Not knowing, also called beginners mind can be a particularly helpful intention to work with as this new year dawns.
Not knowing is a way to experience what we are experiencing with a fresh and untainted mind, as if we didn’t know what was around the corner (because in truth we don’t) and we had no previous experience to bring to the fore. With a beginners mind, our experiences are met with curiosity, which often leads to delight and interest.
Of course, this isn’t as easy as it sounds – which is why it’s a practice – because we bring our past into our present most of the time. We are constantly judging and determining and reacting from our cadre of past experiences. This isn’t always negative, or bad or unskillful, but it can flavor everything so that we are not in the moment, but in sort of in the moment, but with coloration from the past simultaneously.
Seeing things for what they are without attachment or judgment is a worthy practice especially in a new year because it can start us on a new path of understanding by virtue of being in the moment. Wisdom is accumulated over time by direct experience – direct experience is without taint or preconception.
On the occasion that we find ourselves wishing things were different from what they are, we can remind ourselves that this is exactly what will cause a problem in our mind – and, only in our small mind. Nothing changes because of how we feel about it, but fortunately, we can change how we feel about it.
This understanding can provide a lot of gratitude for a flexibility of mind that we all possess. This flexibility and option to change our minds, is what creates resiliency, joy and delight.
So wherever you are starting your new year, I hope you are off to a wonderful and auspicious start – and one with appreciation for being alive, having the capacity to change and grow and be a shining example of a great heart and mind.