You may not remember Kindergarten (The Garden of Children) or the kind of mind you operated from then. Nearly 30 years teaching elementary school children, I recognize the power. It is a fresh mind living wholly in the present moment. Beginner’s Mind means to be open, receptive, curious, and attentive. It does not mean to forget or give up yourself to the authority or expertise of another.
What we learned then, as Czech and English author, Robert Lee Fulghum, so wisely wrote in his work “All I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”, is what Kindergarten for Grown-Ups awakens us to remember, and practice in ways that bring us joy, equanimity, charity, and most importantly, love.
Don’t hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.
Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die. So do we.
And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned – the biggest word of all – LOOK.