Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Beginners Mind

This week in my personal practice I have been working with a beginners mind. Every time I place my hands on the mat, squeeze my legs, lift my rib cage, breath... I imagine I am doing it as a beginner. After practicing for so many years it can be a habit to just move through the motions, actions and poses. With this "expert mindset" I miss so much. And although I have probably done over 10,000 second warrior poses, not one of them has felt identical to the other. Although my clever mind tells I've been there, done that so instead of paying attention I can tell myself little stories during my practice. But when I use my beginner mind I am in a place of receiving and I can learn so much about myself and this practice.

"In the beginner's mind there is no thought, "I have attained something." All self-centered thoughts limit our vast mind. When we have no thought of achievement, no thought of self, we are true beginners. Then we can really learn something. The beginner's mind is the mind of compassion. When our mind is compassionate, it is boundless. Then we are always true to ourselves, in sympathy with all beings, and can actually practice." Shunryu Suzuki-roshi
"All self-centered thoughts limit our vast mind. When we have no thoughts on achievement, no thoughts of self, we are true beginners. Then we can truly learn something" Shunryu Suzuki-roshi
"Strive to achieve a beginner mentality at all times. Because in the beginners mind all things are possible" Buddhist Teaching
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few." Buddhist Teaching

I taught a yoga class at The Yoga Center yesterday using some of this information. The class was great. Slow moving, the students were very open, and there awareness was present and full of curiosity.

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