Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Thursday 7/23/09 - "CULTIVATE A BEGINNER'S MIND"


Today I attended a noon women's Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. It was the same meeting, in the same room that I walked into for the first time 24 years ago. Different women, the furniture newer, no smoking is the rule, but otherwise it is exactly as on the day I arrived as a "beginner". My guess is that they were saying pretty much the same things, but at that time I heard and understood nothing.

Today I heard the following statement and was able to hear and contemplate it:

I liked it and asked myself why it resonated so strongly with me.

I love the idea of cultivating a mind - nurturing and fostering the growth of healthy ideas. If I am cultivating my mind, I am keeping it fertile, fresh, free to receive new, life-giving information.

But why would I want to cultivate a beginner's mind? Why not a long-timer's mind? The next thought in my mind was Mark 10:15 from the Bible:

"Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all."

As a child I was full of curiosity, was always searching to know and experience more, and I had open-mindedness. These are the same qualities I need and desire today. These attitudes keep my memory green and hopefully make it less likely that I will repeat the horrors of my active alcoholic past.

Additionally, the more years I work the AA program, the more I come to understand how little I know. As a newcomer, I knew nothing and I was hungry for anything that would lessen my confusion, anxiety, and sick thinking. I was anxious to increase sane thinking, and create and strengthen a spiritual connection. I want and need that today as much as when I first arrived.

Let's remember there is a time to "CULTIVATE A BEGINNER'S MIND".

Prayer Girl


Gin said...

Sometimes I get frustrated when I realize how little I truly know. But then I look back at where I've been and I see what a work in progress our lives are and that I will NEVER know all I need to or want to know.

Mike Golch said...

I am so glad I stopped by for this great message.Big time hugs.Mike G. said that!

Just Be Real said...

PG I think it is wonderful that you can even recognize the more you have worked your AA, the more you have opportunity to still grow and learn. Even that is a process!!! So, it makes perfect sense to cultivate even a beginners mind, relying on the Savior all the way!! Thank you for sharing dear one!!

Anonymous said...

nice post! in my view (as yours it seems) 'beginner's mind' means OPEN mind.. a mind that is open to new information and is willing to say 'i don't know' versus an 'I-KNOW mind'.. like when someone is sharing with me and i start feeling like i'm closing down, i try to remember 'is it POSSIBLE they could be right'.. if i'm not open, i may miss something that could enlighten me to myself and in turn, help others. perhaps.

that I-KNOW mind can be very closed! not attractive! ha

my 2 cents for what it's worth on this lovely day

Syd said...

I know that I am still willing and teachable. As a Beginner, I wanted so badly to have peace. I was in a lot of pain. I have the desire still to learn and grow. I can see how much I have grown since going to meetings. Yet, every day I can see that there is much more to learn and to do in service to the fellowship. Thanks for a great post.

Cat said...

it seems that I always wind up back at the start of my program - back to step one or square one and it used to frustrate me so much, but now I know what is needed and I begin again and let go of everything else, being open to acceptance...

Andrew said...

Yes, a beginners mind. An open mind. One of the essentials of recovery. I don't think it can be done without that attitude. Not for me, at least. And I Know That! lol.