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Don’t let old ideas about how you should be dating ruin the present. Drop every expectation, and embark on that first date using shoshin—beginner’s mind.
It’s always bugged me when people say, “When you stop looking for love, love will find you.” It seems cruel to ask someone to put aside the search for what their hearts long. And what about being proactive? Aren’t we more likely to meet someone if we’re “putting ourselves out there?”
But despite my discomfort with this idea, I have to admit that it worked that way for me. I’d just finished graduate school and was preparing to move away from Colorado when I met a sweet man while walking our dogs on the Sanitas Valley Trail and the rest is history.
Why does this seem to happen so often?
I don’t actually think this happens because people stop looking, but because they often stop looking for coincides with a less grasping, more present state of mind. When I wasn’t obsessed with looking at every man as a potential partner, I was more able to clearly see each person in front of me. This state of mind is one that we can choose to tap into while in the dating world. Buddhism gives us a wonderful tool for this, and it’s called Beginner’s Mind.
With Beginner’s Mind, you practice dropping your “story line” before you enter a situation. You come with fresh eyes to fully experience and absorb the moment. In dating, this is enormously helpful because it gives you a chance to take it all in—to ask questions instead of assuming, to notice projection, to see the positive that you might not usually see or the negative that you might normally ignore.
Here are five basic tips for bringing Beginner’s Mind to a first date…
…Follow us over to MeetMindful to finish reading Why you should Practice Shoshin on your Next Date.
Author: Rachel Weinstein
Editor: Katarina Tavčar
Photo: Sarah Mirk/Flickr