"I still find the moon more amazing than the fact men have walked on it." ~ Marty Rubin
"We are perishing for lack of wonder, not for lack of wonders." ~ G.K. Chesterson
Two of my nephews grew up in Maui. Several years ago while visiting my parents in NJ, the older one stopped running suddenly and exclaimed, "Look, Dad, a squirrel!!" My son, Weston, who was 8 or 9 and younger than my nephews, gave me a puzzled look. I explained that they didn't have squirrels in Maui just like they didn’t have geckos where we lived so to see one in person was amazing to them. I reminded Weston how "squirrel" had been one of his first words and that he used to chase them around our neighborhood park, creating a renewed fascination for my husband, Burke, and me.
It's a shame that our instinctive sense of discovery and amazement fades as we grow older. And although I'm all for our need for novelty, the challenge for us adults is to keep the sense of amazement going even for things we've seen or done hundreds of times. I sometimes find myself slipping into auto pilot when doing familiar poses like Down Dog and have to remind myself how cool it is that my body can move this way. And as of this writing, I honestly don't know what phase the moon is in.
There's a concept in Zen Buddhism called, "Shoshin," or "Beginner's Mind," which refers to a mind that is innocent of preconceptions and expectations, judgments and prejudices―like the face of a child when he is frozen in his tracks at the sight of a squirrel. This blog has some practical ways you might try to cultivate Beginner's Mind. We'll also approach Beginner's Mind on our mats this month.
In the meantime, how's the moon looking?