If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind there are few. . . . When we have no thought of achievement, no thought of self, we are true beginners. Then we can really learn something. The beginner’s mind is the mind of compassion. When our mind is compassionate, it is boundless. . . . Then we are always true to ourselves, in sympathy with all beings, and can actually practice.1
— SHUNRYU SUZUKI
Fresh out of college, without a job, and needing some money to pay the rent, I reluctantly became a substitute teacher in the Cambridge, Massachusetts, public schools. Substitute teaching in inner city public schools in the United ...