Embracing a Beginner’s Mind

Our theme for the month of March is the “Beginner’s Mind”.  This concept,  practiced in both the Buddhist and Hindu traditions, can be thought of as ensuring that our Knowledge does not get in the way of our Wisdom.  We humans are wired for efficiency: to quickly sort, label, and move on.  This culling of information and experience can be useful, however we can close ourselves off by relying too heavily on our habituated assumptions: we know we dislike all Modern Art ,so why bother with this exhibit?, we know how our Partner/Child/Parent is going to react , so why engage with them?, We know how Warrior 2 should be done, so why try something new?    The Yoga Sutras talk about the “Vrittis” or “mind-stuff” that crowd and clog our mind, and ultimately cause suffering.  (Yoga is the cessations or modifications of this “mind-stuff” , or in Sanskrit “Yogas-citta-vrtti-nirodhah” )   Our past experiences and knowledge can become vrittis when they prevent us from seeing what is actually directly in front of us in this moment.  

When we practice engaging a Beginner’s mind, we consciously choose curiosity, open-ness, and wonder so that we can see what is actually in front of us.  How can we approach this exhibit, this interaction or conversation, this Asana class, today, in this body with an open mind and heart?  Choosing a beginner’s mind is to choose possibility over and over again.  This month – we invite you to come back to the beginning with us! 

With love and Wonder, Erica and Laurel