RIM Voices Spring 2024 Theme Contemplation

Beginner's Mind

Offered by Christine Jacobi and LoriLee Villwock

Every day, we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child—our own two eyes. All is a miracle. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

As Rooted In Mindfulness community rolls out Voices, a new creative community venture, the natural inclination is to embrace the essence of cultivating a beginner's mind.

Beginner's Mind is that special way of looking at something without immediately engaging our preferences and dislikes, all products of our conditioning. It is a spacious and unbiased perspective. It is that same fresh approach that the RIM Voices stewards hope will broaden our personal views by capturing the diverse and novel ways we live the Dharma. As a Sangha, we have a common intention to cultivate wholesome ways of living, but we manifest that intention in infinitely unique ways. Each manifestation, exactly as it arises, has merit.

As stewards of our sangha stories, we also aim to reassure all those who courageously share their experiences rooted in Mindfulness. ;) We present this magazine platform with the spirit of Beginners, believing our community members' narratives and artistic interpretations will nourish and sustain spiritual connections at RIM.

Picture a child exploring a garden - an apt analogy for embracing Beginner's Mind or Child's Mind as we launch our new community publication. Children exhibit a natural curiosity because everything they encounter feels refreshingly new. Their encounters with new objects and experiences lack immediate labels, as their understanding isn't reliant on memories. They are unconcerned with the potential harm of something new, so they explore with a sense of wonder. Fear prompts them to seek reassurance from a parent whose attitude of curiosity, openness, and acceptance instills these traits in their children.

A toddler playing in a garden, caught between the decision to crawl or to walk, finds everything new and interesting. She boldly explores her world without the burden of preconceived notions and expectations. Everything gets a thorough investigation from the eye to the hand and onto the nose and mouth. A hand shovel becomes a toy truck. A plastic pot becomes a hat. A dandelion becomes a tasty treat for lunch. And that magnificent mind rapidly catalogs every sensation. That is how a child's mind grows.

When we explore the garden of our mind, we find expectations, preferences, and dislikes. We are often caught between accepting or rejecting everything we see. With practice, we learn to let all that go. We learn from both success and failure, love and loss, acceptance and rejection. Our magnificent minds can intentionally set aside judgment and rapidly catalog every sensation. Suddenly, everything in our garden looks fresh and interesting.

Much like a child finding fascination in everything, our Beginner's Mind approach to the RIM community magazine is bold and exploratory. This vitality, reminiscent of a child's unbridled exploration, is what Voices aims to capture as we share the fruits of our collective practice: awakening to immeasurable compassion, lovingkindness, appreciative joy, and equanimity. We invite you to bring along your Beginner's Mind and savor this expression of the RIM Sangha.

See Christine's Bio Here

See LoriLee's Bio Here

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