Beginner’s Mind

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.” – Suzuki

When we are in a state of not knowing what to do or what will happen, it can be scary. Easy to get into a fearful place. Making decisions can be difficult. It helps to remember courage is a conscious choice to act in spite of being afraid. In certain situations, we simply can’t know all the facts. There is no right decision based on analysis since all the facts are impossible to know. Most tough decisions fall into this category.

It can be a should I go or should I stay decision – is it love or not. The heart refuses to be analyzed. Or, should I leave this job for a new one – lots of unknowns. Am I saving enough money? Am I saving too much money and not having enough fun? You get the idea.

That’s where the fear comes in. Our mind is sort of short circuited – it knows there is no way to come up with the “right” answer. Now what?

It helps if we can stand back and see we are at the threshold of creation. Can I let go – let go of my desire to think my way through this situation – and tune into my heart and my intuition and simply trust the knowing inside? Beginner’s mind is an attitude of openness, curiosity, lack of any preconceived notions and opening to many possibilities.

It also helps to realize that no decision is probably the worst thing. That means fear has paralyzed us. Our mind wants to hunker down and do nothing. That won’t work long term, we can’t live in a box. At some point, hopefully, we let go, trust our heart and go for it.

It’s easier to recoup from a decision that didn’t turn out exactly as you wish than it is to recoup from a lifetime of fearful inactivity.


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