Shoshin – The Beginner’s Mind

Sounds a bit paradoxical, but I can easily say that despite lessIknow45.pnghow much I’ve often thought that I knew throughout my life, or how hard-won that advanced knowledge came into being for me, the older I get the better I appreciate how little I actually DO know.

In truth it seems that with every passing day I feel this almost humorous certainty growing stronger within me: a certainty-of-my-own-ignorance—that jolting realization that what you once believed to be truth, actually wasn’t, and you may never know the REAL truth no matter how old or knowledgeable you become because that TRUTH exists in a realm that is incomprehensible to your present existence.

This body shock of awakening to our own innate ignorance can be scathingly honest and quite humbling.

It certainly was to my ego.

But to those who study Zen, this isn’t some new concept—some might simply call it ‘cultivating the Beginner’s Mind.’

What is Beginner’s Mind?  Here’s a good explanation first from Wikipedia, then from a Zen master himself.

Shoshin (初心) is a concept in Zen Buddhism meaning ‘beginner’s mind.’ It refers to having shozinbeginnersmind.pngan attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would. The term is especially used in the study of Zen Buddhism and Japanese martial arts.”

Text source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshin

Master Shunryu Suzuki can explain it far better than I can:

“People say that practicing Zen is difficult, but there is a misunderstanding as to why. It is not difficult because it is hard to sit in the cross‑legged position, or to attain enlightenment. It is difficult because it is hard to keep our mind pure and our practice pure in its fundamental sense.

In Japan we have the phrase shoshin, which means ‘beginner’s mind.’ The goal of practice is always to keep our beginner’s mind…

For Zen students the most important thing is not to be dualistic. Our ‘original mind’ includes everything within itself. It is always rich and sufficient within itself. You should not lose your self‑sufficient state of mind.

This does not mean a closed mind, but actually an empty mind and a ready mind. 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; in the expert’s mind there are few.

The most difficult thing is always to keep your beginner’s mind. There is no need to have a deep understanding of Zen. Even though you read much Zen literature, you must read each sentence with a fresh mind.

You should not say, ‘I know what Zen is,’ or ‘I have attained enlightenment.’ This is shoshinmaster.jpgalso the real secret of the arts: always be a beginner.

Be very, very careful about this point. If you start to practice zazen, you will begin to appreciate your beginner’s mind. It is the secret of Zen practice.”

Shunryu Suzuki
from Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

 

So I acknowledge that here I sit in my own ignorance while trying to make sense of our life existence.

These are the very things I often write about: What is reality?—What is consciousness?—What are we doing here? Why are we here? Who benefits and how do they benefit from our incarnating here during this time period or ANY time period?

All those unanswerable questions come down to the battle in our minds over the relevance between our DOING and our BEING.

Here is a basic truth as I presently know it:  I AM.  I EXIST.  I EXPERIENCE.  I OBSERVE.

And I try like the dickens NOT to judge the value of what I am observing because to do so implies a comparative knowledgebase that I do not have—at least not from my humble human perspective.

the-older-i-get-the-less-i-know-by-that-i-mean-the-less-i-am-sure-of-i-view-p-403x403-nkb3nfSo each day I open my eyes and wonder what this day will bring to me. I wonder what new realization will occur to my sensing abilities. I wonder what type of sense I can make of whatever is happening to me and around me, but knowing full well that ‘making sense’ is a judgment in itself.

However, I also know that only through shoshinbeginner’s mind—can I simply observe all and note those observances without judgment or expectation—knowing I must simply allow all occurrences (and not labeling them as ‘good’ or ‘bad’) to flow along with the river of life into the great sea of consciousness that connects us all and patiently awaits our return.

This I also know:  Beginner’s Mind is not easily achieved nor sustained for long unless you willingly intend it.

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Kaypache Lescher on “The Great Mystery of the Divine”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zhcn__6FWUg&feature=share

What is my life about?  Why did I incarnate?345kaypacha1-400x400 (1).jpg

At present, Kaypache is into the shamanic astrology of Peru, where he is traveling.   I’ll just paraphrase a few of his statements here rather than use direct quotes:

In this video, he expounds on receiving direct transmissions from nature and the cosmos—letting Spirit speak directly to you or through you.  Spiritual awakening involves being taken out of this existence—of our returning to our Source—exploring our multidimensionality—witnessing the infinite universe—experiencing actual transcendence.  But it is spiritual awakening without using substances to do so—no hallucinogens—no ayahuasca—simply natural spiritual awakening, slowly and gradually.

He also believes (as I do) that it takes time to evolve and awaken.  You need patience, perseverance, endurance, … because true spiritual awakening happens very slowly—and it SHOULD BE slowly revealed because brief, powerful glimpses of the Divine can be more disrupting than slow, steady emergence into a higher state of being and emergence into the Bliss-field.

divinemysteryheader-logo.jpg

But does my life have meaning? you still ask.

