A Beginner’s Mind
The “beginner’s mind”
Allows an epiphany
To unfold for us
Everyday allows us to begin anew. Anew in a variety of forms if we open our eyes to the endless possibilities that await us. At times, we think we have to literally go somewhere else to start fresh when all it takes is a mindset shift.
How wonderful it is to have the ongoing wonder of a student or a practitioner entering their field of study for the very first time. When we choose to “clear the clutter” of our minds, we can make room for something even greater. It is in these moments that we see magic for the first time, or we are witness to an exciting and new adventure. Buddha once shared the following — “The mind is everything. What you think you become.” So how novel it is that we approach our day-to-day experience from this realm.
Shoshin is the Zen Buddhist concept of “Beginner’s Mind”. It is deemed as a positive attribute that the individual should strive to cultivate. There have been many books written about this concept and the power behind it. Mary Jaksch of Good Life Zen offered up the following eleven tips on how to develop a Beginner’s Mind:
1. Take one step at a time.
2. Fall down seven times, get up eight times.
3. Use Don’t know mind. Don’t pre-judge.
4. Live without shoulds.
5. Make use of experience. Don’t negate experience, but keep an open mind on how to apply to each new circumstance.
6. Let go of being an expert.
7. Experience the moment fully.
8. Disregard common sense.
9. Discard fear of failure.
10. Use the spirit of enquiry.
11. Focus on questions, not answers.
Clearly, these eleven “ways of being” require some shedding of our past behaviors and take time to cultivate. But even just focusing on one, and allowing it the time to manifest in our lives, can lead us to an epiphany about ourselves that we never may have realized. And therein is the beauty of living.