Saturday, October 12, 2013

Beginner’s Mind - Doing 'Not Knowing'

"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few.”
Shunryu Suzuki-Roshi

Have you ever noticed how kids assimilate new technologies and take on board changes so easily and with so much gusto? Kids love new things and have an appetite for novelty. In NLP we have an expression we use to describe a powerful way of looking at the world. It’s called ‘seeing the world through the wide eyed curiosity of a child’. It’s soooo true! Children are filled with an insatiable curiosity and passion for learning and trying new things. They have open hearts. They love to play and make a game out of change. And there's a powerful clue!

In the philosophy of Zen Buddhism, there is a technique called ‘Beginner’s Mind’. This is a technique that allows you to open your mind and see things anew – to return to that wide eyed curiosity state. The idea of beginner’s mind is to temporarily set aside all your opinions, ideas, cherished beliefs and mindsets and explore the world with a fresh awareness, with an open heart and an open mind.

Through a state of “I don’t know – that is, by actively doing ‘not- knowing’ – you are able to see and try things that you would otherwise have missed. You open yourself to new possibilities. You open yourself to change more easily.

The message from this Zen wisdom is to use beginner’s mind in times of change. Look at changes that are thrust upon you with a fresh mind, rather than through pre-conceived prejudices. This will support you in finding the opportunities hidden in the challenges of change. Come at the opportunity of change by holding curiosity and creativity in your head brain, joy and passion for the newness of it in your heart brain, and a calm and courageous acceptance of it in your gut brain. This will bring the wisdom of the child to the changes you are experiencing. When you approach change in a way that is 'young at heart', when you embrace it through gutsy courage, when you see it as a creative opportunity and when you experience it through ANS Balance, then you enable all of your intuitive wisdom and bring a fresh taste of life to how you deal with change.

How life enhancing will it have been when you embrace change through the eyes of a lifelong child now? What could you bring beginner's mind to in your life right now, today?

Thinking Tools – Beginner’s Mind
See the world through the wide eyed curiosity of a child.

And you can read more about how to powerfully embrace change and use the incredible power, intelligence and intuition of your heart and gut brains in my book mBraining:

life enhancing smiles