Inspiration from the Buddhi Bird

Why is it that some of us are suffering right now, while others are doing well, despite immense challenge and adversity?
How we relate to what is happening in our lives comes from our mindset and beliefs, and our experiences in the past.

Let me bring you back to story of the two birds, as a way to see more clearly into your experience.
two birds in a tree
In Mooji’s words:
“Some time ago I saw a picture depicting a parable from the Bhagavad Gita. It showed two birds in a tree, and one of them was building a nest. This one is flying off collecting things, arranging the twigs – its active, doing many things.
Above this bird, on another branch, is a second bird. It looks identical to the first bird, and it’s not building anything. It is just observing. It’s not building a self-image out of its perceiving, and its not deeply interested in any aspect of what it sees. Its perceiving is happening quite spontaneously without effort or judgment. There’s a silence there, that feeling of Being without thought. Just looking.

This is a beautiful portrait of who we are.
These two birds are connected. The first bird represents our dynamic being, the self that is engaged in the world, in future and past, in growing. It is the aspect that is living life with the sense ofย my family, my children, my workย and so on.

The second bird represents that conscious witnessing within us. It is the ability to observe life taking place and activities unfolding, but it is not actually doing anything…

Initially the first bird who is building the nest, may not be aware of the second bird. As soon as it is able to be quiet, it becomes aware of the second bird, which is actually itself at a deeper inner level.

When the first bird’s mind is synchronized with the second bird, the activities become much more gracious. There is a sense of unity, a oneness… The second bird represents the change of perspective from the mode of the person to the state of presence.”

Self isolation and sheltering in place, offers us an opportunity for retreat and to get to know these two different aspects of ourselves.
The first bird engages in the world around it and is also called the I-maker or ego mind. It is the part of ourselves that creates stories about life and how we are experiencing it. It is easily influenced by our feelings, especially fears and desires. For example, when we feel threatened it can create a story about being a victim or create an other version where we become the hero. It can make us feel unworthy or let us believe that we are most worthy, while others are not.
It is the judge, jury and creator of how we believe we SHOULD be living our life.

In times of challenge, this part of ourselves takes center stage. The old ways of being, the habits and the comfort of everyday life as we know it have been taken away. ย The I-maker is fearful of being out of control and threatened by the unknown and possible harm.

Have you noticed this part of your being on overdrive these days?…. I certainly have.

The second bird, or other part of ourselves is a conscious witness within us, at a deeper level. Sometimes the I-Maker is called the small self, while the other is referred to as higher Self. The higher Self has a bigger and broader perspective of life. It can see through the stories the small self makes up and sees beyond them. It is without judgment and is always present when we allow our attention to go there. It is called Buddhi and is close to Divine Presence or Source.

I believe that we can touch this deeper part of ourselves when we take time to pause and turn our attention inwards. When we Find our Middle Ground.

Now more that ever, take time to find some quiet space and reflect on this significant time of change. Take time to pause and create a space of Retreat and Reflection. Notice what stories you are telling yourself to try to make sense of what comes up. Notice resistance to the changing reality. Notice how you distract yourself from the discomfort and fear. Let go of judgment and be kind to this part of yourself.

Mindfulness and meditation will open up a bigger part of yourself, and create an anchor in the present moment. If you haven’t practiced meditation or yoga, then this is a wonderful opportunity to come to it. There is much being offered online and with apps such as HeadSpace.

A walk in nature and ten minutes of legs-up-the-wall are my practices these days, when I am not teaching yoga. I find them grounding and approachable. Take the time to explore what works for you.


61 thoughts on “Inspiration from the Buddhi Bird

  1. A great post and well worth reading if one is overthinking at this strange and unfamiliar state of living we find ourselves in.

    Practising Mindfulness and a daily walk in Nature is surely something we can all do with a bit of practice and openmindedness. Those that can’t get out for a nature walk still have positive and healthy ways to occupy their spiritual, mental and physical space if they open up to the possibilities.

    Seems to me too many younger folk (in particular) are craving what they’ve lost, instead of opening up and embracing the possibilities for what they might find.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The young have a different urge and guide. We canโ€™t give them the wisdom of the years and the challenging experiences. Being in nature and finding a way to pause and be present is something we can all do. Thank you Vicki ๐Ÿ’•

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like this tale to illustrate both sides of our nature. When you asked us to look at how we distract ourselves, I thought ‘I escape to the garden,’ but ironically, it is there where I feel closest to God, so one path leads into the other. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The peace and serenity when we finally get out of our own way. Don’t get me wrong, the previous way is a learning curve to that way and when we achieve it, it becomes almost a holiday from our old selves ๐Ÿ˜€
    Great post dear lady, may that holiday be ever that inner delight ๐Ÿ˜€ โค๏ธ ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿฝ ๐Ÿฆ‹

