Parable: Did You Hear the Bird Sing?

The disciple was always complaining
to his master, “You are hiding
the final secret of Zen from me.” And
he would not accept the Master’s denials.

One day they were walking in the hills
when they heard a bird sing.

“Did you hear that bird sing?” said
the master.

“Yes,” said the disciple.

“Well, now you know that I have hidden
nothing from you.”


If you really heard a bird sing, if you really saw a tree…
you would know. Beyond words and concepts.

What was that you said? You have heard dozens of birds
sing and dozens of trees? Ah, was it the tree you
saw or the label? If you look at the tree and see the tree, you have really not seen the tree. When you look at the tree and see a miracle–then, at last, you have seen!
Did your heart never fill with wordless wonder when you heard a bird in song?

The Song of the Bird – Anthony De Mello


This is the awareness that we as humans need to re-discover in our hearts. It is not something that is cultivated, because to strive for something is to become, and why become something you already are? You, yourself are that miracle of the bird singing or the tree. Your True Nature is full of this wonder. You are the sunset, and You are the awe of a great vast valley. Yet you are none of these. You cannot be labeled, you are not the label, and you are not the programming. Be Aware, Be Awake. Be aware of that unconditional love of the tree or of the song of the bird and you will re-discover your own True Nature, the thing that you thought you were missing. Love goes out to you like the song of the bird. We do not capture Love, but we merely discover it within us, it has always been there, it does not come from anything external. Just Look…


Nick Myers, a 28 year old serial blogger. Also minimalist, zen participant, philosopher, author of Emotional Alchemist, and tea disciple. I am one who sees a potential lesson in every experience in life. Life is who we are and life is our ultimate guru. I seek to bring us together through our own shared experiences. And hope to not only learn deeply who I am but to learn deeply who others are by dropping my ideas from moment to moment about you.

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2 comments on “Parable: Did You Hear the Bird Sing?
  1. chamblee54 says:

    Thank you for the kind words at the other blog. If I had only waited a few minutes, and been lucky, I could have been comment 666.
    As for your story today…I see people outside all the time, walking, jogging, and riding bicycles. One spring day, I was marveling at the singing of the birds, and noticed that EVERYONE I passed had earplugs in, listening to canned entertainment. They did not hear the birds.

  2. […] said “Forgive them Father, they know not what they do”. This bit of hypocrisy did generate a reply. Ah a breathe of fresh air. here is a One Minute Wisdom from Anthony De Mello to go along with […]

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