Friday, April 10, 2020

#AtoZChallenge--Inspiration and Beginner's Mind

What do inspiration and martial arts have in common? They both benefit from a Buddhist principle called “beginner’s mind.”

Picture yourself walking into a dojo. It is an empty room with tatami mats, wooden swords and other training weapons hanging on the walls and an alter in front to honor the previous sensei (teacher) who has passed, as well as the ones before them.

Just like a student who takes their first martial arts class, you are experiencing everything with a beginner’s perspective. Your physical abilities are tested with drills at the beginning of the class to warm you up. You learn the basic stances and movements that will carry you through the techniques you will learn in later classes. You take in the sounds of other students acknowledging their sensei’s instructions and letting out kiai with each punch and kick. You inhale the smells of sweat and incense. You are so immersed in the class that you don’t even look at the clock.

As a first-time student, you didn’t know anything about martial arts prior to taking the class. That same mentality is the key to finding inspiration.

Inspiration is more of a way to look at an idea rather than the perceived worthiness of that idea. It doesn’t matter what you write as long as you write it in the best way that you can. Even the most nonsensical, otherwise “throwaway” ideas can become great works of art if they are written with skill and passion.

See if you can look at everything with a beginner’s mind. Things that you would consider mundane may become exciting. Foods will have a bolder taste to them. Everyday activities can become fun if you pretend that you’ve never done them before.

Ideas are everywhere. There is no such thing as a “bad idea” as long as you write it well.

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