Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind
- Personal Development
- Ashto =
- Jonesy =
What You Will Learn from Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind
In this week’s podcast episode, Ashto and Jonesy explore the timeless wisdom of Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, a classic book on Zen Buddhism written by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. This episode delves into the fundamental question of what is more important in life – is it about making a million dollars, or finding meaning in our efforts to be successful? Suzuki Roshi’s teachings on zazen, posture, breathing, and perception of nonduality provide a clear and joyful path towards self-discovery and inner peace. A highly recommended read for seekers on the zen path, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind continues to inspire and guide a new generation of spiritual seekers.
Unlocking the Power of the Beginner’s Mind in Zen Practice
People say that practicing Zen is difficult, but there is a misunderstanding as to why. It is not difficult because it is hard to sit in the cross-legged position or to attain enlightenment. It is difficult because it is hard to keep our minds pure and our practice pure in its fundamental sense.
In Japan, the phrase Shoshin refers to the beginner’s mind. The goal of practice is to always keep hold of the beginner mindset. It’s generally easy enough to maintain a beginner’s mind the first time you do something because you normally embrace new challenges or practices with a lot of energy and excitement. But the challenge comes once you have been practicing the same thing for one, two, three years, or more. Although you may improve a little, you are liable to lose the limitless meaning of the original mind.
In Zen, being dualistic is not desirable. Instead, the emphasis is placed on our “original mind”, which is all-encompassing and self-sufficient. It is crucial to maintain this self-sufficient state of mind, which is not to be confused with a closed mind. When the mind is empty, it is always prepared for anything, and possibilities abound. By shedding thoughts of self and achievement, we become true beginners and open ourselves to real learning. As the saying goes, in the beginner’s mind, there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind, there are few.
Dogen-Zenji, the founder of Zen Buddhism, emphasised the importance of reconnecting with our boundless original mind to stay true to ourselves and practice compassion towards all beings. Maintaining a beginner’s mind is challenging, but it is essential. It is crucial not to fall into the trap of believing that we have already attained enlightenment or that we know what Zen is.
Conclusion of Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind
The key to mastering any art is to always maintain a beginner’s mind. This is especially true in Zen practice, where the beginner’s mind is considered a secret to unlocking the full potential of the practice.
In life, we often debate what is more important: achieving success or finding meaning in the pursuit of success. Similarly, in Zen practice, we may ask ourselves whether the goal of attaining enlightenment or the process of striving towards enlightenment is more important. The answer to these questions is not a simple one and requires a deep understanding of oneself and one’s motivations.
If you do not know the answer, you will not even be able to practice Zazen. if you do know the answer, then you may have found the true treasure of life.