السبت 22 يونيو 2024

Value in Being Forever a Beginner

موقع أيام نيوز

The longer I stay in this profession, the more I value experiences that facilitate what Zen teachers call “Beginner’s Mind,” which recently took the form of an early morning listening to Corazon chew his hay.

Becoming an expert in any field often entails specializing your knowledge and skills to the point of abstraction. You end up operating on a level that is detached from those with whom you are trying to serve and relate. Beginner’s Mind tethers you to the openness and fascination, the receptivity, of beginners in a sport.

Remaining relatable may or may not be important to every trainer. For myself, though, I have discovered that staying able to truly relate to my students is crucial for longevity in this career with horses. Without it, I run the risk of impatience, poor communication, and misguided instruction.

Having a horse of my own helps preserve a little bit of feeling like a fun-struck amateur, even though I am a six-days a week professional. Finding experiences with Corazon outside my daily routines helps even more. These are the vital moments where I find Beginner’s Mind. And the more years I spend with horses, the more valuable these occasions feel. They simultaneously keep my spirits fresh while mooring me to a relatable place for my students.

I took a small group of students camping with their horses this week at Waddell Beach Campground, a coastal valley filled with wildflowers and cypress trees with ocean views. We spent two days riding shaded trails beside the creek and then sitting around the campfire watching our horses doze in their corrals. We said goodnight to them under a star-filled sky aglow with the Milky Way.