“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.”
My first blog post for 2018 and in keeping with new beginnings, I think a piece about the Beginners Mind might be appropriate….
How do we remain calm, focused and motivated in 2018? Here’s how, adopt the beginners mind…
The beginner’s mind is a Zen technique that teaches the practitioner to let go of over thinking and controlling situations. By emptying the proverbial cup, aka busy head telling you what is and isn’t good for you, and approaching a task with an open mind, excited to learn, we effectively teach ourselves valuable life skills. However, this takes practice.
The other day I asked a group to try Udhva Dhanurasana – The Upward Bow (or backbend).
‘I can’t do it’ was the immediate response from one participant. He was cheerful about it but definite. I gently reassured him and encouraged him to have another try but this time using some yoga blocks and my support. Using the breath he cleared his head of expectation and just gently lifted and allowed his body to move into the pose. It was a beautiful bow! After relaxing down to the mat he exclaimed ‘I did it!”
I practice yoga on a regular basis because I too can sometimes have the same mindset. Thinking I can’t do something is any easy option. It’s safe but surely makes for a dull life!
‘But how can a backbend help you in life?’ I hear you say
Yoga is a philosophy for life. What you learn and experience on the mat begins to ripple positively into your daily life. That backbend becomes a strong and agile bow encouraging you to see the World from a different perspective. Yoga can be an exciting opportunity to explore that powerful relationship between the mind and the body. Better still, if you are using the yoga blocks for support, you are learning when and how to nurture yourself.
11 ways to develop a beginners mind (goodlifezen.com)
1. Take one step at a time
2. Fall down seven times, get up eight times
3. Use a ‘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 it 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
With a beginner’s mind, you will be more open to possibilities and more creative. You will also form closer bonds with others in your life as they experience your interest in them and your appreciation for their thoughts and ideas.