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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Explaining the Divine Purpose of the Universe

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Well now, THERE’s a subject to consider!

Here are a few quick notes from Eckhart Tolle’s explanation from the question he was asked on this subject.

(Here also is the actual video of Eckhart Tolle giving his explanation for the Divine Purpose of the Universe:  https://www.eckharttollenow.com/new-home-video/default.aspx?free=/594579485/ )

“The Universe wants to awaken consciousness (in general) coming into this dimension.  ..But the Divine Purpose is two-fold:  One, is the Universe delights in creation, …creativity, …creating new forms….  It delights in experiencing itself THROUGH those forms.  …ONE life expressing itself through countless life forms…

TWO, the Universe also wants to know its own source…it wants ‘source-realization’. … There is an outgoing movement into creation, but there is a return movement where it wants to realize itself, and its essence through YOU.  The Universe wants both.    …

The return movement expresses as coming totally into the present moment, stepping away from becoming, into BEING.

BECOMING is the outward movement, … BEING is the return, the BE STILL and BE in this present moment and go deeply into just BEING.  …divinepurposeunitolle56

For us (as humans living in this dimension), it means finding balance between the two.

 

For outward movement, create not from a place of Egoic need, … create from a playful participation in the world of form without losing oneself in the creation or the DOING aspect.

There are those who simply hold the frequency of the planet. (He calls them) ‘frequency-holders’ … they are more into BEING, than DOING.

There are those who are more into creation and DOING, but they must maintain their playfulness (to do so without ego fixation).

So the Divine Purpose of the Universe is to know itself, both through the creation of form and the realization of the formless essence (the Source itself). …And YOU are here as part of that (process).”

***

This makes perfect sense to me because I’ve been on both paths: Earlier in my life I was creating the activities that help to shift energetic frequency, and I am now simply HOLDING the energetic frequency as high as I possibly can.  I was once a Do-er, and now I am more of a BE-er.

And that’s okay with me, which is quite a flip for a once Type-A,  DO-er.

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The FIXER

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Over the years I’ve seen my role in my own life’s drama change: I’ve believed myself to be many things to many people.

Today I actually have no idea what I am to anyone other than to myself, and even to me, I’m an enigma that is constantly evolving—transforming into something other than the role(s) I once held.

That was hard to accept for awhile—that I wasn’t this ONE thing that I’d truly believed myself to be.

But I slowly began to realize that my perception of myself and my role in humanity’s slow-unfolding progression was at best a delusion and at worse, an egoic fallacy.

Even now—this very morning, little egoic ME thought: “What should I do to help them?”

And the “them” here doesn’t even matter, because to believe that I could be the ONE to help, was the problem. It’s not up to me to FIX the situation or the people involved in the situation. It never was up to ME, and it never will be.

Part of my own spiritual evolution is in the final fixyourselfrealization that I, in all my illusions of grandeur, am NOT the FIXER of those perceived problems, because perhaps it is my perception instead that is the actual problem. And the only one who can change that faulty perception is ME, so if I want to FIX something—FIX that!

When I fully comprehended what I was at first contemplating and then resolving NOT to do in my own mind, I realized that there is nothing for me to FIX. Everything is all illusion and all perspective, and ALL situations are resolvable in some way without my interference and/or assistance.

So there ego-mind!  The FIXER is at peace with not fixing anything but her perception of any situation.

Us control freaks have a hard time letting go of affecting processes and outcomes. But this time it feels like an awakening for this control wrenchman.jpgfreak to let go of my attachment to perceiving that there is a problem. If there is no real problem, then there is no need of fixing it.  I’m not ignoring the situation; I’m simply allowing it to resolve without my interference.

So, …I now take a deep breath and choose to let go and let the Universe decide the next course of action in this situation and in all others as I think that’s the smartest and most sane thing I can do.

Perhaps it’s about time that I got smart enough to realize it.

A World Mid Change

Lisa Brown.jpgI was listening to an excellent webinar yesterday by Lisa Brown, energy-worker/psychic/medium/someone who really knows the subtle fields of energy, and finally heard someone who is completely in tune with what is actually transpiring in the energies around us—in tune with what is happening to us—in tune with what it really means to us if we pay attention to these overpowering energies.

She explained it slowly, deliberately, and with enough corresponding evidence toshifting human.jpg make sense. We are mid dimension shift…from a lower frequency world to a higher one. Meaning that if you can shift your consciousness high enough you simply cease to view reality in one dimension and view a different reality…a world and players who vibrate/emanate at a higher frequency than the world you previously experienced.

Of course this isn’t going to be an explanation that everyone wishes to believe—and of course also, this isn’t going to be believed by those who can’t personally experience the energetic changes underway.

From the moment we, as babies, were able to hold conscious awareness of our surroundings, those who directly interacted with us told us what the world was like beyond our fingertips. If we saw or perceived something a bit different than their stories of what the world was like, we were corrected and told to view it differently—more like how ‘the cultural collective’ perceived the world to be.

frequency headWe were trained to see the world a certain way—trained to believe the world acted toward us in a certain manner—trained to believe that our perception must match what others perceived, or something was wrong with us. Many who saw/felt/experienced something other than the cultural collective’s accepted perceptions were sent to psychologists and psychiatrists to be retrained in how to perceive the world that we shared.

But personal reality and the collective’s reality weren’t always in lock step with each other—in decades past it was simply less accepted to have a different personal reality than the collective.

