Beginner’s mind – Shoshin (初心)

I like the concept of shoshin 初心 (初: first, 心: heart) that could be translated as “beginner’s mind”. If you are connected to your shoshin it means that you are always open to new ideas even if you are already an experienced person in a subject, you always look at everything in the world with wonder. It also means that we can put aside preconceptions and we can keep studying even after 10 or 20 or 30 years just with the same mindset that we had the first day.

I still remember the beginning of my blogging days, every single minute was exciting. Learning how to setup a server, creating a mysql database, writing html and php code, writing blog posts… Every detail haunted my interest.

After more than 15 years I have to recognize that I have lost my shoshin when it comes to writing online.

I want to change that. I want to feel again like a beginner. I want to act and learn and write here like it was my first day.

In the beginner’s mind, there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind, there are few.

Shunryu Suzuki
This is an ensō (Circle). The best artists can to draw the ensō always like a beginner (imperfect, showing traces of learning) but also in some sense with more beauty in it as they get more experienced.

Cultivating the beginner’s mind involves a leap of faith, a willingness to dive deeply into “not knowing.” The alternative is to be chained to a past we know too well and to perpetuate history in each moment of our lives. In each new beginning we learn the art of letting things be. The concepts, images, assumptions, conclusions, and judgments; we let them be. They are received, listened to, and embraced in a vastness of heart that invests no absolute truth in them. It is a great challenge, undertaken only one moment at a time. Who is more free, the person who travels through their life carrying their raft upon their head, or the person who can lay it down and walk on unencumbered? The lessons of joy and sorrow, contraction and vastness, imprisonment and freedom are learned in each moment we are willing to begin anew and be changed by those lessons. They are simple and profound. To begin anew, to see anew, is to discover joy and freedom.

The Buddhist Path to Simplicity