SHOSHIN, THE BEGINNER’S MIND


The word “shoshin” comes from a Buddhist concept that talks about “the mind of the beginner”, “the mind of the apprentice”, which means having an open and flexible mind towards life. It means that no matter how much you already know, you always keep learning. It means you allow yourself to make mistakes on your road towards growth. Having a shoshin mind will help you learn easier, to connect better with others, and to see opportunities and solutions in a fresh way.

It is all too easy to fall into ruts and closed thinking. How many discoveries or improvements were ignored or ridiculed for lack of an open mind. There is always room for more in the beginner’s mind.

Some simple ways of developing a shoshin mind is to watch the skies and stars, to walk through nature or listen to a beautiful symphony. These activities will lead you to awe and appreciation, and help you be more humble in life.

Matthew 18:1-3 NIV says: “At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Becoming like little children is keeping the ability of surprise, of wonder, of continuous learning and discovery. It is the door to a richer life.

What changes can you make today to improve your beginner’s mind?

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