Don’t Know Mind

{I’ve been playing around with a some little paintings and this here is one}

I just finished reading a wonderful book called The Wise Heart: A guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology by Jack Kornfield. I’ve long been interested in both Psychology and Buddhism, so this book really hits it for me. I read another book by Kornfield some time ago, and it really cut through to me, so it wasn’t an accident that I turned to him again. He has a kind, gentle, and deeply insightful way of talking about the struggle of life and how we can see out of it.

Towards the end of the book, Kornfield talks about a concept called “Don’t-Know Mind.” It means exactly what it sounds like—a mindset where you realize you don’t know how things will turn out, and that’s OK. Kornfield presents it as a meditation exercise. Here’s an excerpt:

“Sit quietly and easily. Focus on your breath or body. When you feel settled, bring to mind a time ten years ahead. Recognize that you don’t know what will happen then. Feel the not knowing and relax with it. Think of the earth spinning through space with hundreds of thousands of people being born and dying every day. Where does each life come from? How did it start? What changes are ahead for us? There are so many things we don’t know. Feel the truth of don’t-know mind, relax, and become comfortable with it.

Now bring to mind a conflict, inner or outer. Be aware of all the thoughts and opinions you have about how things should be, about how other people should be. Now recognize that you don’t really know. Maybe the wrong thing will lead to something better. You don’t know.

Consider how it would be to approach yourself, the situation, the other people with don’t-know mind. Don’t know. Not sure. No fixed opinion. Allow yourself to want to understand anew. Approach it with don’t-know mind, with openness.”

(Kornfield, The Wise Heart, p. 381)

Since the beginning of this year, I’ve been struggling with much uncertainty, and this idea of Don’t-Know Mind really struck a chord with me. I notice how often I get so focused on trying to control situations, and this causes me nothing but suffering. Don’t-know mind is the key to freedom from this struggle. Since I read the passage above, I’ve been imagining this shift often and seeing how Don’t-Know Mind is a very expansive and calm mind to live in. It’s the mind of letting go—of doing what you can and then letting the outcome be what it is.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to live in a mindset where you are free to let things happen as they may? Just do your own work and then be completely open to what happens? If you too struggle with uncertainty, I hope this idea helps you as much as it has helped me! Thank you Jack Kornfield for your deep ideas and insights!

Happy wonder-filled peaceful day to you!


150 Responses to “Don’t Know Mind”

  1. 1 Pamanner February 7, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Yes, I’ve been trying to live like this, too. Great post! Here’s to the now!

  2. 4 Mikalee Byerman February 7, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Oh wow, does this resonate…

    Not only have I made big changes in my professional life (left my full-time job late last year to pursue full-time freelance writing), but I’m also contemplating how to move forward personally. I went through a particularly blindsiding divorce (which formed the basis of my early blogging days), and figuring out how to trust again has been quite a struggle.

    To be free to let things happen as they may? Sounds great in theory…but how does a Type-A control freak who is always waiting for the other shoe to drop pursue that philosophy?

    • 5 Nicole | Blue Bicicletta February 8, 2012 at 7:55 am

      Hi Mikalee,

      Thanks so much for your comment! As a fellow control freak, I know exactly what you mean—it is challenging to let go of controlling and put don’t-know mind into practice. This challenge I think is what lead me to Buddhist Psychology and Buddhism generally—the entire philosophy is built around explaining how we create so much suffering for ourselves and how to see out of it. I think awareness is a big key—if you are aware of your control freak tendencies and begin to try and become aware of them in the moment (how it feels in your body to want to control things, when it happens, what thoughts come along with it) then you can start seeing it in real time and choosing to instead take a deep breath, realize what’s happening and that it’s just in your head and/or do some visualization like in this exercise. I think trying to control everything also can go along with (as it does in me) wanting things to happen quickly and immediately and never wanting to struggle. What I’m learning from my looking into myself and Buddhist philosophies is that it takes time, patience, effort and a lot of kindness towards yourself to make this shift—and it takes choosing it again and again no matter how much you stumble. Good luck to you in your life and the new changes your working with!

    • 6 rococonnor February 8, 2012 at 1:03 pm

      Hi Mikalee – from someone with a very similar story: one breath at a time, For as long as it takes. With a huge amount of gentle, self-compassionate, forgiveness.

      It Is still taking time to process the shock, not of the betrayal of the other person – but how I could get it so wrong, how could I ever trust mySELF again. But I’m getting there…

  3. 7 Cathy February 7, 2012 at 10:56 am

    I agree. Letting things happen just makes everything more exciting as you don’t know what to expect. :)

  4. 9 Darlene Steelman February 7, 2012 at 11:29 am

    I get freaked out when I realize I have no control over something. I just realized this about myself in the last six months. I like this post. maybe letting things just happen is the way to go. After all, I have no control anyway.

