I am in the fortunate position to be welcoming a healthy new grand daughter to the world. Once again, I am reminded of the miracle of life in all its glory. In the first couple of days, as I was holding her and looking into her eyes, it dawned on me that this was beginner's mind in action. She was calmly looking around and taking in everything as it appeared. At this point, she has no conceptions, no paradigms, no formulae for life. It's all new.
Over the first couple of weeks I noticed how she grew and changed. Another marvel. At first, I was thinking that is it wondrous how much little ones change in such a short amount of time. But later, as I pondered that more, it dawned on me that my own 'paradigm' for that thinking is the assumption that we adults are more or less fixed, or at least we grow and change much slower than infants. As I considered that it became clear those assumptions are erroneous. It is marvelous to note the changes in the new infant, but in comparison to adults those changes are just more obvious, not more in quantity.
We all change daily, whether we are ripe from the womb, or ripe in old age. Change is change, regardless of our experiences and so-called knowledge. Not that us old folk haven't learned and grown in ways that children haven't had the chances to do yet. We have. However, we have also forgotten how to observe the changes that still happen daily, hourly, really every second. What holds us back, or stunts our growth so to speak, is our tendency to not notice and be grateful for the copious changes that make up our existence. Life is nothing less than change, growth, and constant learning and adapting.
This is an opportunity for growth. Understanding, that to enter the Kingdom, we must become as children; that Beginner's Mind is Zen Mind; that the return to a prenatal state is more than inner alchemy, it is attitude, state of mind, a starting point for Right Action.
Rodney J Owen