It is the role of every parent to teach their children. Even at the cost of berating them at times. My father, an amazingly patient person, has always berated me for one thing. My lack of a beginners mind. There is a Zen Buddhist term for it. It is called Shoshin. Shoshin refers to the idea of letting go of your preconceived notions and having an open, embracing, approach to life. Everyday! Living this way is easier said than done as none of us are actors in the movie Ground Hog Day. We do not relive the same day every day.

If you live like most of us, you learn lessons. Life can be a harsh teacher, and there are enough cruel lessons to be learnt. A child, on the other hand, yet to be exposed to these experiences, has a free mind. A mind that knows no boundaries and has perhaps not learnt the humiliation of failure. A mind that does not carry the baggage of the past or one that has an acute sense of I; especially I know. For it is such a mind that is no longer a student. It is such a mind to which no master can appear. It does not need one.

One must exercise caution though. We are not talking about skills. Instead, we are referring to beliefs. The belief that something should be a particular way. The belief that something is or is not possible. Often, we intermingle our skill for e.g. the ability to read people with our beliefs; people are real or not. The former is used to evaluate people. The latter could prevent us from a fresh opinion. Our ego tells us I know. Our skills kick in before we have had a chance to be in Shoshin. The opinion forms in milliseconds and leaves you with a narrow view of the possible.

So what of me? Well there are several layers to be peeled, aren’t they?