Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Beginner's Mind: a great tool for Yom Kippur

“If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything, it is open to everything. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few.” 
Shunryu Suzuki

In Yoga we’re always reminded about “beginner’s mind.” It’s a Buddhist tradition that reminds us to start each pose as if we had never done it before. Each day a new body shows up with different qualities and abilities, and what we could do yesterday might work differently today. Moving with a beginner’s mind allows exploration with openness and dispassionate interest. I was thinking about this as I painted the other day and realized I’d become quite an expert on all the ways this canvas wasn’t working. I put everything away, took out a box of crayons, and played happily for a long time. Painting gives me a great opportunity to check in on how well I’m doing on my goal to change judgmental behavior, one of the sins I symbolically cast into the water last night. 

Baruch ata adonai...my heart is open to witnessing my behavior without at the same time taking away my allowance for missing the mark. I’m grateful I was gentle with myself. Amen

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