"In the beginners mind there are many possibilities, in the experts very few" -  Shunryu Suzuki Roshi

 SHO.  The Beginner. It denotes the starting point and as such sometimes replaces the number one. This is seen in the Shodan grade in Japanese Martial Arts. The first degree Black Belt recipient has literally gained the title of...beginner.

SHIN. Heart or Mind. When we say ' Put your heart into it!' we are referring to  Shin.

Sho Shin is then the Beginner's Mind. The interested beginner listens carefully, they are full of enthusiastic questions and purposeful energy. They WANT to know.  It should be noted that this is not naivetee. It is about understanding a concept BEFORE deciding upon it's current merit.


From Sensei...

I first came into contact with this concept in the literature prepared by Tadashi Nakamura Sensei, head of the Seido Juku school of Karate. Whilst visiting with Sensei in New York in 1997 I managed to purchase my first copy of Zen Mind, Beginners Mind. Since then it has been somewhat of a personal motto for me. It is a reminder not to get too set in my ways, but to endevour to remain open to the ideas of those around me. In 1998 when I founded my own school of Martial Arts I called upon this phrase to inspire my students to a beneficial state of mind. Sho Shin Do - Zen Karate can be translated as The way of the Beginners mind - Meditation through Karate.