The Value of the Beginner’s Mind

“In the beginner’s mind there are possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few.”

-Zen Master Shunryo Suzuki

There are many ways to approach beginner’s mind, but today I am going to talk about the concept of clearing your mind particularly in relation to what you think you know about health and wellness. Letting go of all of your knowledge and beliefs, if even just for a moment, can create a wonderful opportunity to start anew with a clean slate and fresh perspective.

With a client last week, this was one of my suggestions and it was related to nutrition information. We are constantly inundated with information about supplements, superfoods, phytonutrients, it’s never ending. Some of us take a handful of supplements in the morning for a variety of different perceived benefits and we end up creating more disorder than health. We make a chia seed porridge with acai and goji berries, ground flax, hemp seeds and coconut milk or a smoothie with all this plus kale, almond butter and protein powder and we don’t always stop to consider whether it truly makes sense for our bodies, our digestive system and the energy we want to bring into our day.

Using beginner’s mind can help us take a step back and start from scratch, adding only those things that make sense today in this moment. Sometimes we have so many facts and assumptions crowding our brain, that there’s no space for our intuition to guide us. Our intuition is essential for guiding us on our path of health. Clearing our minds can help us become more aware of that insight.

courtesy of hyena reality at
courtesy of hyena reality at

Many people have used a macrobiotic approach to help heal their bodies from cancer. The recommendations given for healing from cancer are very different from those given for maintaining health. It’s fairly common for people who have healed from cancer to keep doing the same recommendations that helped them heal even years after the cancer is gone. By doing this, they create other imbalances in their bodies.

Our bodies change over time and we have different needs, sometimes on a daily basis. This is another place beginner’s mind is very helpful. Your body is not the same as it was a year ago or six months ago. Beginner’s mind allows us an opportunity to see our health for where it is today.

Another benefit of beginner’s mind is to help us view life with childlike wonder. This post today is about using it specifically in light of our health and diet, but it can be used to help us have a fresh view on anything in our lives. I hope you take some time today to play with this. There are many ways you can integrate it into your life. I probably use this frequently throughout my day without even thinking about it anymore. I just clear my mind and look at something anew. It’s fun and helps me see things from a new perspective every time.