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https://zenhabits.net/beginner/

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Approaching Life with Beginner's Mind : zen habits
A lot of our troubles could be solved by one simple practice. A lot of joy could be found with the same practice. And it is simple: practice seeing life with a beginner's mind. I'm stealing this of course from Zen Buddhism's shoshin and Shunryu Suzuki's Zen Mind Beginner's Mind , and I've written about it numerous times.

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A beginner’s mind

It means dropping our expectations and preconceived ideas about something, and seeing things with an open mind, fresh eyes, just like a beginner.

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Benefits of a beginner's mind

  • Better experiences: You aren’t clouded by prejudgments or preconceptions about how things should be.
  • Better relationships: You can see people with fresh eyes and notice t...

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A form of meditation

Beginner’s mind is a form of meditation. Instead of sitting in meditation and thinking you know what your breath will be like, or the present moment in front of you will be like, just p...

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Beginner's Luck

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What Zen Is Not

  • A habit
  • Simplicity
  • A state of peace
  • A state of mind
  • A minimalist aesthetic
  • Living simply
  • A destination
  • Just being in the moment

On Zen

  • “Zen” is a shorthand for Zen Buddhism, introduced into China in the 6th century, and emphasizes enlightenment for the student by the most direct possible means.
  • Zen is a path to fully awaken to your original nature, which is present at all times.
  • The word Zen comes from the Chinese word “chán” and the Sanskrit word “dhyana, ” which means “meditation. ”
  • A Zen mind cannot be understood from the perspective of our ordinary, dualistic mind.
  • Zen practice may calm our minds, bring more clarity, and infuse us with greater kindness.

Shunryū Suzuki

Shunryū Suzuki

“Zen mind is one of those enigmatic phrases used by Zen teachers to make you notice yourself, to go beyond the words and wonder what your own mind and being are. This is the purpose of all Zen teaching—to make you wonder and to answer that wondering with the deepest expression of your own nature.”

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Why parents need self-compassion

Parents' frame of mind impacts their children. Parents should not blame themselves when their children struggle.

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Make time for mindfulness

Many parents stop meditating once they have children. But new research suggests that even brief interventions can be helpful.

  • Take two breaths of kindness wherever you are.
  • Find moments of newness while engaged in your daily tasks of living.
  • Bring awareness and gratitude to the everyday things you take for granted.

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Guided vs. unguided meditation

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Calming vs. insight meditation

The intention of calming meditation is to cultivate a quieter, more peaceful state of mind and improved concentration.

Insight meditation often sets an intention to transform the mind by developing qualities such as wisdom and compassion. 

Many meditation techniques combine elements of both.

Focused attention

It uses the object of your breath to focus attention and maintain awareness. If your mind starts to wander, return your attention to your breath.

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The costs of indecisiveness

  • Not taking action can cost you an opportunity, or cost money and time as you delay.
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How we deal with uncertainty

These are some of the common ways we habitually deal with the uncertainty of a decision. But none of them solve the problem for us:

  • Doing some research. 
  • Writing out a pros and cons list.
  • Asking a bunch of people about their opinion.
  • Putting off the decision.

We are uncertain about

  • What the best choice might be.
  • Whether there will be negative consequences of the choice.
  • Whether we’ll look dumb to others if we make the wrong choice.
  • Whether we’ll feel dumb, or ripped off, and regret it for years to come.
  • Whether we’ll be OK if we make the wrong choice.

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Open awareness

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The power of open awareness

Some find that being aware of awareness is confusing or even bizarre.

However, upon further reflection, they consider it very peaceful.

Social neuroscientists found when practicing open awareness meditation, Gamma waves that usually occur briefly and in one spot of the brain are elevated all across the brain. It makes you feel a sense of vastness and spaciousness.

Our brain is an anticipation machine

We typically see the world through a set of filters that can limit our experience and keep us stuck in painful patterns of emotion.

Filters help us anticipate what is going to happen next and influence the information our brains receive. When we begin to filter too much, we lose touch with the beginner's mind that is open and without preconceptions.

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