    • 10 Nicole | Blue Bicicletta February 8, 2012 at 7:57 am

      Hi Darlene,

      This is a very new realization for me too—the unknown really freaks me out, and often causes me to act really poorly in trying to keep myself safe. Realizing that I can’t most things and also that I have nothing to protect really has come as a huge relief to me. Now if I could only remember these things in the moment! Good luck to you!

  5. 11 Oh God, My Wife Is German February 7, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Great Panajachel post! Thank you for sharing!

    …following your blog…

  6. 12 MJ, Nonstepmom February 7, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Things not meeting expectations really is the root of most disappointment and conflict; accepting things as they are is a great part in finding peace. I’ve learned the hard way that we really dont know what the next hour brings……

    • 13 Nicole | Blue Bicicletta February 8, 2012 at 8:01 am

      Hello MJ,

      I totally agree with you that the root of most disappointment and conflict is that reality and our expectations are not meeting up. Keeping an open mind and accepting things as they are is very much the road to peace. I’m just beginning to learn this, and for me too it has come by a harder way than probably necessary, but I’m hopeful that there continue to be more and more chances to learn this important lesson. Thanks so much for your comment!

  7. 14 fromlifeidletolifefantastic February 7, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Thank you for sharing that; great post. I have been trying to do something similar lately. I had to realize I could not control everything in my life and that freaked me out. I had to come to the conclusion that I couldn’t change some things and could only deal with the emotions I could handle. Everything else is left to fate I suppose. I am much more relaxed and happy. I have also been told I am much more pleasant to be around lately as I am not in constant stress.

    • 15 Nicole | Blue Bicicletta February 8, 2012 at 8:03 am

      Oh from life, thank you so much for your comment! I’ve been going through much the same process—realizing that all I have control over is what’s happening inside me, or rather, how I react/respond to what’s happening inside me. I used to be a pretty quick-tempered, stressed out, easily snapping type of person. I’m slowly learning how to be more peaceful and realize what’s happening in me in the moment. Good luck to you on your journey!

  8. 17 pixelnotation February 7, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Nice post:) I think we’re taught to not live in the moment and worry about the future. This is damaging especially in creative mediums such as art ,music, film, writing, and so on. We’re worried about what the outcome will be and what people’s reactions are. If you stay focused on the now, focus on what you believe in and pour your heart into it …that’s what counts. It’s an added bonus if people like it too.

    • 18 Nicole | Blue Bicicletta February 8, 2012 at 8:06 am

      Dear pixelnotation,

      You are so right—we live in a very future-geared society, and it’s especially hard to be a creative maker with this future mentality because making art is so much about being present. I like what you wrote about pouring your heart into the work. I agree that this is the whole point—let’s all pour our hearts not only into our work, but also into our lives. What a beautiful world we would live in if everyone did that!

  9. 19 nicmaybe February 7, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I’m currently working on some changes in my life and what’s worrying me the most about this is not knowing where it’s going to take me. I have a lot of great ideas in my mind and the only thing keeping me from putting them into action is fear. I guess I could use some Don’t-know mind.

    • 20 Nicole | Blue Bicicletta February 8, 2012 at 8:11 am

      Hello nicmaybe,
      thanks so much for your comment! Oh, fear is an old friend of mine—it is always at my back or by my side, and often comes along holding hands with the unknown. I find that recognizing that fear is just coming from thoughts and stories I’m spinning in my head helps—that helps me to realize that it’s not real. And then sometimes when I’m really in deep, all I can do is just put the fear to one side and get my bottom in a chair and do some work. I always find that once I’ve gotten started the fear will often go away on its own (especially if I find just one small piece to start on). I wish you much kindness and patience towards yourself, and lots of small steps along the way! Have you heard of the life coach Michael Neill? He talks very much about this in his work and has a real practical and insightful attitude. You can find out more about him at I love love love his work and listening to his weekly radio show and reading some of his books has really helped me!

  10. 21 aFrankAngle February 7, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    .. and a joyous and peaceful day to you. Thanks for sharing

  11. 22 rmv February 7, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    makes a lot more sense than hearing “i guess it was/wasn’t meant to be.”

    i hate when people say that.

  12. 24 Constance V. Walden February 7, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Interesting blog. Every day, Jesus is the first person I think of and the last person I think about when I close my eyes for the night. With me, it’s Jesus all the time, since it’s from Him my life derives. He’s in my heart and soul. He’s my life changer. Through Him, I’ve grown closer to God and have found unsurpassed peace. Connie

  13. 29 gaycarboys February 7, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    It’s good to know we are not on our own and that others have been through the same things

    • 30 Nicole | Blue Bicicletta February 8, 2012 at 8:15 am

      I totally agree! I think it is the most encouraging thing to realize we’re all going through the same thing—we’re all trying to figure out how to be happy and stop driving ourselves crazy! Thanks so much for your comment!

