The Wonders Of A Beginner's Mind (Zen)

A lot of joy can be found if only people lived with a zen state of mind. The philosophy behind this practice is pretty simple: you are looking at old problems with fresh eyes. It is like embracing the concept of a beginner's mind. You always look at things and situations as if it were the first time you encountered them.

What Does It Mean To Have A Beginner's Mind? 

To have a beginner's mind is defined as having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and the lack of preconceived notions about the subject matter at hand. When you already know practically everything about it, a beginner's mind can provide you with fresh eyes to see beyond what you've always been used to. 

Having an attitude of a beginner is healthy and beneficial most of the time. Oftentimes, when people become knowledgeable within a specific field or area, they often overlook things. Because they believe they are already experts, they are blinded, so it becomes challenging to look at the subject from a whole new perspective. 

Why Is It Called A Beginner's Mind? 

The perfect example of this theory is how a child looks at her environment for the first time. A child at a young age often experiences things for the first time. Because of that, this mindset comes with eagerness, wonder, and openness to discover more about the world before them. 

What does it mean to take this thinking to an adult mind? It is about learning to let go of what we think we know about the situation. What you have been taught of all these years will take the back seat.

The idea behind embracing the beginner's mind is for you to be more open to possibilities. 

This, however, does not mean that you should forget about everything you know. Rather, it is about allowing yourself to be more open to new ideas. A beginner's mind will remind you that there is always something new you can learn. 

Why A New Mindset Matters

What's the point of adopting the beginner's mind? The philosophy that it follows will make you temporarily let go of all the ideas that you have already learned. What you know about the world does not matter. 

You will be much like a life beginner. 

With this mindset, you can approach the situation with an entirely new perspective, and you'll have that childlike sense of wonder within you. 

This is the kind of attitude that will separate "expertise" from what you have always believed as "intelligence."

Why Does This New Mindset Matter? 

When you practice the beginner's mind, you are embodying the zen state of mind. Because of this, you'll be able to experience the following.

Better experiences

Because your judgments are currently clouded with fantasies, preconceived notions, or pre-judgments, you always assume how things are going to be. When you let go of all these, you won't have to be frustrated or disappointed. There won't be a fantasy or preoccupation to compare it to.

Better relationships

If you are trying to build a relationship with someone, with fresh eyes, you won't be disappointed by them even when they are not meeting what you thought was ideal. Instead, you will look at them with fresh eyes and take notice of their good intentions. Hopefully, you can make the relationship last.

Less procrastination

If you have been delaying a task, a beginner's mind will help see you through. You will worry less about how the task will turn out. That feeling will then be replaced by curiosity. You will be fueled to take on the task with a fresh new perspective instead of trying to get away from your responsibilities. 

Less anxiety

If you are anxious about an upcoming event, instead of worrying, you can look at it with fresh eyes. Give in to what feeds your curiosity. Embrace the things that you don't know anything about. Find gratitude in every moment when you can learn something new. 

The practice of a beginner's mind can turn any everyday activity into something worth pursuing. You won't worry about the difficulties anymore. It will teach you flexibility, openness, curiosity, and mindfulness. 

Tips To Claim A Beginner's Mind As Your Own

Many people who are working on changing their mindsets take on a yoga mindset as it helps them become more mindful. What does it take to embrace the yoga mindset? How do you teach yourself to be more open to possibilities and to let go of the judgments?

Live in the moment

Stop thinking about the past. It does not matter now. Live in the moment. You'll see that the present has so much more to give. 

Play pretend

Look into an experience as if it was your first time. Become childlike in your learning. 

Focus on asking

The answers to your questions will come. But first, focus on asking the right questions. Remember that you have to ask if you know anything. That's the only time you get to learn something new. 

Try new things

What is better than being familiar with something? It is about knowing that you can defamiliarize it to gain a new perspective. The old one may be working, but learning a new one is definitely one for the books. 

Shut down the critical mind

Refrain from judging yourself. Remember that you are just exploring. There is no right or wrong direction. How you take on the new lessons is what will take you to do what is right. 

Take on the challenge

Be the devil's advocate. Challenge yourself. Never settle for what you already know. Try to think of the positive view of things. Instead of worrying, have fun. 

Cultivating a beginner's mind will help you be more mindful of what you do. It will help you improve the way you think and see things. Creativity and an open mind will fuel your desire to learn more. 

Take on the beginner's mind, and you'll see. The next time it feels like you are stuck, get out, and then come back with fresh eyes. 

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