beginner’s mind

when I first spoke with my friend Ivo about leaving my previous job, I told him the story of the jazz guitar player who was always switching bands:

"I always want to be the worst player in a band" he said, and that is also what is driving me to leave Tomtom. I’m no longer the rookie, the new guy. I no longer feel this excitement of not knowing where things are or how things are done.

so a week, after having arrived in Berlin, I picked up a book on the practice of Buddhism and I bumped into the following words:

In Japan we have the phrase shoshin, which means “beginner’s mind”. The goal of practice is always to keep your beginner’s mind. (…)

In the beginner’s mind there is no thought [like] “I have attained something”. When we have no thought of achievement, no thought of self, we are true beginners. (…)

There is no need to have a deep understanding of Zen. Even though you read much Zen literature, you must read each sentence with a fresh mind. (…)

This is the real secret of the arts: always be a beginner.

is is curious that I get this “beginner’s mind” feeling not only in my new job but with everything that I’ve been through during this past week: leaving Spain behind, leaving my comfort zone of a steady job and a nice warm place, where life was pretty much unsurprising, and go to a place where hardly no one knows me, where the language is totally alien and start all over…


last friday I went to a house concert at Stefan’s place and got a chance to talk to Dan Coyle, the folk singer who played and sang for us, about these feelings as well — after about 3 years of shows and records in the US, he and his girlfriend Jessica (now his fiancĂ©) decided to leave the US and come to Europe. they’ve been traveling, meeting new people, and eventually they sat down for about 6 weeks to work on a new album; away from their comfort zone, using all these new experiences as fresh new inputs for their creative process.

I guess some people need this frightening feeling, this abandonment, this vertigo to fuel their life; in order to reinvent themselves or even just to relearn who they are and what they want in their lives.

people like us, I used to say to my friend Dimitris, are restless — we always need to be moving around, searching for new experiences and new people but we also find home in almost everywhere in the world.