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Old 04-03-2014, 11:08 AM   #9
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,182
Re: The Beginner's Mind

David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Your "huh" made me reread the original post. While the phrase "beginner's mind" is fairly common in the martial arts, people seem to use it to refer to different things. Mostly people seem to mean a resolution to not make assumptions or to assume that you know something. Then there's "making each moment fresh" taught in Buddhism, which IMO will take care of any assumptions you may have. Some people try to manifest "beginner's mind" with a kind of false modesty ("Oh, I've ONLY been training thirty years, I know nothing!"). And then, when Mark asks "how you manage to keep going", I think that for some "beginner's mind" is equated with the enthusiasm and inspiration they felt when they first started training. I don't think you get to keep that latter type of "beginner's mind". You can still be enthusiastic and inspired even if you're not a beginner, but it's qualitatively different, and it's not constant. Someone who has been training for a month can easily speak of the endless enthusiasm that has inspired them "the whole time I've been training", but when "the whole time" gets to be years and years, it's not reasonable to expect that special state of mind to always be there. You keep going by not expecting it, and not trying to get it back. You can cultivate "beginner's mind" in the sense of learning skills, and you can cultivate it in the Buddhist sense, but as regards the emotional "falling in love" high, you're not a newbie any more, and you're not going to feel like one.
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