I heard the news today about Steve Jobs death. We know he was a Buddhist and that Buddhism philosophy helped him a lot, no matter if he was at his work or just living life.
He said many timeless phrases to encourage people. There is one goes like this:
“There’s a phrase in Buddhism, ‘Beginner’s mind.’ It’s wonderful to have a beginner’s mind. It is the kind of mind that can see things as they are, which step by step, and in a flash can realize the original nature of everything. Beginner’s mind is Zen practice in action. It is the mind that is innocent of preconceptions and expectations, judgments and prejudices. Think of beginner’s mind as the mind that faces life like a small child, full of curiosity and wonder and amazement.”
“Don’t forget beginner’s mind/heart” is a phrase from Avatamsaka Sutra.
“Heart,” also called “Buddha nature,” is the original nature of mind. It’s the ability to be aware. Spirit begins without any outside interference and material temptations. Buddha nature is the simplest seed within all spirits. The beginning of Buddha mind also means the first awareness. The beginner has a clear view of the world, like a mirror created clean and bright. But mind is influenced over time. Improper, unclear thoughts gradual distract our thinking of things and cover up the direct comprehension in our heart. The bright mirror of our mind becomes clouded or dusty. When we base our thoughts and actions on a variety of “grasping” we just have all kinds of vexation. Therefore, don’t forget beginner’s mind to reminding you of the original nature of heart and use it to observe the world.
No matter what you are doing; studying, working, buying a car, starting a new sport or profession or hobby… you began with aspirations and beginners mind. We are all full of passion for our endeavor. But after a while many of us fall into frustration. But if you do not forget your original heart, you will have the perseverance to move forward and do the job well.
Lastly, although the philosopher has passed away, his legacy will stay in people’s hearts.
When I sat in front of my computer reading the news about you, your philosophy of life, your light illuminates my mind.— For Steve Jobs—