Well, similar to Alan Watts declarations, Kaypache says there is no meaning to our lives other than living—existing—you have NO particular purpose for this life—life existed prior to you and will exist long after you.  What we create in our lifetime is what we gain from life.

We aren’t here to find ourselves but to create ourselves.  We must go within and close our eyes and tap into Source or the Divine that wants to emerge out from us and be birthed into this world through our existence.  Or maybe NOT.    (Again he sounds very ‘Alan Watts’ here to me, but as I mentioned earlier, Alan Watts videos are resurging again which makes sense since Kaypache talks about that 51-year cycle beginning again now.)

When you can simply sit still, the truth is revealed, the mystery unfolds—all things come to whoever waits for them.

345kaypacha1-400x400 (2).jpgThis is the equinox point of the 51-year cycle of Chiron (the wounded centaur healer—the Master Teacher)—very powerful cycle for finding the deeper purpose in your life experience.

Chiron is also associated with crisis—like a physical health crisis.  That health crisis sits you down to reflect on your very existence.  This reflection time on our own mortality helps us to gain greater understanding of the archetypal energies of which we are only a part.

Kaypache’s parting words are: Take your time—be still—and in the stillness, the mystery of your life will be revealed.

 

“I close my eyes and what do I find,578AbsoluteBliss.jpg

My body, my Soul, and my mind,

Revealing to me when I’m ready to see,

The Great Mystery of the Divine.”

 

 

The Path of NO-Path

My life, and all of ours if we are attentive, is humorously synchronistic where I am constantly reminded to never take myself too seriously.  This morning the Universe presented me with numerous addendums to my previous post—all of which came through some fine “focal points.”

focal point.jpg

“You are not IN the universe, you ARE the universe, an intrinsic part of it. Ultimately you are not a person, but a focal point where the universe is becoming conscious of itself..” ~Eckhart Tolle

 

***

Ramana quote.jpgThe late great Sage Ramana Maharshi proclaimed that the final truth consists of the fact that there is no path, nor any such thing as progress. In other words, Reality is not some sort of attainment to be gained by a progression from state to state.

There is no final, triumphant union to be attained, because there never was any separation from the no-beginning. There is simply the unfathomable expanse of spontaneous presence, pure unborn awareness, regardless of any intermittent mental content which might appear in that sphere of being.

Recognizing the empty nature of both the dreaming as well as the dreamer is consideredRamana M.jpg by the sages to be liberation, though paradoxically, there is nobody being freed or bound. There is simply awakening to that which has always been the case, even as we daydreamed.”

~Bob O’Hearn
The Paradox of Inherent Perfection

https://theconsciousprocess.wordpress.com/2014/06/09/the-paradox-of-inherent-perfection/

***

 

“So then, here’s the drama. My metaphysics, let me be perfectly frank with you, are that there is the central Self, you could call it God you could call it anything you like. And its all of us. Its playing all the parts of all beings whatsoever everywhere and anywhere.

Alan Watts.jpgAnd its playing the game of hide and seek with itself. It gets lost, it gets involved in the farthest out adventures but in the end it always wakes up, and comes back to itself. And when you’re ready to wake up, you’re gonna wake up. And if you’re not ready your gonna stay pretending that you’re poor little me.”

Alan Watts – The Way of Waking UP
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7blUYJm6i-c

What IS This Feeling?

Many days in early morning I sit quietly and simply tune in to the feel of the energies that are affecting me. Being kinesthetically energy-sensitive to what is happening within me, to me, or near me is an important first step to deciphering the external energy sources that might be affecting me; example being: It helps to first determine if a grumpy mood is me brooding on my stuff or if it might be something external affecting me in that manner.good feeling

Likewise this morning after opening my eyes, I immediately noticed this amazingly good feeling and thought: What IS that, and WHY do I feel this way?

To be alive in this plane of existence means that we are continually bombarded with sensory stimuli from all sides, and even more so, we are constantly engulfed in oceans of energies from the cosmos, to the earth’s magnetic field, to the variable emotional states of those around us, and to the public media with whatever focus they project that day, which are usually laden with fear and disasters.

We, in our own small energy spheres, are like little islands of stability amid seas of continual turbulence. The rougher the surrounding seas, the harder it is to keep our heads above water.

So as I sat here this morning I took just a minute to tune in to this unusual and amazing feeling of calmness, so soothing and tranquil, like floating on a crystal clear lake, gently rocking back and forth in my little boat. Not a care in the world.

What happened overnight? Did I wake up into a different world this morning?

How can I feel these wonderful, high-frequency, love and peace energies all around me that weren’t there yesterday?

Hopefully others are noticing it as well. I don’t know what happened in the night, but I believe that something shifted higher for us all.

Not knowing how long this will last or the broadness of its effect on others, I guess I’ll just sit back and enjoy it.

