“In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, in the expert's mind there are few” Shunryu Suzuki
A very impressionable book I read growing up, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Shuryu Suzuki is so appropriate for bringing in the new year. As we start the new year, it may feel easy or natural to shed ideas, to drop the baggage of traumas or imprints of the past and look towards a new year, a new beginning, a hope for the experience of something different.
Something that one of my mentors used to say is: people are usually good at beginnings, middles, or ends. Pondering that statement made me realize, I'm really good at beginnings. I think the reason for this is the beginner's mind: the openness, the excitement for what could be, the interest of learning something new. Children are really good at this with fresh eyes for every new experience they have without holding onto an idea of what something should be.
But what then...after the beginning or when new years resolutions slowly fade away as old habits creep back in? The challenge then becomes applying this beginner's mind to every moment: the middles and the ends. And the concept can be applied to virtually anything. In relationships with people, how often do we see others (especially the ones we know well) with beginner's mind? Cheers to your new year, your new version of yourself and holding the possibility that you can be good at beginnings, middles, and ends!