Being a Beginner

In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.  ~Shunryu Suzuki

I’m convinced that the most direct path to our creativity starts from a place of unknowing. Or perhaps the creativity is the path. Young children know how to play their way into understanding, making mistakes, falling down, trying new approaches. But as we grow, those creative impulses are trained out of us. We become afraid of looking foolish, of not knowing, and we cling to certain answers, indisputable facts, narrow views. I want to recover the ability to see as a beginner, and I want to practice being a beginner over and over again, so that nothing becomes fixed and without possibilities.


3 Responses to Being a Beginner

  1. Priscilla says:

    I love this. And I love the fact that the willingness to model being a beginner is such a gift to others. One can see the light bulbs go on in people’s heads: “Oh, yeah. It’s okay to do that. I want to be free to do that, too.” And so the freedom spreads.

  2. quotesqueen says:

    It’s true that we give each other permission by modeling behavior, I think. I had to read a poem at the funeral of one of my dearest friends, and I blubbered all the way through it. The minister afterwards told me it was fine because it gave others attending the permission to break down. Maybe she was just trying to make me feel better, but there was something that felt true about her kind words.

  3. […] Being a Beginner More on the recent theme of unknowing, the world of possibility. […]

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