To approach mindful and consciousness practices with fresh enthusiasm, we can cultivate an attitude of the Beginners Mind. This attitude is a beautiful concept to facilitate a beneficial mentality towards our practice.
The Beginners Mind is one that is free of previous experience. Often previous experience creates opportunities for the mind to judge or expect certain outcomes. The Beginners Mind approaches a task clear of pretext. This attitude allows us to engage with the practice without expectations and as such, frees the experience up to be experiencially experienced not mentally experienced.
How do we recreate this atittude after some experience has been gained?
Think of the young people who dive into their experiences, freeing themselves of concern which creates a space of wonderment, joy and enthusiaism to play in.
When we approach our practices with child-like wonder, our adult analytical mind can take a back seat for the spontaneous experience to rise. We can bring a playful & graceful attitude to our practice. This approach cultivates a detachment from the outcome by simply becoming present with the experience.
Once we have spent some time practicing meditation, it can be easy to get comfortable and lose attention to the train of thought instead of witnessing them come and go. By cultivating a beginners mind, we can bring an alert presence to our practice that comes from first time expereinces. When we engage ourselves in activities with this mentaility, we create a beautiful space for the experience to spontaneously arise.
A state of open attention can be a great way to slip into this carefree state. When we detach our attention from any one thing, we can rest in pure witnessing. This includes, outside noises, inner dialoge, movement of energy. By detaching from the senses we disassosiate ourselves from the fluctuating experiences, dropping into the vast ocean of consciousness from the perception the body sensations and mental commentary. These concepts are inviting us towards that space of silence.
The analogy of the sky & the clouds brings a simplistic awareness of the relationship between the thoughts and the percieving consciousness. Just as the clouds may seem to block out the sky, we know the sky is always containing the clouds. So in relation to this, we can say there is nothing to achieve. Just as the clouds are there, held in the space of the sky.. Our thoughts and perceptions are contained within the greater consciousness we are one with. We are already one with all there is. Fly in the spirit of the swift bird who beautifully demonstrates a soaring playfulness that is present and alert.
Let’s close our eyes and imagine a bright blue sky, with some whie fluffy clouds. The fluffy clouds are the thoughts that you may be hearing in your mind, relating to these words your hearing right now. The sky represents our expanded consciousness. Watch any thoughts that come to mind and witness them pass. By simply remaining aware of the thoughts, we, with patience, may find a break in the stream of thought-clouds, which opens up the vast spaceousness of the sky. The stillness inside that is always there.
This stillness is the container of your existence. Everything arises from this stillness within.
In this space, there is nothing to do, we simply witness the rise and fall of the breath of life. When we realize truly there is nothing to do and nowhere to go, we can surrender to experience.. Letting go of the attachments to exterior or interior outcomes.
This inquiry into the Beginners Mind, has been written to be part of a tutorial series, that is part of an amazing meditation app called Souse Guru. Created with Martin Bone’s vision and guidance of meditation. I am honoured to be asked to contribute to this beautiful project, to spread this sacred art form we know as meditation.
You can download the app for free via this link which gives you access to the basic content. With monthly donations you gain access to a library of wisdom including guided meditations & breath work, techniques, practices & podcasts.