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Dave Brisbin

Beginner’s Mind

On Christmas, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday, we have been doing more immersive, “theater of the mind” type programs–like attending a live broadcast of an old radio program: voice actors reading scripts at microphones, music and sound effects filling out mood and scene. Without a lot of visual distraction, to look inward, let our imaginations paint the scene and put us in the sandals, mindset, and emotions of those who lived through the events we’re celebrating millennia later.

After all, if we don’t enter into those events ourselves, become part of the story, or better, let the story become part of our lives herenow, what good are they?

For those of us who’ve been with theeffect for a few years, even this approach can become familiar, moving us less and less. Just like life. We need to keep our awareness up and be very present to everything and everyone who shares our moments with us, including the stories of scripture, if we want to let them move us, experience again how significant they are.

We easily forget the impact of what we experience for the first time, so I thought I’d bring you a couple of reactions from two attendees who were experiencing these gatherings for their first times. Experiencing as if for the first time, with “beginner’s mind,” is the way we should approach every moment in life as much as we can.

Maybe these reactions can help us see what familiarity has covered over…


“About today. Thank you. For your Sunday service. And your band. And the words you say. Helps me to use my mind and understand as best I can. I now feel the simple meaning of heaven on earth. Grateful to wake up in the morning. The song I’m hearing, the birds in the trees, creek is nearby. All gifts from God and heaven right here on earth. They are not my fancy house, my sports car, or what town I lived in, which I lost long ago. The words in the message Sunday sing to the soul which I think resides in me. I am so grateful for that. Thank You.”

And this one…

“Stunningly beautiful service today. I was so moved that I came home, and I meditated for a couple of hours. Would not have been good company at brunch. I was highly emotional during the service…GOOD kind of emotional!”


I’ll have what they’re having…

Let’s take beginner’s mind into this new year and experience the year as brand new, no matter how familiar it may feel.


Full program video

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