Wake up each day and realize this truth, we are truly reborn and filled with new potential and an opportunity to see with fresh eyes what is before us today. In mindfulness training we are encouraged to cultivate the attitude and ability of beginners mind. Beginners mind is a fresh way to see something, especially something so familiar and ordinary.
In formal meditation we practice awareness of the breath by opening to each breath and sensing each one as unique, different than the last 2000 breaths before. In daily life we can open to tasting our morning cup of tea or coffee with beginners mind.This simple practice can be a gateway to step out of automatic habits, challenge our conditioned beliefs, and see what is truly present in this moment. Then by truly seeing what is present and waking up out our habitual habit trance we can act in wisdom and do what matters most.
The present moment is pregnant with possibilities and is the only place to achieve true happiness, joy and contentment. When we are dwelling on the past, or focused on the future, we cannot access these possibilities. There is a time and place to reflect on the past and future, yet being truly awake and fully present is the way to act in wisdom. One of my favorite stories is retold in Thich Nhat Hanh’s book the Miracle of Mindfulness. It is the story of a king who seeks counsel from all the wisest people in his country to get answers to important questions on how to lead his people and what the most important things he should do first. Dissatisfied with all the answers he climbs a mountain to meet with a hermit who is believed to be a very wise man. It is there that the answers are revealed to him through his own wise action. The hermit merely recounted to the king how his ability to respond in the present moment to each person and challenge before him led to serving himself and all beings in the highest way possible.
This week I invite you to practice beginners mind by dropping labels and identifications so you can empty the mind of preconceived concepts and labels and simply observe what you see, who you are with, and even apply it to yourself.
With love and an open heart,
Patty and The Sacred Treehouse Faculty
Patty Thomas Shutt, founder of Sacred Treehouse, is a licensed psychologist and co-owner of Therapeutic Oasis of the Palm Beaches. Dr. Shutt is passionate about helping others discover the benefits of mindfulness and meditation. She offers Beginner Meditation & Advanced Meditation classes at Sacred Treehouse, in addition to Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Mindful Self-Compassion and various book studies throughout the year.