One of the most profound lessons I have learned from my time with Aleph and his stepdad Walter, a master carver and an exceptional human being, is the idea of DE or DO EASY.
For a while it was as if every day I was losing my phone, leaving my passport at home while trying to cross the border TWICE (I’m not even kidding about this), breaking my electronics, spilling tea on my clothes etc etc. I had just resigned myself to the
fact that I was going to be clumsy and forgetful forever.
Observing my space-cadet tendencies Aleph turned me onto the concept of Do Easy, a practice he lives by and a mindset essential when doing precise, meditative work like carving. In the short film below by Gus Van Sant, taken from a story by William Burroughs, the narrator outlines the main principles of DE:
“DE is a way of doing. It is a way of doing everything you do. DE simply means doing whatever you do in the easiest most relaxed way you can manage which is also the quickest and most efficient way, as you will find as you advance in DE”
Much like the practice of mindfulness, DE asks you to be present with even the most mundane tasks, turning them into daily meditations. So now its confession time: I have a problem with closing things. I can never be bothered to close lids, bags – even changing room doors! My passport literally fell out of my bag the other month because I didn’t mindfully close my bag as I rushed out of the house. Applying DE to my life in these small, practical ways has had a radical effect on my entire way of being. I now savor the moment that I close my thermos and no longer find that my tea has leaked all over my pants! Guys, this is revolutionizing my life! On a more profound level, I find that I am staying present and in my body more often, even when the task before me is mundane or stressful . Whether I am on set waiting for the next shot or washing dishes on Orcas or rushing (mindfully) for the ferry.
Walter, Aleph’s stepdad is the walking embodiment of DE. His every word and move are so carefully executed, he is living breathing zen! So grateful on this Thanksgiving day for my new teachers, the carving shed and DE. And here’s to a new era in my life of closed lids and passports that stay safe in my zipped up bags!
See more of Alephs work here: http://alephgeddis.com/
Pictures by Ben Lindbloom and Connie Aramaki