Finding the Beginner’s Mind

In Zen there is the concept of Shoshin, also called Beginner’s Mind. Shunryu Suzuki writes in his book Zen Mind: Beginner’s Mind (absolutely recommended reading for all meditators!) “in the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.”

But what exactly does this mean? The state of beginner’s mind says to have an open mind, as if doing things for the first time. The possibilities seem endless. That magic feeling of trying something without thought and with curiosity. But the more you become an “expert,” the fewer options you have. All the layers, consisting of countless thoughts, limit us. We lose connection to ourselves and the reason why we started. In my article “Maintaining the Beginner’s Mind” I write about how to maintain your beginner’s mind once you “find” it. But how do you find it in the first place?

Every moment is unique. So why do we often not give it our full attention? In today’s world, we are addicted to being valued. Likes here, followers there. Especially as creatives, the dependence on the outside has never been greater than it is today. We evaluate and are evaluated. This process is completely automated. We don’t see things as they are, but as we want to see them. Even our own work. We are not satisfied as it is because we want more, because we want to “be” more.But this more in “being” we do not find in the outside, but only in ourselves.

To detach from this “wanting more” is the beginning of the Beginner’s mind. Back to square one. Bring your attention into the now. Only this moment counts. Turn off your cell phone. No one cares what you do or why you do it. Just do it for yourself. Get curious. Breathe. Feel. Discover new things. Try it out. Learn. Have no expectations of yourself. Allow yourself to be a beginner again. Because that’s what you are. Nothing more. Be.

Aesence is a creative studio and digital design magazine with a high curatorial approach. Founded by Sarah Dorweiler, a creative mind and entrepreneur from Berlin, her goal is to capture the feeling of harmony, balance and inner peace in her curatorial work and photography.