The concept of the Beginner’s Mind a/k/a “Shoshin” opens up an idea that is contrary to what most logic would suggest. It suggests that when we blank our minds, freeing ourselves from preconceptions, knowledge, experiences, we become eager to learn from a state allowing limitless possibilities. A great Japanese philosopher, Shunryu Suzuki, stated
“In the beginner’s mind, there are many possibilities,
in the expert’s mind there are few.”
It is a physical activity whereby we rid our thinking of any knowns, events, happenings in our lives, prejudices, preconceptions, that influence how we perceive life and all that it entails, to truly sit back and step into the immediate experience directly in front of us. When we come from Beginner’s Mind, we have freedom to bring in all the newness of being involved in a first time experience.
With an empty mind we are actually open to anything that comes. We allow ourselves to look at it and experience whatever the newness is, whether a person or an idea or a thought, with a blank slate. This opens us up to the many possibilities that we would not entertain without the Beginner’s Mind. Our path to greater understanding and enlightenment is thus enhanced. Why? Because how we view the world is readily influenced by all the experiences we have had in our lives. We have many preconceptions, pre-judgments, and expectations on “how things should be”, so when we look at any new person, activity, event, conversation, we bring all of those things to the table. Blank slate allows us to truly leave them behind and thus, reach a greater level of engagement in any conversation and a greater opportunity for expanding our knowledge and understanding of this world and of other people.
My suggestion is to truly take it on. Practice before you actually “take it public” but it is truly enlightening, not unlike many of the Eastern practices. You will grow and you will start seeing yourself in a different light. I suggest the person you find will be a person you love more upon having an enlightened discussion than the one you think you know today. And you will truly enhance your relationships with people you know as well as those you begin a new relationship with which will greatly enhance your opportunities and the results you create in this world.