Sunday, August 17, 2014

Outgrow Beginners Mind


I took the past week off to meditate, and read books by meditators.  Many ideas were useful – I’ll cover them in future blogs.  But first I want to comment on one that jarred me: The idea of beginners mind as something to be cultivated.

The standard argument says something to the effect that in the beginners mind all problems have many solutions, but to the expert mind, there are few.

In my experience, it has been the opposite.  When I was a beginning home owner, and my air conditioner wouldn’t turn on, I had only one idea – call the repair shop.

The repairman came over, instructed me to put new batteries in the thermostat. He waited, while I did that, obviously going over in his mind what to do next if this step did not produce the desired results. Voila – new batteries – the air conditioner turned on.

The folks who write these books for beginning meditators offer proven techniques and advice based on experience.

The beginners mind is a necessary stage, but as I see it, the beginners mind last only as long as necessary, until we become more adept.  

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