We all need to cultivate a ‘beginner’s mind’.Having a ‘beginner’s mind’ means seeing all things as if for the first time. In truth we are always seeing things for the very first time because everything is in a constant state of flux, but we seldom think of it that way. Even the familiar and the everyday—those things around us that we habitually see—they never remain the same.
When we see things with a beginner’s mind, we see each thing in all its directness and immediacy and freshness. Everything is new and wonderful, and you are part of the ongoing unfoldment of life itself from one moment to the next. In that regard, I am reminded of something the great German mystic Meister Eckhart once said, namely, 'Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.'
There are many
schools of Buddhism, but there is this golden thread running through all of
Buddhism, namely, that each one of us can be—and in a very real sense already
is—a Buddha. Now, I am not talking about the historical Buddha as such. I am talking about a potentiality within
each one of us that is always trying to burst its way into full expression in
and as us. In the New Testament Saint Paul writes
of ‘Christ in you, the hope of glory’ (Col 1:27) which, as I see it, is
more-or-less the same idea. This is what Shunryu Suzuki has to say about the matter:
'To do something, to live in each moment, means to be the temporal activity of Buddha. To sit in this way [Zazen] is to be Buddha himself, to be as the historical Buddha was. The same thing applies to everything we do. Everything is Buddha’s activity. So whatever you do, or even if you keep from doing something, Buddha is that activity. …'
Suzuki refers to this way of living as ‘being Buddha.’ He writes, ‘Without trying to be Buddha you are Buddha. This is how we attain enlightenment. To attain enlightenment is to be always with Buddha.’ Suzuki quotes the historical Buddha’s statement, ‘See Buddha nature in various beings, and in every one of us.’ In that regard, a number of Buddhist scriptures state that the historical Buddha said that we are all buddhas, a buddha being a person who is enlightened, that is, awake. This is reminiscent of what Jesus himself affirmed, namely, 'Is it not written in your law, I said ye are gods' (Jn 10:34; cf Ps 82:6). Sadly, all too often we fail to see the world around us—as well as ourselves—as they really are.
Start seeing everything afresh with a beginner’s mind.