Beginner’s Mind

by Friends of Godwin

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We should have no model, no prior idea or expectation of what should happen or what should not happen. It is interesting that if we have such an idea, a model, an image in everyday life, and if what happens does not correspond to that model, then suffering arises. And this is exactly how suffering is created when we are meditating.

If we meditate with an idea, a model of what should happen and what should not happen, and if the meditation does not correspond with this idea, this model, this can also create suffering. It’s not only that, but we might even start hating ourselves because we cannot achieve what we think we should achieve. I know some persons who have given up meditation because they tell me that they cannot succeed in meditation, they say they cannot concentrate when they’re meditating or whatever.

So we meditate with what can be described as a beginner’s mind, a don’t-know mind, and whatever arises – it can be pleasant, it can be unpleasant – that becomes the object of meditation. And this continues whether you are sitting, standing, walking, lying down – in all the postures. We are learning, we are finding out, we are having this awareness in all situations.

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