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Beginner’s Mind

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

     ~  Shunryu Suzuk:  Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind.

I’ve recently been processing some ponderables going on in my life, and was surprised how often I thought back to old-solutions ~ in a rather knee-jerk manner. (It most always stuns me when I catch myself doing that. Yet I still do it. Geesh!)

Having a “beginner’s mind” means the world (and ‘issues’) is approached and seen through a beginner’s eyes. The term (original word Shoshin), comes from the teachings of Zen Buddhism. It basically means one looks at every situation they are placed in as if it’s the first time seeing it.  Huh.

Curiosity ~ sometimes awe ~ engaging in a playful (not fearful) manner ~ potentialities  ~ inquisitiveness ~ novelty ~ being child-like. Imagining the possibilities. Wow!  Maybe not ‘endless’ ones, yet still, what fun it can be to ‘be silly’ and even brainstorm exaggerations to a situation. Not the usual been-there-done-that reaction;  something new.  And if not exactly ‘new,’ then something thought about before and never tried.  Hmmmm….maybe This time….

When I remember-to-remember to use what I call my Willy-Wonka mind {Depp was good, yet Gene Wilder is still King}, answers and understandings ~ some not contemplated before (as I was unable to see past the blinders of presuppositions) so often flow right on in, in ‘living color’ as it were. Forehead-slappers galore!

Also, what if it’s a same-or-similar-situation recurring (like …oh … a case of mental heartburn after a late-night plate of spicy nachos? You ‘knew not to’ ….. yet……  Ha!)  Beginner’s mind helps cut down the Committee’s shame-and-blame chatter. (Novel idea!)  Makes room for new understandings. New ideas. New solutions. And that includes even applying ‘old’ solutions in new and novel ways.

Embrace the Beginner’s Mind.  If not sure how … go sit in a group of kindergarteners … or 3rd graders. They Know they don’t have all the answers ~ yet they love the fun of creating potential ones. Try not to be inhibited by ‘conventional wisdom’ (or jaded thinking). Or … think about Frank Epperson and the Popsicle;  he was just 11 when he invented it! 

Beginner’s Mind.  Let your’s show you the Way.