Shoshin

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Shoshin (Japanese: 初心) is a concept from Zen Buddhism meaning beginner's mind. It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner would. The term is especially used in the study of Zen Buddhism and Japanese martial arts,[1] and was popularized outside of Japan by Shunryū Suzuki's 1970 book Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind.

The practice of shoshin acts as a counter to the hubris and closed-mindedness often associated with thinking of oneself as an expert,[2] which includes the Einstellung effect, where a person becomes so accustomed to a certain way of doing things that they do not consider or acknowledge new ideas or approaches.[3] The phrase "beginner's mind" is a translation of the word shoshin, which is a combination of sho (Japanese: ), meaning "beginner" or "initial", and shin (Japanese: ), meaning "mind".[4]

History[edit]

The concept was taught in the thirteenth century by Dōgen Zenji, the founder of the Sōtō Zen school of Buddhism,[4][5]: 14  and is discussed in his collected works, the Shōbōgenzō.[6][7] Shoshin was popularized outside of Japan by the 1970 book Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Shunryū Suzuki, a Zen teacher.[4] Suzuki outlines the framework behind shoshin, noting that "in the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's mind there are few"[5]: 21  which has become a popular quote when discussing shoshin.[4][8][9]

Shoshin wasuru bekarazu (or sometimes variously Shoshin wo wasuru bekarazu[10]) is a Japanese proverb about shoshin coined by the founder of Noh, Japanese playwright Zeami in 1424[11][10] which is typically translated into English as some variation of "never forget the beginner's mind"[12][13] or "never forget your original intent"[10] and persists as a common proverb amongst practitioners of Budō[13] and in Japanese business and entrepreneurship.[14] The concept of shoshin is seen in works such as the eighteenth century book Budôshoshinshû by Daidōji Yūzan, which is a collection of works about Bushidō and the warrior class in Tokugawa-period Japan.[15] The word shoshin within the title refers to the concept of the beginner's mind.[12]

Other uses[edit]

The concept of shoshin is used in the art of Japanese calligraphy within in the context of Zen, where each stroke is made as though the calligrapher were a beginner to the art.[5]: 14  In Japanese calligraphy shoshin is not an aesthetic choice, but rather a state of mind of the practitioner, one that addresses and counters the paradox within calligraphy where the more one practices, the more the quality of the calligraphy may suffer.[16]

Shoshin is described as the first of the states of mind or stages of Budō.[17] Shoshin (beginner's mind) is followed by Mushin (empty mind), Fudōshin (immovable mind), and Zanshin (remaining mind).[18] A fifth state is sometimes also added as Senshin (enlightened mind).[19] In Budō the practitioner is advised to retain shoshin throughout their training and practice of the martial arts; it is not reserved only for those beginning to practice but is maintained even when reaching the higher levels of mastery.[17] Shoshin-sha is a term used in martial arts to indicate a novice.[12]

