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Old 03-30-2014, 05:46 AM   #1
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
Location: Wisconsin
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The Beginner's Mind

How many of you are able to keep a Beginner's Mind and trust your own aikido journey?
While I find ways to trust my own aikido journey, the Beginner's Mind is the strongest technique around. I would be interested in hearing the thoughts of others regarding how you manage to keep going.
In gassho,
Mark

- Right combination works wonders -
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Old 03-30-2014, 07:58 AM   #2
PeterR
 
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Re: The Beginner's Mind

When I was a beginner my mind was chaotic. Don't ever want to go back there.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 03-31-2014, 02:48 PM   #3
SeiserL
 
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Re: The Beginner's Mind

When I was a beginner, I was excited and open to learning and having fun.
Never changed.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 03-31-2014, 05:40 PM   #4
NagaBaba
 
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Re: The Beginner's Mind

I have strong doubts that is possible to have beginners mind after few years of practice. Many mental filters have been created and we dont perceive the reality the same way. We can pretend to have one, but in reality, we still have jugdements based on the values developped during practice....

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 04-02-2014, 12:11 AM   #5
Stephen Nichol
Dojo: Aikilife, Canberra
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Re: The Beginner's Mind

Well every time I go to class and my Sensei tells me what needs correcting... again, just like last time... and though it may not need as much correction... it still needs it.. so in that moment I realize how much further I still have yet to go and how much more there is still to learn.

The only way I am not crushed by the weight of that thought is to maintain the enthusiasm of the beginners mind to get through something without drawing a comment for correction from my Sensei because it is no longer needed. Not because she has given up on me!
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Old 04-02-2014, 01:07 PM   #6
dps
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Re: The Beginner's Mind

Quote:
Mark Uttech wrote: View Post
.....the Beginner's Mind is the strongest technique around. I would be interested in hearing the thoughts of others regarding how you manage to keep going.
Mark
Huh?

dps

Last edited by dps : 04-02-2014 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 04-02-2014, 01:15 PM   #7
dps
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Re: The Beginner's Mind

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Huh?

dps
That was the first thing I said about the first lesson I learned in Aikido.
It is my Beginner's Mind mantra.
dps
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Old 04-03-2014, 10:43 AM   #8
dps
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Re: The Beginner's Mind

Seriously, it puts me in the frame of mind to learn.

dps
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Old 04-03-2014, 11:08 AM   #9
lbb
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Re: The Beginner's Mind

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Huh?
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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Old 04-03-2014, 04:43 PM   #10
Stephen Nichol
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Re: The Beginner's Mind

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
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.
Thank you Mary,

I will do my best to cultivate that 'beginners mind' mode and not 'fall in love' while at seminar of Dan Harden's in Hawaii... with it's beautiful beaches and the sunsets and luau's and the days filled with hours upon hours Aiki secrets being revealed... (tee hee hee).
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Old 04-03-2014, 10:01 PM   #11
dps
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Re: The Beginner's Mind

I agree entirely with you Mary.

dps
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Old 04-12-2014, 08:17 AM   #12
OwlMatt
 
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Re: The Beginner's Mind

It is a constant struggle for me. I like to think I know things. Luckily, there is never a shortage of people in the dojo who can remind me of how little I know.

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Old 04-12-2014, 04:59 PM   #13
Adam Huss
 
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Re: The Beginner's Mind

As I travel and train around the North America, and elsewhere, I am constantly surprised at how closed off people can be to other's approach to aikido. I certainly am at a point in my training where I feel strongly about certain concepts, but always manage to pull two or three ideas - if not whole techniques - from most places I visit. Following a cohesive system is paramount to developing fundamentals, but when I encounter those who have absolutely zero interest in experiencing aikido outside their box I have an issue in understanding where that hesitancy comes from. That being said, I occasionally catch myself being too rigid in thinking, but usually catch it in time to correct and reprimand myself. Even with an open mind it can be difficult to accept something totally different from what you are used to. Its just the lack of effort to even try that blows my mind.

Shoshin shogai!

Ichi Go, Ichi Ei!
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Old 04-12-2014, 10:36 PM   #14
crbateman
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Re: The Beginner's Mind

I enjoy alternate approaches and perspectives. I learn much more from them than I do just looking at my own, day after day. And it doesn't mean that everything I see is right, but only that there are always new experiences to... uh... experience.
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Old 04-13-2014, 07:47 AM   #15
jurasketu
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Re: The Beginner's Mind

One of the things I enjoy most about Aikido is that every class something makes me feel like a beginner or at least incompetent [not sure I can always tell the difference...]. I try to embrace that feeling instead of becoming frustrated.

All paths lead to death. I strongly recommend taking one of the scenic routes.
AWA - Shodan - Started Aikido training in 2008
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Old 04-20-2014, 06:22 PM   #16
JP3
 
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Re: The Beginner's Mind

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
That was the first thing I said about the first lesson I learned in Aikido.
It is my Beginner's Mind mantra.
dps
Funny... mine was "WTF?"

I find it interesting that the kanji character for kuzushi illustrates a mountain falling on a house.
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