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haikaiTALKS: a saturday gathering! 18th november - Shoshin - beginners' mind

haikaiTALKS: Japanese aesthetics - shoshin - a saturday gathering_under the banyan tree

host: Kala Ramesh

18th November 2023

Japanese aesthetics: Shoshin - beginners' mind

Shoshin (初心) is a word from Zen Buddhism meaning "beginners' 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.

As adults our prior knowledge blocks us from seeing things anew. To quote zen master Shunryo Suzuki, “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.”

How much more appropriate can it be in haikai writing? Another exciting week ahead!!

Useful link

From Keiko's post:

Dear haikaiTALKS friends,

These definitions quoted from various sites are the most prevailing ideas of shoshin:

⚫︎beginner’s resolution with humility

⚫︎first thought

⚫︎initial ambition

⚫︎original intention/ purpose

⚫︎naïve feeling when first conceived

In the Japanese people’s conversations it’s often said “don’t forget your shoshin(beginner’s mind with humility)” or “reconnect with your shoshin(original purpose), since shoshin is forgotten or lost as we grow older.

Hope this could further your understanding of shoshin…


First post: optional You search and find a haiku that has shoshin - beginners' mind.

You'll give your reason/s why you think it has this aesthetic nuance. Second post: This will be your first haiku with shoshin

Third post: This will be your second haiku with shoshin

Please give your feedback on others' commentary and poems too. _()_

Have fun! Keep writing and commenting!

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