What is happening at present is that the collective itself has shifted high enough to shake the boundaries on what is considered the norm of perception. There are enough of us who are energetically enhanced to say, “Hey wait a minute—just because you can’t see what I see doesn’t make me wrong in seeing it.” Psychic and medium shows are standard fare now, and it took those perceptual differences to go mainstream for energy sensitive folks to be willing to stand up and stand out for their enhanced perceptual abilities.vibe frequ explain.jpg

When enough of us can perceive and hold a higher-frequency reality for the smaller cultural collective who are more energy sensitive, then the smaller, higher-frequency collective can shift into a higher dimension of existence.

However, this isn’t an elite club.

It simply means that what you focus on is what you perceive in and receive from the world that you inhabit. Like Dr. Pillai in the previous post saying basically the same thing, except he was trying to appeal to people’s material greed and emotional commitment to creating the wealth and abundance available with such a focused mind and conscious attention to obtaining that goal.

higher see.jpgSame principle here—construct in your mind the most beautiful, peaceful and loving world you can imagine and hold that world constantly in your perception—see that world around you—focus on only those aspects of the world you desire and call it to you—that is how you shift your energies higher and maintain that focus throughout your every day and night.

From a more personally pragmatic point of view, it means I’ll have to stop writing about the lower-frequency idiocy so abundant in the world we Vibe high.jpgpresently share, and change my focus to higher-frequency subject matter, such as this post.

That’s fine. I can do it.

And so can you.

Shifting Gears for the Climb

I first noticed it early this morning around 6:30am. Then by 9am, it became more obvious, and by 9:30am I was certain that I could tell it was actually happening: We were slowing down—time-wise. Time seemed to be passing much slower this morning than it had been previously. I’ve been doing a lot of “not-doing” lately, so I know when time is passing even slower than it did yesterday.

The closbik on hillest analogy I can manage to what is likely occurring is to compare it to the mechanics of a ten-speed bicycle as the rider approaches a steep hill. He shifts to smaller gear sprockets so the speed and energy expenditure of his feet-on-the-pedals rotations remain pretty much the same, but the sprockets that best handle hills are smaller diameter, making the bike tires do fewer revolutions—meaning, less ground is covered per foot rotation but pedaling is still fairly easy on the rider.

My assessment on this perceived time slow-down is that we were likely downshifted for the incline ahead—slowed down in motion and effort for the difficulty of the slope that we are attempting—which could be associated with consciousness ascension or just the general collective shift to a higher state of being.

I might have just blown off this perceived time discrepancy as fertile imagination today had I not noticed a similar phenomenon maybe a couple years ago—one day it was like everything around me suddenly time-dropped to a slower noticeable pace and my normally accurate internal clock went haywire with the discrepancy until I adjusted to the change.

Back then as today, the clock on the wall had hardly moved 15 minutes when my mind’s timer kept saying “This can’t be. At least an hour should have passed. How can it have only been 15 minutes?”

And it wasn’t just me noticing it back then—others noticed the same thing and wrote abike gearsbout it in their blogs. So I’m expecting this “gear-down” today to be acknowledged as well. I think we’ve just been down-geared for the difficulty of the climb ahead.

I have no idea how long the path up this steep hill might be, but hopefully the scenery at the top makes the extra effort worthwhile.

Let me know if you notice time moving slower today. It should be interesting to see if others picked up on it.

Purposeful or Purposeless?

treeheadTalking to a friend yesterday, we were commiserating about our daily/weekly activities or with me, the lack thereof, and I mentioned that energetically, it seemed to be a very strange time for me—a time of considerable inactivity—of feeling like I’m sitting on the sidelines patiently waiting for something that I have no idea what I am waiting for. She belly-laughed at that statement knowing that first and foremost—I am NEVER patient!

That was the first clue that something strange was happening, not just in my life, but everywhere. I’ve suddenly developed patience? The world seems to be flushing itself down the toilet, and here I calmly sit beside it, handing it more toilet paper?

Very odd.

I then mentioned to her it was almost like I was in a near-perpetual state of meditation where I participated in the activities around me, but with total focus on the mundane actions of living—shutting out all exterior stimuli, meaning: the world does its thing and I just do mine.

But you know how the mind is, it will not let anything rest, so my mind then questioned this present mode of not-doing: is this ‘waiting on the sidelines thing’ purposeful or purposeless for me (or for anyone)? And does it have to be one or the other?

Right now for me, all I know for certain is that it simply IS. That may be the whole point of the unintentional exercise. That Just Be aspect may be one thing to talk about or even to aspire to, but quite anlife swimmersother thing if you are actually living it.

In essence that’s what I am presently doing—I’m NOT DOING, I am JUST BEING. And I have to tell you honestly—it feels very strange!

However, right now, it also feels very necessary. And I’m assuming that it isn’t just necessary for me to be not-doing. It’s something we all may need to “not do” at present.

I’ve been around long enough to know that throughout our lives we will fluctuate between periods of joy and sorrow, hopefulness and helplessness; times of feeling so alive with life gushing from our every pore, and a time of feeling despair so deep that it nearly swallows us.

To be alive in this Earth plain of existence means that we will ALL experience these emotional roller coasters during our lifetimes: riding the extremes of happiness and sadness, up and down, over and around, until one day we hit this “Just Being” zone.

If you also are feeling this right now, don’t worry. This isn’t depression. This is the ‘in-between place’ in human emotion where you feel like you’ve become the willing observer to your life—the spectator/passenger riding beside an unseen driver, while you tour an amazing, never-ending landscape of sights too beautiful to capture in words.

So you just sit back and take it all in without judgment—just riding along in awe at the grandeur and scope of everything passing befdog on a rideore you, to the right and the left; fast approaching ahead and falling away quickly behind.

There aren’t many times in my life where I’ve willingly accepted that passenger seat. But right now, I do—knowing that on this particular trip, I am just along for the ride; and wherever our vehicle is presently headed, that is where I am going as well.