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The power of simplicity

May 11, 2012 The power of simplicity

Tibetan studies professor Ringu Tulku writes that the concept "that all phenomena are devoid of coming and going … means that an enlightened bodhisattva sees the truth, the way things are… Although we see that others are suffering greatly, we know that their suffering is almost needless. They are not doomed to be in pain, because their suffering just comes from a wrong way of seeing and reacting. If they could see how things truly are, they would not suffer anymore. This is the understanding of an enlightened being." Ringu Tulku, Daring Steps Toward Fearlessness: The Three Vehicles of Buddhism at 58 (Snow Lion Publications, 2005). This is non-duality/non-attachment.

When I focus on the road of non-duality/non-attachment, not only do I help myself, but I also help my family, clients, and everyone else around me in making the planet more uncluttered. This is the road of  t’ai chi, focus, engaged living, non-attachment/non-duality, ho’oponopono, and abundance. If Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr., allowed vicious injustices to overconsume them, they would have been derailed and debilitated on their roads to victory.

My clients remain many who tell me weeks after the fact about the weeks of sleepless nights they have suffered, unnecessarily, kvetching, obsessing, and being overconsumed over their cases. When we win or get some other amazing victory, I do not tell them their sleepless nights were unnecessary. I revel with them in their victory, and hope to myself that this will help them be more in the present the next time they face adversity.

With the path pf powerful simplicity and uncluttering, each new box of discovery dumped on me by the prosecution to ferret out needles in haystacks, each new seeming roadblock by an underhanded-seeming action by the prosecutor or an opposing witness, and each unjust-seeming ruling by a judge is simpler for me to handle as I remembered the core of the defense is a few simple ideas to help boil down the mass and complexity of law, discovery, issues, and everything else in the critical case. This helps me perform better and deliver better results for every client.

By seeing all cases for their simplicity, I am more grounded and effective and persuasive for my clients and myself.

This all reminds me of my high school trigonometry teacher. A few times I made appointments with her to better understand some concepts and homework problems I felt stuck with. She was at once a demanding, compassionate, and happy teacher who would boil my questions and her answers to their simple parts, enjoying the moment in helping to make trigonometry more understandable and accessible to others. Part of being in the moment is experiencing the joy of the moment, whether it be something as small as a hilarious Zippy the Pinhead comic strip or as huge as a Chick Correa concert. 

With my clients, I try to inspire them by example the power of simplicity, of joy and humor, and of not sweating unnecessarily. In the situations where they might get sentenced — it does happen with some clients — I focus them on the acronym SWF (if they will be admitting a charged offense): Sorry for what I did; it was wrong; I will fix it. I advise that by sticking with that acronym and speaking it honestly from the heart, they will be ready for any tough questions from the judge.

In dealing with me, I do my best to encourage my clients to speak simply, and not, as some do, to try speaking to me with the complexity with which they might expect someone with a graduate school diploma to speak. Plain, uncluttered speaking serves persuasion infinitely better than Thesaurus-speak.

Keep it simple. 

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