8 or 9 years ago now, one of my Senseis used to remind us to use ‘beginner’s mind’ in our dojo practice.
Today I finished reading A Chosen Faith, which is an introductory book to the religion that I grew up in and have practiced in my own funny way, during my adult life. 13 of the years of my adult life I was a regular church goer so far. I was also a church goer as a child – most of the time. Most of the years I didn’t regularly attend was because I wanted or needed a ride but didn’t get one. For over a year now, I have been doing ‘online’ practice, plus a retreat and the whole magazine and newsletter deal and had intended to spend the entire Summer working at one of the Summer camps that has middle aged and mature staff – very mixed age group staff, instead of the ones where the old staff members are the 30 year old Directors.
Doing anything to behave like a beginner in a system one has grown up in can help a person learn new things – it might just be aspects of it one never even noticed right alongside other details which one already knows deeply and accurately. I learned a few things, for sure, and yes, it really did seem like it was written about the religion I grew up in. Yes, that’s really what its like.