As counter-intuitive as it may seem in today’s chaotic world-situations, wherever you are, I hope you also are feeling these wonderful, loving energies flowing through our world right now. It’s probably the reason that I feel so optimistic about our world outcomes.

love peace symbolsI can hear a voice calling out: “May all beings be blessed with love for themselves and for all others; and may all who exist here and forevermore, know peace within their own hearts.”

May you also feel that peace within and ride these gentle waves of love and compassion flowing beneath us at present.

It feels good for a change. That’s probably why I didn’t recognize it.

Spring Is In the Air

springFinally!

While I know these same sentiments can’t be said by everyone everywhere, for myself it felt REALLY good to have an unseasonable 80-degree day yesterday in Iowa farm country in mid-March.

Yes, SPRING is fast approaching and everyone in my world is jumping for joy. After yet another winter of ridiculous snow amounts and below-zero temperatures, the season is finally changing,…as are we all, …whether we are as aware of the changes, as we are of the weather improvements.

I mentioned in the previous post that I was shifting focus both personally and in my blog. And although I can’t exactly pinpoint at present where my NEW focus lies, I can say this: I feel it is the dawn of a new day for all of us, I will attempt to describe here why I believe that to be true.

I’ll even list the reasolar flaressons, because we like lists. (It makes it look more official.):

  • We are all units of energy, constantly in motion and in various stages of expansion and contraction. The increased solar storm activity over the last decade, and especially over the last year, has been and still IS affecting us by amping up the electrical charge in our auric fields to create a more powerful personal presence—a more powerful energy field around us, when we interact daily with each other.

What that means is that stronger energy field makes us better defined as distinct, individual energy units, and more capable of standing strongly in our own power now than we were prior to the super-solar activity. It initially increased our combativeness, as might be expected, but we’re moving through that phase and into a calmer, more resolute, higher-frequency one.

It also means we are now less likely to be “absorbed” into the stronger fields of others (or adversely influenced by them). We have our own opinions, our own beliefs, and we don’t need others telling us how to think and feel. We feel more personally secure in our own knowledge now and less needful to defend ourselves from the opinions and combativeness of others. We stop making “their stuff,” our stuff.

We can hold our own with greater ease and comfort now; and that matters because we are moving from cult- and group-driven behaviors to individually-responsible behaviors. We are now more independent and more democratically inclined, as opposed to being autocratically-inclined. It might not seem that way at present, but the pendulum is in motion swinging strongly for freedom and independence for everyone, …everywhere. You’ll see. This will be a pivotal year for freedom world-wide. That I know.

  • Also, the global, lake-turnover energies that I discussed in earlier posts are smoothing into a higher-frequency wavelength, creating a more harmonious environment for us; which will in turn lessen the intensity of the statically-charged energy around us. And it will also lessen the inclination for those energies to disrupt all social interactions, unmasking all imposters that we might encounter. Imposters are doing a fine job of revealing themselves thanks to the increased light penetrating their own dark recesses. They can’t hide any longer. They’ve been outted by the intensity of the light. And that will continue.

We will welcome this new, more pleasant frequency resonance as it has a “coming home” feel to it. You will instantly recognize it, as you will ‘feel more at peace’ when it happens. Inner agitation will simply cease and you become genuinely calm and assured with a new-found sense of certainty that defies logic. That’s your true intuition kicking in. You will start relying more on that under-used intuitive sense now.

When this occurs for all, …and it will, …we will see and think more clearly than we had previously, and wonder why we didn’t “see those things” before that we now find so obvious to us. That’s called “a SHIFT” in consciousness. That’s what we are experiencing on a grand scale now. The SHIFT is actually occurring right now—we are IN IT at present. I’m not just shifting focus—WE ALL ARE SHIFTING FOCUS AT THE SAME TIME.

  • I’ll list one more thing to ponder before closing this post before it becomes a Homerian epic: Ah yes, speaking of the Greek poet Homer, Odysseythat is an appropriate reference. His tale was of the “Hero’s Journey” myth of Odysseus (Ulysses) the Greek King of Ithaca—returning home from the Trojan Wars. “The Odyssey” as it was called, implies that all he and his crew endured on the fateful journey was not just atonement for indiscretions, but was requirement from the gods to prove the warrior’s worth and sacrifice just to return to his homeland.

The good news is that Odysseus, the King, did make it home in tact, just as we have made it back through all the pitfalls and hard times we have faced over this last decade leading up to this momentous shift in consciousness. We are there now. We have arrived! It may not presently look like home, but it is.

The world is shifting higher, just as we are shifting our consciousness out of the need to force our opinions on others.

ageofaquariusAs this Spring season dawns on 2015, I predict that you will start to see the sprouting of new, more collaborative and more joyful experiences for everyone. This IS truly the dawning of a NEW AGE that we’ve been long awaiting.

Yes, just like my old album musical “HAIR” declares: It really is the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius.

I’m certainly ready for it. How about you?