve them too well in the present moment.

But do they ask what is present when thinking has stopped?

What is present, is the thing that is aware of the thinking.  But it has no place. It cannot be found. There is no individual "you" that owns "your" thoughts.

Like the sparrow, or a tree, it is life simply happening.


There is nothing clouding a cloud.  Nothing sparrowing a sparrow.


There is nothing you-ing a you.  There just IS.


Your is-ness, is the same silent is-ness of the cloud, the tree, and the sparrow.  And it is untroubled, and endlessly at peace.


The next time you are having a coffee, or listening to birdsong, you don't need to add a word to it, or a thought to it.  You simply see.  And then you are alive in the moment.  You are not wrapped up in worries or plans, and you are not adding anything to the moment. 


In the next post, I will be looking at the Root in more detail and considering how The Dude is a sign of the Root for all us sinners.


Until then,


Rev. Thomo


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