Beginner’s Mind

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[Image Description: A mini tableau camping scene with a camper, an overturned grill, and bears!]

On Sunday, while driving in my car, I listened to an episode of the podcast Hidden Brain called You 2.0: Rebel With a Cause. The episode was about people who find themselves breaking rules that need to be broken. This includes people who live with a sense of openness. It allows for shifts in thinking and the cultivation of new possibilities in living and in problem solving. For a portion of the episode, they talked about the concept of Beginner’s Mind.

Beginner’s Mind, or Shoshin, comes from Zen Buddhism. The Zen monk and teacher Shunryu Suzuki says, “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.” When we approach life with a sense of newness, we can learn, grow, and view more possibilities.

Last night, I experienced this in a small but refreshing way. I stepped outside of the house and walked outside around the block, something I’ve done more times than I can count. But this time, I walked the block counter-clockwise instead of my typical clockwise. It wasn’t the first time I had done so, but I hadn’t walked in this direction in a very long time.

And I noticed so many different details in the neighborhood!

My favorite previously unnoticed detail was an adorable, mini tableau camping scene outside of a neighbor’s house.

There’s a lot to notice. We just need to begin again. There are a lot of possibilities.

Renee Roederer

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