In my meditation yesterday, I learned of the Japanese word shoshin which means beginner’s mind. I couldn’t help but smile at the irony of the message. I had just spent the day in a proper anxiety spin, after meetings galore did nothing to quell my jitters about teaching concurrently for the first time this year. But of course, here was the world sending me a message through my mediation, essentially saying, “You are a beginner at concurrent teaching and it will be okay!”
Shoshin encourages us to drop preconceptions and take an attitude of openness. Sure, it is my ninth year of teaching but these next 15 weeks won’t be like anything I have ever experienced. Maybe I will discover a better way to teach, maybe I will discover a better way to reach students, maybe I will surprise myself in all that the land of maybe has for me to discover. All of these maybes float above my head, their iridescent sheen taunting me as they pop and float higher every time I jump to grasp them.
As the meditation ended with the quote by Shunryu Suzuki, “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few,” I continued to chant to myself, possibilities and progress over perfection, possibilities and progress over perfection, possibilities and progress over perfection just as a maybe lands in my palm.