  14. 31 microwavemeditations February 7, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    I wish you all the very best in cultivating don’t know mind. A daily practice is the best way to get this going in your life. Our blog site invites people to stop by, pick up the practice of the week and work with it. There’ll be a new one each Monday, with a mid-week check in on Thursdays. Please feel free to use us as a resource to support your unfolding don’t know mind. All the best, Margaret

  15. 33 cabinorganic February 7, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Hello :)
    Loved the post! I also love Jack Kornfield but have not yet read “The Wise Heart”. I find his writings very easy to read and understand. Thank you for sharing! I also strive for ‘don’t know mind’ each day. Have you read Suzuki Roshi’s “Zen Mind, Beginner Mind”? It is also along the same lines and I find it very inspiring…

    • 34 Nicole | Blue Bicicletta February 8, 2012 at 8:18 am

      Hi Delena,

      I totally agree–Kornfield is so easy to read and understand! I have not read “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind”—I will have to look for that book—it sounds right up my alley! Good luck to you with your adventures in Buddhism and don’t-know mind!

  16. 35 catlj88 February 7, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Great post – I really like that concept.

  17. 37 Cheryl February 7, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    Love the art. It’s a perfect Don’t Know Mind, even if you didn’t mean it to be! Beautifully written account of your experience with Jack Kornfield’s work. Thanks for taking the time to include the excerpt. I spent the past year learning to let go of many things, including the future. Buddhist teachings have been incredibly helpful on my path to serenity.

    • 38 Nicole | Blue Bicicletta February 8, 2012 at 8:21 am

      Dear Cheryl,

      I’m so glad you liked my little painting—often I find that even if I’m not intending it, the art I’m making aligns with the thoughts I’m thinking and reading about. It’s funny how that happens. I find much solace and help in Buddhist teachings also—they really seem to cut through to the truth and apply to everything that we struggle with.

  18. 39 Karen February 7, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Not just “Like”, LOVE! Thank you.

  19. 41 Grumpa Joe February 7, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    What ever will be will be.

  20. 44 stephanielouden February 7, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    P.S. I really need help working on my blog, I have no idea how to use this thing anyway you could give me some hints?!

  21. 45 dawnestrehl February 7, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    I wish I could let go like that…my life would be so easy, I can assure you. (:^) Good article!

    • 46 Nicole | Blue Bicicletta February 8, 2012 at 8:29 am

      Hi Dawn,

      Thanks so much for your comment! I also find it hard to let go but am finding that the more I start looking inward and seeing that the craziness is all in my head I’m able to see how to let go! I wish you so much kindness and patience towards yourself in learning to let go!

  22. 47 Amira February 7, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    This would be so amazing to acheive

    • 48 Nicole | Blue Bicicletta February 8, 2012 at 8:31 am

      Hello Amira, thanks so much for your comment! I agree that it would be so amazing to live in this mind always! Luckily you can choose it in the moment and unfortunately you have to keep choosing it over and over! Ah the paradox! good luck to you!

  23. 49 Sandra Pawula February 7, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    This is the ultimate point of meditation, isn’t it! It would be quite amazing. It seems we can begin in every moment.

    • 50 Nicole | Blue Bicicletta February 8, 2012 at 8:32 am

      Oh amen Sandra! I totally agree–we can begin again in every moment. This is the ultimate gift I am learning from meditation. Sometimes it’s so frustrating to realize that you have to keep working at it every moment, but then that’s the ultimate liberation too—that you can choose it or open to it in any moment. Thanks so much for your comment!

  24. 51 princedapace February 7, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    this is so helpful, I have gained a lot from this post, thanks and remain blessed.

  25. 54 shecyclesnairobi February 7, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    Be still in the knowledge of now. Nice post!

  26. 57 7theaven February 8, 2012 at 3:17 am

    Another cheers to now. Great post!

  27. 58 Sehrish Batool February 8, 2012 at 3:49 am

    I do agree with the post. Letting things happen develops courage in you to accept harsh circumstances……..

  28. 61 Jamie February 8, 2012 at 5:49 am

    Lovely post, so heartfelt! Sounds like a book I would enjoy. Pena Chodron might be another author you would enjoy. For me, I gain this mindset from my yoga practice. Have you tried it?

    • 62 Nicole | Blue Bicicletta February 8, 2012 at 8:24 am

      Hi Jamie,

      I also love Pema Chodron’s work! She’s great, and like Jack Kornfield she really writes in a way that’s easy to relate to and understand. I have tried yoga and very much enjoy it as well and agree that it also has this feeling of being in the moment and accepting life for what it is. Thanks so much fo your comment!

