Beginner’s Mind

Old Coyote Trick (standing out)
Old Coyote Trick (standing out)


Start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.

I wake early this morning, with these words running through my mind.  They are the opening lines to the song Do Re Mi (Doe A Deer) from the movie ‘The Sound of Music’.  Yes, Julie Andrews singing me awake.

Then I think about knowing things, and not knowing things, and beginner’s mind, and how much I prefer to Know (yes, capital K).  So much for going back to sleep at this point.  My mind is awake and already playing.  I decide to let my mind play, and see what shows up.

The Zen Buddhist Master Shunryu Suzuki taught beginner’s mind.  The book ‘Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind’ is a collection of his talks.  I have read it a few times.  Some of it I understand.  Some of it baffles me.  Every time I read it, the parts that I understand and the parts that baffle me change.  I am a different person each time I read this book, years passing between one reading and the next.  The part that always sticks with me, and that I always understand, is beginner’s mind.

Beginner’s mind is essential for me.  It is where I am when I create my drawings and when I write these words you are reading.  I cannot be a creator without it.

When I am in beginner’s mind, I am present, aware of my body, my thoughts, my feelings, my environment.  I am HERE.  My mind is open, receptive, allowing of whatever comes.  I find it interesting that I can be like this when I am creating, because this is not my usual way of being.

Continue reading “Beginner’s Mind”