“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.” – Shunryu Suzuki
Sports performance doesn’t mean all tough and rough that you need to look strong with all your facial muscles squished up until nobody can see your eyes. Sometimes, in order to perform, you need to reach a state of serenity, some place where you know you are not perfect, but it’s a moment of perfection. It’s like when time stops or when your actions seem to be in slow motion. You just cannot describe such moments.
If you haven’t experience such seemingly divine moments, don’t worry, let’s start with those zen concepts to get you grounded first.
There’s the Satori or enlightenment, it means awakening and seeing into one’s true nature.
There’s also the Wabi-Sabi which means, accepting the perfection of imperfection
And there’s the Soshin, which means “beginner’s mind”, if you are in martial arts, this shouldn’t be new to you.
In my opinion, there’s no need for you to stick to one concept to be able to become who you want to become. These concepts are simply teachings based on slightly different ways of looking at the world, more of an art rather than science, but learn all of them and you can intertwine their concepts to be of great use in your sport.
From what I’ve learned from Soshin, nobody knows everything, or rather all of us have to confront something with a mindset that we know nothing.
Never be the smartest person in the room, always mingle with those better than you, not for you to idolise them but to admire their capabilities, observe and cultivate your own way to master the art of learning.
Have you been in a situation where you needed to perform a skill so basic, a skill you think you have mastered for a long time, yet when it’s required of you to do so, you couldn’t do it. Or, were there times you thought you were a master of something yet made a mistake that only amateurs will commit?
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- Shoshin: This Zen Concept Will Help You Stop Being a Slave to Old Behaviours and Beliefs
- Shoshin: The Beginner’s Mind
- In the Zone: The Zen of Sports
Best Performance Books:
- Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind (Shambhala Library) by Shunryu Suzuki
- Your Free Audio Book
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