The Beginner's Mind
I am currently assisting teacher training at Soho Yoga and as I dive deeper into this experience I am in awe of the capabilities of the mind if there is a willingness to learn. It's so interesting taking part in my second teacher training but with a new perspective of experience as a yoga teacher. It's as if I am watching a movie for a second time. I am seeing and hearing things that perhaps flew over my head or reinforcing the things I learned through experience. I am seeing things clearly and feeling incredibly inspired to share my newfound discoveries in my role as a teacher.
Being a student is an honor, but growing up I linked not knowing information with shame. If a friend said a comment about something I didn't know I would pretend I did because I was embarrassed. I thought that not knowing meant I was stupid. However, weird that may sound, it's very common (on a funny note: check out this video of Lie Witness News on Jimmy Kimmel). So why is it so hard for humans to admit wrong doings or admit not knowing information?
Somewhere along our journey in life we all created an ego or false identity of who we think we are. We compile the beliefs about our abilities, talents, insecurities, and personalities to create the "self." The ego likes to stay hidden behind the identity of "I" or "Me" and can hinder our ability to grow and learn. Your ego may sound a little something like this, "I suck at math. I am better than you. My freckles make me ugly. I have no friends." This ego creates a cluttered mind or monkey brain, that can only be conquered through practice of the beginner's mind or Shoshin. This is derived from Zen Buddhism and coincides with the concept of monkey brain or Yogas Citta Vritti Nirodah from yogic philosophy.
I recently read that, "discipline requires humility," which reminds me of a concept from one of my favorite books by Stephen R Covey. Habit 5 from his book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People states, "Seek first to understand, then to be understood." This concept can reference to the game of Telephone, where you are half listening to what the person beside you is whispering in your ear and half anticipating what information you will pass along. Being a student in any form is a life long practice that requires humility, listening to understand, and letting go. Only after viewing the world through the fresh eyes of a beginner will the true experience of learning take place.
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Hi, I'm Lauren and I am here to support people to find freedom in being authentic and the power to carry that out in their lives and community. Writing is one way I like to explore that for myself. Here is my archive of reflections.