  29. 63 ashangel88 February 8, 2012 at 8:08 am

    Wonderful post and this was exactly the situation i had been trying to struggle through – to control the happenings in my life. All i got was the other way round and i felt too helpless. But then, i happened to meet a psychologist and she told me this prayer:

    God grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change;
    courage to change the things I can;
    and wisdom to know the difference.

    Now, i go with the flow !!!!!

  30. 65 Smaktakula February 8, 2012 at 9:20 am

    Great post. I’ve read Kornfield’s ‘Meditation for Beginners’ and it was a real eye-opener (or closer, depending on how you look at it).

  31. 67 unityandequality February 8, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Lovely true post! the Not Knowing Mind.. i just wish more People, instead of always Knowing? Realized that Even in Nothing? there is Something..xx

  32. 69 Alternative Aging Fitness and Wellness February 8, 2012 at 10:07 am

    I really enjoyed this post. I, too, have been interested in Buddhism and psychology for several years. Thankfully, I was introduced to “don’t know mind” through Zen meditation, particularly from students of Zen Master Seung Sahn’s lineage. One piece of advice I can give to others regarding mindfulness is to practice, practice, practice. Practice this “don’t know mind” ceaselessly and all things fall into place. Mindfulness is perhaps the most important way that we can change ourselves for the better and begin to find the inner peace that is our birthright. Also, I would add that one should beware attachment to the idea and concept of mindfulness (which I have certainly been “guilty” of) — just be mindful, just “be.” If you start attaching to the idea of becoming this great mindful sage or Buddha and that your mind must always be clear in order to obtain enlightenment, then you’ve lost it and are distracted. By thinking that way, you have just started creating expectations and judgments about being mindful! Rather, just be here and now and hold “don’t know mind.” check out 2:40 – 3:45

    • 70 Nicole | Blue Bicicletta February 9, 2012 at 8:29 am

      Thank you for this so insightful comment! I think you’re so right on every point. I have also been guilty of getting attached to mindfulness and peace. One thing I’ve learned through practicing mindfulness is that I/we are constantly wanting to grasp at anything. And practice, practice, practice is definitely the way! Good luck to you and thanks so much for your insight!

  33. 72 bladenomics February 8, 2012 at 11:11 am

    I ve been wanting to read a book on Buddism too. But appears there are too many subdivisions of the religion so I put it aside. Being Hindu, I went through a phase some time back looking for a “single god” or single source of spirituality. Then I gave up. Might try this book.

  34. 74 katemadison365 February 8, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Before writing this comment, I found a copy of his book online and purchased it and now I sit anxiously awaiting its arrival. And as odd as this will sound, I would love to simply hug you all the while repeat, “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for this gift!” We each struggled with an issue or issues and it seems many of us, myself included, have such a hard time letting go, and this book sounds as if it’ll be a tremendous help. So again, thank you.

    • 75 Nicole | Blue Bicicletta February 9, 2012 at 8:33 am

      Dear Kate, Thanks so much for your comment! I’m so glad that my post inspired you and that you will be reading this book! I completely loved this book—it was like having a sage friend whispering to me the entire time I read it. I hope it gets to you soon and gives you some rays of peace!

  35. 76 gamerankman February 8, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Wow, great post, great painting, i really look up to bloggers like you, i have just started my blog and aspire to be like you

  36. 77 spacetosimplify February 8, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Thank you for sharing this lovely excerpt. Like several previous commentors, I am unsettled by uncertainty and feel the need to think about and control my future self and life. Right now I’m very much in a place of uncertainty with my job/vocation as well as my living situation, so it is reassuring to remember to breathe, relax, and just be in what is.

    Your little painting is lovely as well. I do mini paintings/drawing/collage myself and am often too self deprecating regarding my creative self to think about posting them, but maybe I will soon thanks to your inspiration!

    • 78 Nicole | Blue Bicicletta February 9, 2012 at 8:35 am

      Dear Lauren, thanks so much for your comment! I’m so glad this post helped you find a little peace. From reading this book and looking around me (and now reading responses to this post) I realize more than ever how we all struggle with uncertainty. I find this comforting—to know I’m not alone. I wish you all the best in finding your way, and know that I too am over here finding my own way through too!

  37. 79 rococonnor February 8, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    In my meditation today, hit this very same thing – the unmeasured fear of the future manifestation of something that may or may not occur but arising from a slight, brief sensation of the moment… mind gone mad… brought back to centred calm by focusing on the breath.
    Will try this meditation, and blog it. x

    • 80 Nicole | Blue Bicicletta February 9, 2012 at 8:37 am

      Thanks so much for your comment Roisin! I love your description of what happened in your meditation today! It is so real and true. I find it comforting to begin to understand how we can always come back to the breath the moment we realize it’s just your mind gone mad.

  38. 81 Sarah Harris February 8, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Ooh I am totally looking for this book tonight!
    Thanks for sharing, love the paining and congrats on being freshly pressed!

