Beginner’s Mind

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.”

“The more advanced you are in spiritual consciousness, the more you experience the “present” in the Beginners Mind.”

I have heard this expression, “Beginner’s Mind,” before and this week it has come up several more times in very different conversations. When a concept comes up several times in different situations… perhaps you should pay attention because the Universe is trying to tell you something. For me, this means writing about it and attempting to be more conscious regarding this concept and how I may want to apply it.

What is “Beginner’s Mind?”
Wikipedia defines “Beginner Mind” by first giving it it’s Zen name, “Shoshin”:
Shoshin (初心) is a concept in Zen Buddhism meaning “beginner’s mind”. It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would. The term is especially used in the study of Zen Buddhism and Japanese martial arts.

The phrase is also used in the title of the book Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by the Zen teacher Shunryu Suzuki, who says the following about the correct approach to Zen practice:
“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.”

Well, this article is an attempt to explore not only what it might mean but why it has value.
My sage spiritual mentor, Rodger, threw out words like:
Be open
Nonjudgmental to new information and experiences
Be Curious
Be “Present” (not distracted or too busy to see the forest from the trees…)

New experiences, information, relationships, thoughts, guidance, epiphanies, insights, revelations, feelings, knowings, “remembering” concepts, etc … all come to people who are open, curious, ready for more input into their lives and their consciousness. But, do you judge and look for flaws or weaknesses, or places for disagreement or are you more curious? Do you have a more rigid view of the world where new thoughts or experiences are NOT trusted and dismissed because these do not fit with what you already know or believe? Are these new experiences contrary to what you think, know or feel? Are you fearful because these are new and different or do you celebrate the exciting fresh possibilities?

Do you look at a new person you meet and ask about them and what they are most passionate about? Or, do you find them to be competitors for attention and you attempt to find ways to disqualify these new characters who are joining your “drama?”

“Beginner’s Mind” is not, just, for beginners. It is for every advanced “consciousness seeker” who has the innocence to experience insights and who can be open for moments of intense spiritual awakening. (Perhaps, we should all strive for this way of gathering our spiritual development.

Tip: Observe a young innocent child of 2 or 3 or perhaps 4 years of age as they react to a new object in their world. (It could be a new skill such as talking or walking or running or using a slide in the park.) Observe their excitement and wonderment as they explore the new point of focus. They may be filled with joy, and showing it. They are definitely “present” and engaged. This is how we can choose to be when we are walking through life. This is the manifestation of the most curious Beginner’s Mind…

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One thought restated:
Do you remember when you were a young child in this lifetime and you found the joy, the delight, and the wonderment in each new object or skill you discovered? This can be the way you experience each day, each new occurrence, and each new person who falls into your life. The power of the “Beginners Mind” is found in the joy of each new experience, each new learning, each new developing consciousness, or most importantly, each new “Remembering” of your Divine Wisdom that you find within your soul/spirit.

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