“In the beginner’s mind, there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.”[
Beginner’s mind meditation is going to be a series in which I share my personal meditation practice as well as information and resources on meditation in general. I am by no means a teacher. I have been sitting in daily meditation just a little less than a year and am still a baby to this practice.
I do believe that I can offer value by sharing my journey as a beginner. I hope that my experience and tips might be especially relatable to beginners but I also encourage more seasoned meditators to observe with an open mind and heart.
So why beginner’s mind meditation? The opening quote says it the best! When we observe with beginner’s mind it’s like we are seeing, feeling, experiencing for the first time. Bringing no preconceptions or judgement to the observation. In a way, it is like seeing through the eyes of a baby, and it’s something that we should never lose!
Each time I sit I try to do so with no expectation and simply sit as if it is my first time in this space. I bring no judgement to my practice which is a vastly different mindset than what I have had in the past trying to establish a regular practice. I just find peace and contentment at showing up every day. It has brought a real richness to my life.
I have read many books over the years and dabbled with starting a regular practice many times but it never really stuck. This time I set an intention to sit on a daily basis. It didn’t really matter how long, to begin with. The whole purpose was simply making this a regular part of my day, my life!
I started my practice with the aid of the Calm meditation app. I will talk more about the app in detail in a future article in this series. They have a wonderful variety of guided meditations, with enough instruction to make them a good introduction to mindfulness meditation.
They also offer meditations with less or no guidance. For most of the year, I have meditated for about 15 minutes per day. Not a long time, but this phase has been about establishing the habit as my main focus. Just recently I’ve felt led to sit longer and let go of the guided part. I simply hear a lovely background sound of rain on leaves, and a bell toll once every minute.
I began with an intention to sit first thing in the morning to begin the day. I did a number of mornings throughout the year, but more times than not, I put off doing it in the morning and did it in the evening before I started to wind down for the evening.
And this was ok, I didn’t push. Just recently I simply felt it was time and have started sitting in the morning after I first wake up. This has been happening about 2 weeks now and it’s feeling more and more right every day.
I don’t put any pressure on myself to sit again in the evening but I have just naturally felt like it. The majority of my sessions last about 20 minutes and some days I end up with a 40+ minute total between the 2 sessions. I can’t quite describe the difference I feel as it is so new and fresh. All I can say is it just feels right!
I hope you will follow along and see where this journey takes me. I will do my best to share some interesting information and some practical tips for those who might want to begin a meditation practice of their own.