Beginner’s Mind

Beginner’s Mind

In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities

If your mind is empty,
it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything.
In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities;
in the expert’s mind there are few.

The concept of empty mind is a core tenant of Zen Buddhism. Don’t misunderstand what is meant by “empty mind.” It is not a mind devoid of intelligence or even thoughts. An empty mind is a clear mind, as this quote shows. Zen is a combination of Buddhism and Daoism. There is a Daoist saying that illustrates what this quote means: An full cup cannot take in more water. To take in more you must first empty your cup. A cup is only useful when it has space.

Experts are full of what they believe is knowledge. Their minds being full, they cannot learn more. Beginners know how much they do not know and their minds being empty (having room to take in new information), they can learn. Beginners see many possibilities. Experts see few.