Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Beginner's Mind/Dancing With Chloe

My granddaughter loves to dance. I dance with her, and only her, because she doesn’t know or care that I’m a terrible dancer. I decided she needed to see some Michael Jackson videos so together we watched the video’s for “Billie Jean”, “Beat It”, and “Thriller”. By the end of the weekend I lost count of how many times we watched these videos. She begged me for my copy of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” CD/DVD. I didn’t give it to her and she wasn’t too happy with Paw Paw. What I did do is go online last night and order a DVD of all the Michael Jackson videos. Guess what I will be watching over and over this weekend when she comes over for another visit?

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few”.
-Shunryu Suzuki

Most of my life I have been actively seeking and acquiring knowledge. The more I acquired the more I thought I knew. I never got to the point where I thought I knew everything except for a brief time when I was a teen-ager. One of the nice things about growing older is that I am starting to forget things. Much of the knowledge I’ve acquired over the years has been archived in my brain and whenever I try to retrieve it my brain seems to be “on the clock”. The forgetfulness of old age frees up a lot of space to acquire new knowledge. The older I get the less I know. This is not only a literal “not knowing”, it is also a metaphorical “not knowing”. My granddaughter has a beginner’s mind so she is open to all possibilities. Since I often feel like I am losing my mind, along with everything that once filled it, I am in many ways re-acquiring a beginner’s mind. A beginner’s mind is by definition an empty mind. Maybe this is why grandparents and grandchildren get along so well. We are at opposite ends of life but in our minds we are often on the same page. I teach my granddaughter what life has shown me to be important. She teaches me how to live in the moment. Sometimes we just dance.

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