    • 82 Nicole | Blue Bicicletta February 9, 2012 at 8:39 am

      Hi Sarah, Thanks so much for your comment! I found a copy of this book at my public library so take a look there if you’re a library go-er. I hope it opens up a bit of peace for you! Thanks for the congrats! I’m so glad to connect with all of you who saw my blog on wordpress!

  39. 83 The Silent Spectator February 8, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Thanks for sharing. I’ve always been trying to live that way too. It’s not easy to live when you don’t know what’s lying ahead of you, but that’s just the way life works, and we have to live with it. We just can’t control everything.

  40. 86 The Devil You Know February 8, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    As I am working very hard to keep my own, once very successful, business from going belly up and every day is filled with way more uncertainty than I am comfortable with, I feel it was no coincidence that I found your blog post today.

    I think it worthwhile to add that ‘don’t know-mind’ is really the only way to be because, no matter how calm and under control things may seem to be, there actually is no certainty in the continuation of anything from one day to the next. Every morning we wake up and have no idea what’s coming our way.

    The only option is to embrace whatever the universe has in store for us.

    • 87 Nicole | Blue Bicicletta February 9, 2012 at 3:16 pm

      Hello Devil you Know—You are so right! I am trying to learn this myself—I think sometimes we come upon the idea of letting go and letting be when we’re struggling, but it’s equally as important when things are going well—to learn that everything changes is the key to peace, and it is the biggest truth of life. Thanks so much for your insightful comment!

  41. 88 Frederique February 8, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Great blog and simple layout – love it!

  42. 89 tx27 February 8, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    I’m going to have to read that book, took a note of it. For a religion, buddhism seems to me to be very much concerned with the way of day-to-day living, rather than concentration on pleasing an existing/non-existing diety. Very few other religions seem to be able to help deal with day to day struggles without always pushing the idea of “the grand scheme of things,” and this quote here is a prime example of what it all should be like, in my opinion.

    • 90 Nicole | Blue Bicicletta February 9, 2012 at 3:17 pm

      Thanks for your comment tx27—and you hit upon exactly what I love about Buddhism—it’s so practical and deals with exactly what’s happening in life and what we struggle with. I love that about it—it really can help you understand how to live a beautiful, peaceful, kind life.

  43. 91 the777man February 8, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    I loved this! I have read a few books on Budhism, although not this one. I will have to pick it up. One that really helped me was “Radical Forgiveness”. It is not just about Radically Forgiving others, but Radically Forgiving yourself. I believe I cried through most of the book. I have to say I let a lot of things go, and I still work on that everyday.

    I love the whole non-judgement of all of it. It is through non-judgement that we really start to let go of others and let them be them. That said, there are days that I have to repeat Peace be with YOU, every time I think of my ex-husband. We are all a work in process. Thank you, You gave me an idea to blog about too!

    Peace and Harmony,

    • 92 Nicole | Blue Bicicletta February 9, 2012 at 3:20 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment Sj! I will have to check out Radical Forgiveness. I love the aspect of Buddhism that teaches you need to start with kindness towards yourself, and it all expands from there. One of my favorite mantras similar to “peace be with you” is “may you be free from suffering.” It is hard to wish this always for everyone else (and myself), but I’m working on it! Good luck to you!

  44. 93 Vikki blahs February 8, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    I agree with u, but I suppose in the propensity to let things happen as they are destined, ppl become too lazy to control things to the extent they can do.U have to control as much as u can, nd in that mindset only u can get new ideas,when ur on cross wires, which might be left undiscovered, if u left
    it for god or destiny.There is a thin line.We should properly assess,what is in my hands and what is not prudently.

    • 94 Nicole | Blue Bicicletta February 9, 2012 at 3:23 pm

      Hello Vikki! thanks for your comment and bringing up this very important point. I totally agree: it is a fine line between saying “let go and let God” and using this idea as an excuse to not do what you can. Like the serenity prayer that was posted above, I think it’s all about controlling what you can control (as in: doing your work) and realizing what you can’t control and not wasting your time and energy fretting about it. Good luck to you and thank you for your insight!

  45. 95 rachelmeeks February 8, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    What a beautiful notion. I know that’s something I have a lot of trouble with. Just the beginning of the exercise (think of a time ten years from now) made me stress! I’ll have to try this in earnest, though. Thank you for this wonderful exercise in wellness.

    • 96 Nicole | Blue Bicicletta February 9, 2012 at 3:25 pm

      Hi Rachel! Thanks for your comment! I think this is so hard for all of us! (I know that’s why I wrote this post). I’m glad this gave you a little inspiration and a starting point. I highly recommend the book I mentioned in this post if you’re interested. It’s gentle and amazing and full of revelation. Good luck to you!

