13 June, 2009

Beginner's Mind

Meeting the mare Jazelle and reuniting with my friends, Marilyn Lang and Caryn Rogosky, has had a profound effect upon all that I thought I knew about Arabian Horses. This experience has powerfully inspired a revolution, which requires a change. Its inevitable, change, that is. I can't even say that it is only a mind thing, as I feel this change, deep within me, past my heart, penetrating the very core of who I am. In Buddhism, there is a term called "Beginner's Mind", which refers to seeing life through a new mind, which is not influenced or biased by anything. Beginner's Mind is fresh...really fresh, like being born fresh. If Beginner's Mind were a flower, it would fill your senses with a fragrance which is indescribable. Beginner's Mind is so precious and so fleeting, that we must work hard to preserve it. Life is challenging and meeting all that comes your way, head-on, can "flavor" your mind with ingredients that you may never have wanted to add to this "life recipe". Ingredients, you may ask?

What the heck are you talking about?

Yes, think of negative feelings like "anger", "sadness", "bitterness", "jealousy", "hopelessness". These are all heavy feelings we may experience from time-to-time which can shape your outlook, your perspective, without you even realizing what is happening. It occurs gradually. And these feelings are so powerful, it can mean the difference between living a joyful life and an apathetic life. Have you been apathetic? Have you ever thought something was just too big, too unreachable or that the sacrifices were not worth the trouble or, or, or??? Have you ever said, "what's the point of...?"

STOP

"Beginner's mind" is child-like, embracing the wonder and the awe felt as a child,. "Beginner's Mind" means discovering something beautiful, something special, something so different, as if for the very first time. If we were to look at life through the eyes of a child, we would suddenly realize how surrounded we are by beauty, by miraculous events; for life is beautiful, every second. I am looking at Arabian Horses through new eyes, through a new mind and through a new heart, putting distance between all the junk, all the stuff that for whatever reason, I have been dragging along with me.

"Don't let others define you or dictate your attitude - you cannot control what other people say or do, or how they think. You only have control over what you say or do, and how you think."-Robin Roberts, from her book, From the Heart: Seven Rules to Live By

It is going to be difficult to be committed to living a life with a "Beginner's Mind" but it is not impossible. I may fail but I will keep trying and even if I only look at life for a few minutes with this new outlook; I will not be discouraged, for at the very least, for a few minutes, I will have been successful. Those few minutes will inspire me and encourage me to keep trying, to keep going, to keep living. Life is beautiful and we are meant to live it, with all that we have, so we can be successful in living a beautiful life.

Embrace the hope, EnJoy your life, EnJoy your horses,

Ralph


PS That's not Jazelle in the pictures, by the way. Clothilde Nollet of Maarena Arabians of France, recently visited Marilyn Lang and took these pictures of Fa Halii Halim, an El Halimaar son out of the Ansata el Sherif daughter, Fa Sherifaa.

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