Think you already know it all? Kim, a Wrexham counsellor, discusses Beginners Mind.

Have you ever been in the position where someone is telling you stuff you already know?

When I was nursing, due to my husband’s job, we moved house on a frequent basis. Consequently I was fortunate enough to work in many different hospitals in England and Wales and mostly within my chosen nursing specialty of ICU and Pain Management.  Every time I moved job I had to learn to comply to that hospital’s way of doing things and the use of their machines and equipment.  Even if I had used the exact same equipment in a previous hospital I had to be re-trained.   It was almost like my previous knowledge and experience wasn’t taken into consideration…for them I was a clean slate to be molded to their specification.  This frustrated me as I was being told things I already knew and so I closed my mind and ears to what I was being told since I believed that I already knew what it was I needed to know: arrogance.

In Buddhism there is a wonderful expression: “Beginners Mind”.  Even if you know about something, if you approach it with an open and curious mind there will be something new you will learn, either about that particular thing or yourself.  It comes from the concept of the less we know the more we learn; where if we start from a position of ignorance we become less so.  Beginners Mind is also a less frustrating start point than the “I already know it” Mind for the learner and the teacher!


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