Getting started with beginner's mind
The challenge of expertise is staying open to new possibilities.
“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.”– Shunryu Suzuki.
A great way to cultivate a beginner’s mind while practicing massage is to keep asking yourself, “Is what I am feeling the limit of my awareness?”
This practice is from one of my favorite books, The Five Emanations, by William Douglas Horden. His original writing of the practice is not directed at hands-on healers, it is directed at anyone seeking to move their awareness beyond the obvious.
We are all experts at something.
Practicing a beginner’s mind keeps our expertise fresh and enlivened. Ask yourself to notice something different about your subject of expertise – even if that subject is yourself! I have found that by asking myself, “Is this the limit of my awareness?” when I feel stuck in habitual reactions, a new possibility is revealed. And I surprise myself offering an innovative response.
If you have another way of stimulating a beginner’s mind, please share it in the comment box below, so that we may all benefit from your expertise!