Shoshin

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. 

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

8 thoughts on “Shoshin

  1. I love this! Teaching concurrently is hard – I had that from August until November. Oh, and I have 2 remote student teachers so technically I’m still doing it. And the occasional remote kid who is quarantined. You will adjust and find what works for you and your students. Give yourself grace and be okay with that beginner’s mind. My teaching team came up with this last year, which really helped me: Done is better than perfect.
    You’ve got this!

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  2. I love the idea of “you are a beginner… and it will be ok!” and all your positive maybes! As someone who struggles with anxiety, my maybes and what-ifs are too often negative. Hugs to you as you embark on this challenging form of teaching!

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  3. Beginners mind is a great place to be. Especially in these times – I love your last line
    “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. ”
    It is the possibilities that move us forward! Hang in there! Nice to have the meditation practice these days!

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  4. Your reflection is mine so I really like this slice. I especially like how you crafted your 2nd paragraph and weaved in the maybes. Fingers crossed that we can use our beginner’s mind well. Possiblities!

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  5. This post is YOU. The very parts of you that I find so endearing, “spent the day in a proper anxiety spin” – seriously this line. The fact that you work so hard to ground yourself, I could hear you – possibilities and progress over perfection and I am almost certain that if we were to see each other, you would share this wisdom with me knowing that I need to hear this same message. And can we just talk about, “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.” just divine!

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