Shoshin is an influence on the Japanese Metabolism style of architecture, which incorporates concepts from Zen Buddhism and other Asian philosophical traditions into the architectural process and allows those concepts to help shape the design process.[20] Many businesses and people who work in the field of business have adopted or advocate for practicing the concept of shoshin in the business environment,[21][8][9] including top executives such as Apple Inc.'s founder and CEO Steve Jobs, and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff.[22] It is also used or proposed as a way of general living[23] or a way to approach specific fields of life including social work,[24] medical care,[25] teaching,[26] computer programming,[27] gardening,[28] sports,[29] and dealing with chronic diseases such as phenylketonuria.[30]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Shoshin Archived November 11, 2014, at the Wayback Machine sur Encyclopédie technique, historique, biographique et culturelle des arts martiaux, 2004.
  2. ^ Jarrett, Christian (May 18, 2020). "How to foster 'shoshin'". Psyche. Archived from the original on May 13, 2022. Retrieved September 11, 2022.
  3. ^ Skillicorn, Nick (December 14, 2021). "Shoshin: The Beginner's Mind". IdeaToValue.com. Archived from the original on December 14, 2021. Retrieved September 11, 2022.
  4. ^ a b c d Ray, Debika (March 7, 2017). "Word: Shoshin". Kinfolk. Archived from the original on April 5, 2021. Retrieved August 28, 2022.
  5. ^ a b c Suzuki, Shunryū (1970). Zen mind, beginner's mind (First ed.). New York: Weatherhill. ISBN 0-8348-0079-9. OCLC 136259. Archived from the original on September 12, 2022. Retrieved September 12, 2022.
  6. ^ Dōgen (1996). Master Dogen's Shobogenzo Book 2. Translated by Nishijima, Gudo; Cross, Chodo. Windbell Publications. p. 103. ISBN 1-4196-3820-3. OCLC 141383090. Archived from the original on September 12, 2022. Retrieved September 12, 2022.
  7. ^ Dōgen (1999). Master Dogen's Shobogenzo Book 4. Translated by Nishijima, Gudo; Cross, Chodo. Windbell Publications. p. 31. ISBN 1-4196-3821-1. OCLC 141383090. Archived from the original on September 12, 2022. Retrieved September 12, 2022.
  8. ^ a b Jalona, Sanjay. "How The Shoshin Approach To Business Can Spur Innovative Solutions". Chief Executive. Archived from the original on October 16, 2021. Retrieved September 11, 2022.
  9. ^ a b McNeilly, Mark (May 1, 2013). "How Your Own Expertise Is Holding You Back". Fast Company. Archived from the original on January 18, 2021. Retrieved September 11, 2022.
  10. ^ a b c Zeami (2008). Zeami, performance notes. Translated by Hare, Tom. New York: Columbia University Press. p. 467. ISBN 978-0-231-13958-8. OCLC 171613927. Archived from the original on September 12, 2022. Retrieved September 12, 2022.
  11. ^ "A Mirror Held to the Flower (1424)". University of Idaho. Archived from the original on September 12, 2022. Retrieved September 10, 2022.
  12. ^ a b c Cleary, Thomas (2011). Code of the Samurai : a Modern Translation of the Bushido Shoshinshu of Taira Shigesuke. New York: Tuttle Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4629-0042-8. OCLC 741492431. Archived from the original on September 12, 2022. Retrieved September 12, 2022.
  13. ^ a b Shimabukuro, Masayuki (2022). Karate As the Art of Killing A Study of Its Deadly Origins, Ideology of Peace, and the Techniques of Shito-Ry U. New York: North Atlantic Books. p. 76. ISBN 978-1-62317-662-4. OCLC 1317333110. Archived from the original on September 12, 2022. Retrieved September 12, 2022.
  14. ^ Shimazaki, H. T. (2018). Vision in Japanese Entrepreneurship : the Evolution of a Security Enterprise. Milton: Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-0-429-78768-3. OCLC 1064824441. Archived from the original on September 12, 2022. Retrieved September 12, 2022.
  15. ^ "Budôshoshinshû by Daidôji Yûzan". Columbia University. Archived from the original on July 16, 2017. Retrieved September 10, 2022.
  16. ^ Davey, H. E. (2007). The Japanese way of the artist. Berkeley, CA: Stone Bridge Press. ISBN 978-1-61172-538-4. OCLC 795120022. Archived from the original on September 12, 2022. Retrieved September 12, 2022.
  17. ^ a b Chiba, T.K. (1989). "Structure of Shu, Ha, Ri, and Penetration of Shoshin". Sansho. 6 (2). Archived from the original on February 19, 2003. Retrieved September 11, 2022.
  18. ^ Sorkun, Murat Cihan (June 23, 2019). "States Of Mind In Budo: Shoshin, Mushin, Fudoshin, And Zanshin". Eindhoven Aikido College. Archived from the original on October 28, 2021. Retrieved September 11, 2022.
  19. ^ Sanders, Bodhi (December 30, 2015). "Bushido – The Five Spirits of Budo". TheWisdomWarrior.com. Archived from the original on May 13, 2016. Retrieved September 11, 2022.
  20. ^ Steele, James (2017). Contemporary Japanese architecture : tracing the next generation. London: Taylor & Francis. p. 98. ISBN 978-1-138-94124-3. OCLC 956633931. Archived from the original on September 12, 2022. Retrieved September 12, 2022.
  21. ^ Wesolowski, Sébastien (November 30, 2021). "Shoshin and the power of being an eternal beginner in the workplace". Welcome to the Jungle. Archived from the original on December 2, 2021. Retrieved September 11, 2022.
  22. ^ Linecker, Adelia Cellini (April 24, 2020). "Practice Beginner's Mind To Unlock Breakthrough Ideas". Investor's Business Daily. Archived from the original on April 5, 2022. Retrieved September 11, 2022.
  23. ^ Balasubramanian, Saumya (February 2, 2019). "The art and charm of shoshin". The Hindu. Archived from the original on November 8, 2020. Retrieved September 11, 2022.
  24. ^ Soule, Jennifer (2014). "Beginner's Mind". Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping. 13 (2): 50–55. Archived from the original on April 16, 2021. Retrieved September 12, 2022.
  25. ^ Younie, Louise (November 2, 2017). "Beginner's mind". London Journal of Primary Care. 9 (6): 83–85. doi:10.1080/17571472.2017.1370768. ISSN 1757-1472. PMC 5694793. PMID 29181090.
  26. ^ Kochhar-Lindgren, Gary (2001). "Beginner's Mind: Opening the Open in the Classroom". Pedagogy. 1 (2): 410–415. doi:10.1215/15314200-1-2-410. S2CID 144031049.
  27. ^ Belshee, A. (2005). "Promiscuous pairing and beginner's mind: embrace inexperience [agile programming]". Agile Development Conference (ADC'05). Denver, CO, USA: IEEE Comput. Soc: 125–131. doi:10.1109/ADC.2005.37. ISBN 978-0-7695-2487-0. S2CID 1536146. Archived from the original on July 4, 2022. Retrieved September 12, 2022.
  28. ^ Gander, Kashmira (April 8, 2019). "What Is the Shoshin Approach? Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Zen Gardening Post Prompts Mostly Positive Response—For a Change". Newsweek. Archived from the original on November 21, 2020. Retrieved September 11, 2022.
  29. ^ Whiting, Kate (October 30, 2019). "This Japanese concept will help you see the world – and learn – in a different way". World Economic Forum. Archived from the original on June 8, 2022. Retrieved September 11, 2022.
  30. ^ Murphy, Brian (February 25, 2021). "Shoshin and Phenylketonuria". Phenylketonuria News. Archived from the original on October 26, 2021. Retrieved September 11, 2022.