Updated: Apr 8, 2021
Do you ever really see the world anew? When we practice mindfulness, we develop the attitude of the Beginner’s Mind. That sense of freshness and curiosity we felt as children, seeing things as they really are without being encumbered by experience, expectations, and stories.
When we see, feel, or hear something, our senses register the event and for a moment it is brand new until the mind takes over to interpret what it is, so we can act if necessary or dismiss it as non-threatening. Do I hear the footfall of an intruder? Is that a tiger in the undergrowth that I see?!
It is a wonderful evolutionary mechanism but means we already fill in the gaps about what we are about to experience rather than being open to fresh learning and awareness.
To use Beginner’s Mind, you need to step back and ‘observe’ sights, sounds, tastes, smells, what you touch. Imagine you are sensing them for the very first time. You can do this anytime, anywhere. It will not take long before your analytical brain gets to work, but until then, be a child again.
This process re-wires your neural connections, so you see more events as never-been-here-before, and buys you split seconds before rushing to an opinion on a topic. It leaves you open to life.