Saturday, January 07, 2012

Beginner's Mind

In Saturday Morning Class today, we talked about the principle of cultivating "beginner's mind". It was a rich and thought-provoking discussion because framing ourselves as "beginners" is such a great help in letting go of habitual tendency. Here is an exercise I found that can help:
1. Look around your bedroom and find one object that you have had for a long time -- something that is very familiar to you. It may be a wall hanging, book, plant, or even a piece of clothing. 
2. Sit down somewhere you can view the object you have chosen, close your eyes (if this feels comfortable), and take a few deep breaths. Set your intention to cultivate beginner's mind. 
3. Open you eyes and look at the object you have chosen. Imagine you are from Mars and have never seen anything like it before. Really look at the object without judging it. 
4. Notice the unique qualities of the object. What does it look like? What does it feel like? Where does it catch shadows or reflect light? 
5. Continue to really examine the object. Do you notice anything about it that you hadn't noticed before? 
6. When you are done looking at the object, reflect on this exercise. Did you learn anything new about the object you chose? What would it mean if we were able to approach everything in our lives with beginner's mind? Are there objects, people, or situations that you tend to react to "automatically," as if you already know what they are?
You can find the complete article containing the above exercise right here.

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