Workshop on ‘Embracing the Beginner’s Mind’

Sis. K. C. Chiang spoke about the characteristics of ‘a beginner’s mind’ at the Sunday workshop.

On Sunday 10 August, Sis. K. C. Chiang, ‎an accountant-turned-clinical psychologist, conducted a workshop on ‘Embracing the Beginner’s Mind’ at Nalanda Centre.  A ‘beginner’s mind’ is an essential attribute for the cultivation of ‘Learning’, one of Nalanda’s Eight Core Values.

Having a ‘beginner’s mind’ is to experience life in a way that is unburdened by the past and previous knowledge.  Just like young children, we can experience many things as if for the first time, and every day brings new learning and surprises.  Such enthusiasm and free-thinking spirit seem lost in most adults.  As our fast-paced society evolves, we are living by the clock and relying on routines and habits.  While becoming more efficient in doing things, we are less active in creative-thinking and passive in learning.

The congregation beginning Service Sunday with chanting.

When we cultivate a ‘beginner’s mind’, we free ourselves from expectations.  “When freed from the fetters of assumption and judgment, our experiences become truer reflections of the situation.  And this is where learning and growth occur,” Sis. K. C.  added.  A ‘beginner’s mind’ will relieve us from stress and prejudice, and enrich every aspect of our lives.

Sis. K. C. Chiang concluded the informative session with a quote from Shunryu Suzuki, a famous teacher on the subject – “In the beginner’s mind, there are many possibilities.  In the expert’s mind, there are few.”  We thank Sis. K. C. for her wonderful sharing!

The chanting session was led by Bro. Ajita Lim (front left) and Bro. Charlie Teng (right).