    Liked by 1 person

    • Strange thing going on with my WordPress account. I often try to *Like* your posts, but it doesn’t work…yet I can still write comments! I wrote software for 23 years, but I have no idea how to solve this mysteryโ€ฆ So I’m going to take 10 deep breath’s instead! -Paul K.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hi Paul, I’ve done a bit of web coding myself and there is another blog site that absolutely refuses to allow me to follow them. And if I make a comment it drops it to the very bottom of the tree of comments and not under the person I was replying to.
        But after so many years on here I finally figured it all out…its ‘WordPress’, need I say more ๐Ÿ˜€
        Someone told me that if I get up really early WordPress will make me a cup of coffee…still waiting on that one too ๐Ÿ˜‚
        Keep breathing kind sir, but don’t hold it for the coffee ๐Ÿคฃ
        Sorry Val, I think it is the isolation starting to talk ๐Ÿ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ahh yes the technological challenges. Iโ€™ve had a bunch recently and decided to drop all concerns about it.
        I figure that this is the time to let go, and I tell myself that I know others will understand…. or if they donโ€™t, then let them focus on what they need to right now.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for being here. Notice the thoughts that are creating stress. Our mind can go on hyper analytical drive these days. Meditation. Is a way to step away from those thoughts and find a sense of balance and understanding. A walk in nature, observing the details of life around us, and moving our body with inhibition is an other way. Your choice. Simply be aware ๐Ÿ’•

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I enjoyed the story of the two birds; I am going to have to ponder on it for a while.

    As to meditation apps – is Headspace one that your old recommend? And what are โ€œlegs-up-the-wallโ€?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Headspace is a meditation and mindfulness app that guides you into observing and releasing, with imagery and breath awareness.
      Legs up the Wallis a simple yoga pose. Bring your hips near a wall and swing the legs up. Make adjustments to feel comfortable so the legs relax ( itโ€™s ok for knees to be bent). Hang her for about 10 minutes. Notice the details of the body. Gravity will allow the body to relax towards the floor. Notice if your muscles prevent you from releasing and consciously relax them. Let the hips and the back back melt into the floor. Let your breathing slow down. Let go of any thoughts and just be present to this different way of being….. Enjoy a new perspective!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I am . . . calm, peaceful, accepting, thankful, grateful, serene. Itโ€™s been a relief not to have to โ€œgo, go, goโ€ and โ€œdo, do, doโ€ all the time (especially since TP is still in short supply).

    That said, weathering the pandemic would be harder . . . if my parents were still alive and missing me . . . if I had young nieces and nephews that I wanted to visit (instead, weโ€™re ZOOMing 1x a week with the 19 members of my family). . . if I had had a โ€œtrip of a lifetimeโ€ planned or just a short road trip I was anxious to take . . . if I had lost my job or my health insurance . . . if I couldnโ€™t put food on the table or pay the bills . . . if someone near and dear had been diagnosed with covid-19 . . . if I had wanted to attend my college reunion this year . . . if I enjoyed eating out and/or attending crowded entertainment venues . . . ETC.

    Since I am exactly where I want to be . . . Iโ€™m grateful, with a touch of compassion for “birds” who arenโ€™t in my nest.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Beautifully said Nancy ๐Ÿ’•Iโ€™m enjoying zooming and FaceTime with my friends and family in The UK and down the road! I will miss not seeing family in person this year, but the time will come.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I agree that it helps so much to figure out ways to relax and accept this situation emotionally. But I also feel for those who can’t, because for them, this is about more than emotion. Some are grieving a lost loved one, and others are facing financial doom (but too often are told they are “heartless” if they complain about it.) For me, I worry about the effects on the long-term isolation on my 89 year old mother. So it’s a complicated situation for sure, and one that calls for much compassion and tolerance. Thanks for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well said Ann. So many people around the globe are suffering without an end in sight. This is a global catastrophe in the making…. that will impact all of us close to home. I have taught my Mum to use Messenger video and zoom so she can stay connected and see her friends and family. Itโ€™s wonderful to be able see her virtually when we are so far away. We were to be going in a river cruise in June, and of course, itโ€™s cancelled. Instead we see each other twice a week and wear the outfits we would have worn on vacation. We count ourselves so lucky.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I was called to reread this post this morning after a messy meditation where my part of me was trying to focus on the breathe and the other was throwing out distractions to divert my focus. Thank you. Something is this parable is calling to me. I think I will revisit my copy of Bhagavad Gita.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Lovely post, Val. The metaphor of the two birds is perfect–how we are both at once. I’ve been quite busy during this quarantine period, working from home on big projects that were well underway before the virus impacted the US, and which haven’t stopped. But there’s such a poignant feeling of transformation right now–of observing and witnessing from the branch above…


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Michael. I feel this is such a precious time to embrace our Buddhi bird and develop the witness, and self inquiry into what matters most in life. ๐Ÿ™


  9. A lovely post, Val, as always, and a beautiful parable. I’m trying to find quiet spaces to relax and just breathe. My garden does that for me. It’s hard when inside with the husband and his news addiction. But I’m trying. Thanks as always for the reminders. I seem to need them. โค Be well.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Val Mooji’s words are profound and you have interpreted them for the present times perfectly well. Yes we must take this opportunity to continue with our inward journey of practicing our yoga, pranayama and meditation for longer durations.
    Thank you and keep very well ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ€

    Liked by 1 person

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