  46. 97 ashok z February 8, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    Jack Kornfield is a wonderful teacher. If you have the chance, why don’t you try going on one of his retreats at Spirit Rock?

    Such truth to ‘don’t know mind’, as no matter how certain we can be about things, doubt is always lingering somewhere, waiting for the right moment to cut in and be heard. Don’t know mind sits back calmly, letting go of needing certainty and the doubts it inevitably produces. Open and Spacious…

    Lovely Blog <3

    • 98 Nicole | Blue Bicicletta February 9, 2012 at 3:28 pm

      Hello Ashok—oh, I would love to go to Spirit Rock for a retreat—and wouldn’t you know it—I just moved away from Northern California this past summer before I had the chance. I’ve just recently gotten involved with the Insight Meditation community here in Boulder and am excited to find that there are many meetings and retreats. I look forward though to maybe one day making the trip to Spirit Rock.

      Thanks for your beautiful comment about don’t-know mind. When I think of don’t-know mind, I see in my head a peaceful smiling Buddha looking out on the world. Good luck to you!

  47. 99 Cee February 9, 2012 at 1:02 am

    i’m also starting to live the with the don’t-know-mind. i’ve been trying to control things and be certain with the future. learned a hard lesson.

  48. 101 irunablog February 9, 2012 at 2:45 am

    I think I may have to jump on the don’t-know mind bandwagon. I’m constantly trying to predict outcomes and imagine things the way I think they should turn out and they rarely do turn out the way I think they should. I didn’t know about this until I read your post and it’s a wonderful mindset to have. Definitely going to take it on board (And check out the book) :-)
    Have a lovely day!

    • 102 Nicole | Blue Bicicletta February 10, 2012 at 9:08 am

      Dear Iruna, I too am constantly trying to predict and control outcomes! And what I’ve found is that the bigger the gap between what I want to happen and what happens, the more I suffer. That’s the beautiful thing about don’t-know mind—if you can really let go of outcomes you don’t have to suffer anymore! Good luck to you! Thanks so much for your comment!

  49. 103 opheliajasmin February 9, 2012 at 2:45 am

    There was a lovely video of Kabat Zinn – I think he was talking about a monk meditating, (deep breath in) who am I? (deep breath out) Don’t know! It made me laugh and I also thought it was a beautiful concept.

  50. 105 bornbyariver February 9, 2012 at 6:51 am

    Beautiful, thanks for sharing. Letting go always results in greater freedom.

  51. 106 hisflyness1 February 9, 2012 at 9:34 am

    I hate uncertainty but am learning to let go

  52. 107 Sinta Jimenez February 9, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Buddhism influences my work tremendously, I’ll have to check that book out!

  53. 108 Keren V. February 9, 2012 at 10:52 am

    Patience is a virtue I have yet to master!

    • 109 Nicole | Blue Bicicletta February 10, 2012 at 9:11 am

      Keren, I have not yet mastered patience either, and that makes me wonder–maybe you can never “master” it. Maybe you can only rest in it in the moment? Choose it one moment at a time?

      • 110 Keren V. February 10, 2012 at 9:14 am

        Thank you Nicole. That’s very inspirational. I recently finished Graduate School and am in the aimless world of unemployment (much to my chagrin). It is forcing me to learn to fill my idle hours with important tasks and interesting journeys. In fact, it is part of the reason I started my new blog. Thank you for your post, everyone can always use motivation!

  54. 111 gardenhood February 9, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Thank you, so much. What courage it takes to go to not knowing. And what seeds of peace you plant by sharing this in your post.

  55. 113 QD3000 February 9, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    I have just commenced my interactive on-line novel: QD3000. Please have a look and vote.

  56. 114 Meghan February 9, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Congratulations on being freshly pressed – I clicked on your site because I love the header and saw that you are in Boulder which made me super happy. So hello and nice work, from a fellow blogger in Denver!

    Cheers – Meghan

  57. 116 rheabette February 9, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    I really needed this today. I can’t thank you enough for posting it. My yoga teacher has been reading Mr. Kornfield in class but I can’t sink into anything while I have one arm bent unnaturally behind my head, so I needed to just see it written out. I am with you in the not-knowing!

    • 117 Nicole | Blue Bicicletta February 10, 2012 at 9:16 am

      Rheabette, your comment made me laugh—thank YOU for that! I can’t sink into much with one arm bent behind my head either! I’m so glad that my post inspired you! I think you might love this book or any of Kornfield’s work! Have a wonder-filled day!

  58. 118 leoqueensaregreat February 9, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    I am one BIG Control FREAK and I need to stop!! Its draining trying to be on all the time.and you get no extra points from running yourself into the ground. I have been trying lately to live with the line ” It is what it is” but I like this line of thinking better. thanks for the post I’m gonna get the book and try this line of thinking. The not Knowing…I wanna be there.

