It ain't magic!
There can be great pleasure in sailing a smallish boat with a simple sail rig. But it doesn't happen by magic. And the same sort of thing can happen when paddling a canoe or kayak.
Here is how it seems to work: your boat or canoe is relatively small--canoes always are--and therefore light. You steer it with a simple tiller or tiller extension. You control the sail with just one 'sheet.' (There may be some minor other controls that can mostly be 'set-and-forget.')
You position yourself comfortably (being comfortable is important, as we will investigate later).
With a bit of practice and familiarization you learn to feel every motion of the boat, to sense the pressure on the tiller, and the tug of the sail on the sheet. And then 'simplicity' sneaks in. While you pay attention to the wind and water (with sight, hearing, feel), sailing starts to become somewhat autonomous. Your hands make small adjustments almost without conscious thought.You can devote your mind to the world at large, sing songs, write poetry or a great novel, all without deserting your obligations for ship handling because you have assimilated many of the tasks that are needed, made them a part of your being, not just a conscious list of details. And then if a gust threatens, you snap to a higher level of focus.
Of course, some of this can happen on a larger boat with greater weight, more sails, more strings to pull, and perhaps more mechanisms to accommodate. But that requires more, perhaps much more, conscious attention.