Beginner’s Mind

It may sound paradoxical, but we are not trying to become experts or masters of mindfulness, wisdom, or compassion. We want to keep a fresh and vibrant experience of what is forever new: this moment. Suzuki Roshi calls this approach Beginner’s Mind. Think about how vivid and alive new experiences can be –your first visit to a new city or country, your first taste of chocolate pie, your first kiss. With repetition of experiences, we often become less present to this moment. This lack of presence opens the floodgates to the endless thoughts and stories our mind creates. We can practice our stories, but we cannot practice what is endlessly beginning and forever new.
Spirituality is about being vividly alive now, not achieving something. This moment has never happened, and one might say that universe has orchestrated its entire history just to reveal this moment, this awareness, this breath. We let go of the stories, and awaken for the first time in this moment to witness the incredible display of this. There are not even any words for something so fresh and new. And even as we embrace it, it all dissolves into the next revelation of now.
I highly recommend Suzuki Roshi’s book, Zen Mind Beginners Mind. It was one of the first books I read about meditation and presence, and it is one that I return to again and again for inspiration.