  59. 120 Helena Weaver February 9, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    It’s just lovely to read this piece of yours…..I love that this awareness of the Don’t Know mind is just spreading through the world now, than goodness – we all so need to realise this truth and it’s not easy – I keep hanging onto the apparent security of Knowing and it’s such an illusion and such a relief everytime I can step out of it into not knowing and resting in the support of a friendly universe! So thank you for spreading peace in the world….and I loved the picture!

    I don’t know Kornfield’s book but another book that I find shifts me into the Don’t Know mind is Byron Katie’s A Thousand Names for Joy – it’s an amazing and exquisite read that gives an insight into how someone who seems to live in Don’t Know mind all the time, sees and experiences every day reality.

    Her method of Inquiry that she calls The Work is a simple way to shift into this awareness simply by asking oneself a few questions about any stressful thought….

    Is it true?
    Can I absolutely know that it’s true?
    How do I react when I believe that thought?
    Who would I be without that thought?

    And turn the thought to its opposite – can you find a specific example of how the opposite of what you thought is as true or truer than the original thought.

    • 121 Nicole | Blue Bicicletta February 10, 2012 at 9:20 am

      Dear Helena, Thank you so much for your comment! I have heard of Byron Katie, but have not read her work—I will have to keep an eye out next time I’m at the library! I think these questions are really transformative—I especially like “who would I be without the thought?” I also love what you say about how “it’s a relief every time you step out into not knowing and the support of the friendly universe.” I feel the same. It’s sometimes very hard to remember, but it is beautiful when it happens, and I hope that through more practice I can go there more frequently! Good luck!

  60. 122 reinaldobanh February 9, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    Reblogged this on reinaldobanh.

  61. 123 jenmaaninamman February 9, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    Great etsy site. Love your illustrations.

  62. 124 Ma Devpriya February 9, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    Hi Nicole,

    Congratulation to you on your appearance on “Freshly Pressed”. This too you would not have known, i am sure:-) Really nice peice of thoughts shared by you. I am reminded here what Master Agyaatdarshan says.. “whether we are are perceiver of new ideas or whether we resonate with one in both the cases you are just the channel.. and use this opportunity for transforming yourself and others if you can.” You did exactly the same and lit up so many minds through your writings… However taking clue from what Ashok just proposed I also opine that only real interactions with revolutionaries and enlightened ones change the inner atmosphere of yours.. words often don’t go that deep. Do fulfill your desire of spending some time with Jack Kornfield.

    Had you been in India, I would have asked you to get in touch with Master AD. He is a living Zen master in whose company so many miracles of light and love happen. I and so many are witness to it. I coordially invite you to feel him at

    with love

    – Devpriya

  63. 125 lovlishaserina February 10, 2012 at 1:42 am

    I love how the painting is simple yet gives off this mysterious but happy feeling. And I guess.. I’ve been thinking about Don’t-know mind too… Like, I always try to picture what would happen in the future and when it doesn’t go as I imagined it, I kind of get disappointed… So this really helped because now I can relax without trying to visualize tomorrow. That’s a great book, I think I’ll try reading it~

    • 126 Nicole | Blue Bicicletta February 10, 2012 at 9:23 am

      Dear lovlishaserina, I’m so happy my post inspired you and that my little painting gave you some light! I’m a big imaginer of the future and I also get disappointed and angry when things don’t turn out how I imagined. It is a relief to have a different way to approach it. Since I read about don’t-know mind, when I find myself starting to spazz out about how things will turn out, I say to myself, “don’t-know mind” and I imagine an open, calm Buddha, and I am able to let go a bit and I feel a whole lot better. Good luck to you! Enjoy the book!

  64. 127 Sushma February 10, 2012 at 2:37 am

    Thank you for this post :)

  65. 128 Paula Ligo February 10, 2012 at 2:53 am

    Such amazing post and very inspirational comments. Thank you for sharing the dont-know-mind exercise, this can help so many people. I am very grateful for having read this today. Namaste!

  66. 130 tenchimouse February 10, 2012 at 3:11 am

    Funny that I ran into and read your blog just as after completing mines. Let go. True. Mahalo!

  67. 131 foal rugs February 10, 2012 at 7:07 am

    I love running into posts like this. I really enjoyed it thank you.

  68. 132 John J. Rigo, Texas' Poet February 10, 2012 at 7:48 am

    This WordPress blog posting was a well chosen “Freshly Pressed.” This past weekend I turned Seventy. One does not go through seventy years of life without some wonderful blessings in their life. In line with this post, over twenty-five years ago, I realized one wonderful afternoon, that I had done a poor job with my life, up to that point. I realized I controlled nothing, except my concept of God. At that point I rendered my future to the hands of God and His Will. To go and do, what He wished for the balance of my life. The first thing he sent me is the wonderful woman I now have been with over twenty years. Every dream I have ever had, He has granted me since that commitment in my life. It was finally, letting Go, and letting God be in charge.

