The Nature of UnBeginner's Mind (NoUM) branch of the Human-Dog Problem Tree.
Talking about the Beginner's Mind in a blog post is somewhat oxymoronic.
Blog readers are skimmers, they need their info quick and dirty. I know, I'm one of you.
In order to disengage the UnBeginner's Mind and approach things with an open, pliable and child-like eyes, adults require a mindful study of themselves. This is a very hard proposition because its true; ignorance IS bliss.
Once you are awake to your own mind, things that seemed important will all of a sudden seem trivial.
While money, promotions and fancy cars are not the exclusive domain of the ignorant, those things will stop to matter so much.
Don't think of the Beginner's Mind state as a destination which once reached, you get to stay at forever.
It's an ongoing process but there is good news.
Most dogs, most of the time are in the Beginner's state of mind.
They are incredibly resilient animals and can teach us a lot about how to approach life. If we use them as guides into the Beginner's Mind we can then apply the same methodology in other areas of our life. Here is one example.
Much has been said about staying in the moment. For thousands of years, wisdom seekers would search high and low only to discover that everything they ever needed was here and now. Damn that's deep :-)
Let's reach into our evolutionary bag and see if this "here and now", "stay in the moment" crap adds up.
Agricultural (as in "hoarding") age started about 10 thousands years ago. It is at this point that humans began to store supplies and plan for lean months en mass.
Prior to that, for millions of years, humans and our mammalian ancestry didn't have refrigerators, didn't plant rice and grains, er go couldn't store food long term. Since food couldn't be stored, hoarding and planning for lean months wasn't a major part of our activities. Therefore, all they had was here and now.
Side Note: From an evolutionary perspective, hoarding food is a precursor to hoarding everything. From collecting stamps to hoarding cats, money, power, whatever...
The assertion here is that millions of years of evolution has left an indelible imprint on our DNA. Our natural state of being is not to hoard, store, plan, etc. Our natural state of being is to live in the moment since tomorrow is not guarantied to anyone.
Case in point:
Dr. Paul Ekman, a famed facial recognition expert and Psychologist once told a story in an interview (start at 50 minute mark; or 51:50 to be exact) which I think demonstrated our genetic proclivity to staying in the moment in a vivid fashion.
He studied stone-age cultures for many years. People who live the way humans lived between 10 and 200+ thousand years ago.
Dr. Ekman would ask a tribesmen to take him to a neighboring village on Saturday and the tribesmen would reply “How can I know what I’ll be doing on Saturday. Ask me on Saturday”.
Excellent interview on facial recognition, Darwin, social sciences, etc. Provided below for your enjoyment.
Some purists will argue that in today's day and age one must plan for future. I'm not opposed to this in principle, but it has to be put in perspective and balanced with our natural proclivities versus the imposed ones.
In conclusion, staying here and now is a really good way to foster a Beginner's state of mind.
Once achieved, the Beginner's Mind is not guarantied to anyone forever. It has to be mindfully sought after every single moment.
I realize the futility of condensing thousands of years of spiritual practice into a series of blog posts, but I hope that at most this post sends you on the path of a Beginner, or at least gets you to become more mindful of your thoughts but I warn you.
Once you embark on this journey, there is no going back.
While I don't claim to be anything, I can say that I have embarked on that journey and sometimes vacillate to my past and notice myself wishing that I had remained ignorant.
Dino Dogan is a blogger, writer, biker, dog trainer, singer/songwriter, Martial Artist. Dino is now busy with his DIY Blogger Net blog. He is also behind the great social media tool, Triberr. Hopefully one day he'll return to dog blogging. Meanwhile, you can connect with Dino on Twitter or Facebook.
Human-Dog Problem Tree - PART ONE
Human-Dog Problem Tree - PART TWO
Human-Dog Problem Tree - PART THREE
Human-Dog Problem Tree - PART FOUR
Human-Dog Problem Tree - PART FIVE
Human-Dog Problem Tree - PART SIX
Human-Dog Problem Tree - PART SEVEN
Human Dog Problem Tree - PART EIGHT
Human Dog Problem Tree - PART NINE
Human Dog Problem Tree - PART TEN
Human Dog Problem Tree - PART ELEVEN
Human Dog Problem Tree - PART TWELVE
Human Dog Problem Tree - PART THIRTEEN
Human Dog Problem Tree - PART FOURTEEN
Human Dog Problem Tree - PART FIFTEEN
Human Dog Problem Tree - PART SIXTEEN