Maintaining a Beginner’s mind

At the beginning of any work, you feel free, you’re in the flow – you’re working with a Beginner’s Mind. But over time, layer upon layer adds to your work. Comments from others about your work, your own thoughts about your work, criticism from clients … you name it. We slowly but steadily lose our Beginner’s Mind, a state of mind often used in Zen to describe the “magic” of the beginning.

This concept is called Shoshin – translated as Beginner’s Mind. Shunryu Suzuki writes in his book Zen Mind: Beginner’s Mind (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 a Beginner’s Mind means to have an open mind, as if doing things for the first time. The possibilities seem endless. That magic of trying something without thinking and with curiosity. The more you become an “expert,” the fewer options you have. All those heavy layers, consisting of countless thoughts, limit us and our creative process. We lose the connection to ourselves and the reason why we actually started.

Maintaining a Beginner’s Mind is not that hard. Seeing photography as a meditative practice, thinking and wanting less and being mindful, helps enormously to maintain a Beginner’s Mind.

Start with this simple question: Why do you want to be an expert?

© Photos by me – Sarah Dorweiler

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.