    • 133 Nicole | Blue Bicicletta February 10, 2012 at 9:29 am

      Dear John, thanks so much for your thoughtful comment! When I was first turning back to art (about 4 years ago), one of the biggest ideas that helped me just do it was a concept Julia Cameron shares in her book The Artist’s Way: “let go, and let God.” This concept allowed me to just do my own work and let the universe take care of the rest (and also let my own work be led by the universe).

      It’s funny that it’s taken me this long to understand the concept in a larger capacity, but as you’re story shows, it’s true about everything. I find it comforting when in moments of clarity I realize that all I need to do is show up with a sense of humor and do what I can. Thanks so much for sharing your story and inspiration! Good luck to you!

      • 134 John J. Rigo, Texas' Poet February 10, 2012 at 11:22 am

        Thank you for your thoughtful response. When I returned to the “Freshly Pressed” site, I noticed your posting was no longer showcased. I returned to the earlier postings to find you. In what you wrote of, was something all of us need to discover in our own lives. I have seen many a “Freshly Pressed” blog stay posted for a long time. Your posted blog on this subject certainly deserved being in the same long playing mode, as some blogs in “Freshly Pressed” selections, that were not as worthy as yours. Definition of “Luck”………. It is when “Organized Preparation Meets Opportunity.” Blessings in your Journey…..John J. Rigo

  69. 135 Pickyourbrains February 11, 2012 at 6:15 am

    Cool graph, and great way to put it in words! Thanks for sharing

  70. 136 daynakristine February 12, 2012 at 5:30 am

    What a wonderful post! I never really know, but I want the peace of knowing the outcome so bad that I let anxiety control me. This is a powerful lesson! Thank you for showing this tidbit of peace to me, I needed it so much! :)

  71. 137 flats in bangalore February 13, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    What an amazing post…mixture of good contents, great thoughts, positive attitude….it’s so inspiring for everyone…we could learn so much things from this post…one thing i can say is only THANKS and Thanks so much for sharing this with us…!!!
    I’m so glad that this post will give us a new perspective!!!!

  72. 138 2BHK flats in bangalore February 18, 2012 at 3:56 am

    really we even do not know our mind, how much it can think or create? Nice painting and superb coloring.

  73. 139 sallystoma February 20, 2012 at 9:50 am

    After struggling for a long time with a life changing disease, I finally decided enough was enough. I’d spent too long planning my life and being disappointed when my plans were scarpered with hospital visits, being sick etc. I came to the conclusion that what ever was going to happen would happen. It’s wonderful to read this article and realise what I’ve been doing myself is something that other people have began to do, because it’s such a peaceful feeling! Will definitely be buying that book! Thank you for such a wonderful read! Please have a read of my blog and my journey which lead to this conclusion. Lovely painting also! – Roisin.

    • 140 Nicole | Blue Bicicletta February 20, 2012 at 10:01 am

      Hi Roisin, Thanks so much for your comment! I’m so glad you have found your way to some sense of peace! It seems so often that when something life-shattering like illness happens to us, that we find a way to peace. I wish that we could all find our way without such struggle, but I’m so happy that you have found your way there now. Good luck to you!

  74. 142 Parallel Galaxy February 23, 2012 at 7:21 am

    We all need to learn how to live in uncertainty. Great post!

  75. 143 kboehnlein March 6, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    What a great philosophy! Thank you for sharing :-)

  76. 146 iyengar yoga chico February 5, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Today, I went to the beach front with my children. I found a sea shell and
    gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her ear
    and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I
    had to tell someone!

  1. 1 The Place of No Resolution « blue bicicletta Trackback on February 13, 2012 at 9:20 am
  2. 2 Healing and Teachers… Wake Up Festival « Namaste Consulting Inc. Trackback on March 1, 2012 at 8:52 pm
  3. 3 10 minutes can make you happier | It's OK Because... Trackback on December 5, 2012 at 11:29 am

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Hello there! My name is Nicole K. Docimo, and I am an artist and writer from the U.S.A. but currently residing in Zurich, Switzerand. Thank you for visiting my blog!

Some Thoughts

"Be thirsty for the ultimate water,
and then be ready for what will
come pouring from the spring."

{from "Joy at Sudden Disappointment"
translated by C. Barks.}

~This Work ~

Unless otherwise noted, all images and writings on this blog were created by me, Nicole K. Docimo aka Blue Bicicletta. If you would like to share anything you see here for inspirational purposes online, I just ask that you kindly let folks know where you found it. If you are wanting to share/reproduce any of my work in any other way, or have any questions about how you will be sharing the work in relation to copyright, please contact me directly at nkdocimo {at} gmail {dot} com. Thanks!

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