For this week’s post I am going to touch on a very high level subject within the Shin Ho Kwan Curriculum. We will be covering the rest of this at the Winter Retreat.
The Four Minds of Shin Ho Kwan
Cho Sim (초심) – Beginner Mind
Before I go into detail about Cho Sim, lets look at the Korean Words themselves. “Cho” comes from the Chinese word “Sho” (初) which means: beginning or primary. 初 is made up of 刀 and 衣. Normally the ideogrammic compound of the character isn’t that important but in this case it is. The character “刀” means “knife” and the character “衣” means “outer layers.” So in essence, the characters together mean “cutting through the outer layers.” “Sim” comes from the Chinese word “Shin” (心) which in this case means: mind. Therefore, Cho Sim means “Beginner Mind” or “The Mind that Cuts through the Outer Layers.” By cutting through the outer layers we open ourselves to new knowledge and free ourselves from the barriers (outer layers) that block us from learning new material. 神通並妙用 – How Miraculous This!!!!!!!
A person with Beginner Mind, has a mind that is open and willing to learn. This willingness is not dependent on anything. Specifically, it doesn’t matter if the material being covered will make the person learning it look good, or the material is fun to learn, or the material, in the opinion of the person learning it, is readily recognized for its importance, or excreta. A person with Beginner Mind always has a total lack of preconceptions of what is being learned. This person learns the material being covered much faster and to a much greater depth than a person that does not have Beginner Mind.
Shunryu Suzuki, a famous Japanese author on meditation, has this to say about Beginner Mind: In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.
Do you have a Beginner’s Mind? Something to think about……..