Posts Tagged ‘beginner’s mind’

Today, I wish to share a quote in simple celebration of “stupid questions”. When you don’t know what more experienced people have already established as “fact”, sometimes you can find out ways to get places they’d ignored as “impossible”.

In the context of deeply entrenched problems that many people have given up on, it helps to not have a traditional framework so you can ask the naïve questions. That can help you set goals that more experienced people wouldn’t think are feasible.

– Wendy Kopp

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There was a piece of advice on my calendar last Friday that I saw again fresh this morning when I went to turn the page. It’s good advice, if you get what it’s trying to say:

See as if for the first time a beautiful person or an ordinary object.
– Shiva

Lately I’ve caught myself unconsciously judging again. For some reason I’ve become quite aware of all my judgements and feelings about a thing when I look at it — for example, right now I see my sweater, and I have a quick rush of “I love that sweater. It’s so freaking cold in here. It’s a travesty we have to wear two layers of sweaters in the summer.” Each sight we see or sound we hear can bring in a whole rush of ideas and images and feelings that really aren’t about that exact sight or sound, just what we’ve come to associate with it.

While this is all a great survival technique, it can get in the way of living. When we’re distracted by our past experiences and expectations, we miss something about what’s there in front of us right now. We’ll miss subtle changes, and we can also lose sight of freshness and insights. It all becomes a big subconscious habit that keeps us from being spontaneous and free.

So yeah, I’m going back to practicing seeing things and quieting the flood of judgement, instead trying to get a fresh first impression. Already I’m feeling it, like a little bit of weight from the past is lifting away.

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