Joanne Gilhooly - Psychotherapist & Counsellor - Dublin City - B.A. (Hons) Counselling & Psychotherapy, Dip. Gestalt, MIACP
Dublin Counselling and Psychotherapy Blog

Beginner's Mind...

Buttercup on a Bray walk
Many mindfulness practitioners talk about a concept called 'beginner's mind', but what is it?
 
Beginner's mind is all about looking at or experiencing something, anything, as though we have never seen it before.
 
Whether it is this buttercup, your morning coffee, the street you live on, your work environment, or your partner, it is all about paying attention anew.
 
I took this picture of the buttercup while on a walk recently. Many of us will remember holding buttercups under our chins as kids. Our fascination with nature was almost brand new then, but I realised when I looked at this flower, that somewhere along the way I stopped looking at this simple thing, had stopped feeling fascinated, and thought I knew enough about them already. Looking at this picture I realised how much I had never noticed before.
 
Beginners mind asks us to challenge this resignation in ourselves. It asks us to look again, to challenge our assumptions, to keep looking afresh. It is about wondering, questioning, and staying curious.
 
Even about the people, places, and things, we have known our whole lives...even about ourselves.