Starting The Year of the Ox Fresh: A Beginner’s Mind
Posted by Dr. Alda Ngo
Guestpost by Dr. Alda Ngo for Olive Fertility Centre
The Lunar New Year is fast approaching and February 12th is the first day of the Year of the Metal Ox.
Growing up, my family’s lunar new year rituals were all about taking the opportunity to begin anew & we would take extra care to clear out the old cobwebs & clean the house together. The intention being to start the new year with freshness.
Now, the lunar new year is a reminder for me to take the opportunity to practice inviting freshness both outside & within.
One of the foundational life affirming attitudes in Mindfulness practice is to adopt a Beginner’s Mind.
What is a Beginner’s Mind
Most of the time, we are on autopilot, our experiences filtered & shaped by past experiences, beliefs, biases & values.
Cultivating a Beginner’s Mind is about remembering to be with experience with freshness, no matter how familiar, repetitive or mundane it might be. With a beginner’s mind, each moment is a new moment, worthy of our full attention & curiosity.
Having a beginner’s mind means being open, investigative & seeing things as though for the first time. When we widen the aperture of our perspective beyond our usual perceptions, we are more receptive to new possibilities where we might otherwise be stuck in a rut.
Stepping out of our ‘expertise’ can open doors to so much discovery & the ordinary can be extraordinary. A beginner’s mind allows us to really see the richness of the present moment.
As an experiment, try practising Beginner’s Mind in your daily life & see what you notice.
The next time you’re with someone familiar to you, ask yourself if you’re seeing them with fresh eyes, as they really are. Or are you seeing a reflection of your own thoughts about this person. You could try this with a friend, colleague, partner, family member or even pet.
What happens when you look at the sky or ocean, a cloud, tree, or rock with the same wonder & curiosity that you would had you never seen anything like it before?
You could also try it with a problem. Are you seeing things as they really are, or through a veil of habitual thoughts & opinions? What else is actually available to be seen?