I was leading a retreat at the very rural, English, and beautiful Penhurst Retreat Centre in East Sussex. In the afternoon space I went for a walk and stopped to look at some cows close to the woodland edge I was walking through.
It seems they were curious (see the video below) and came to look at me! Being curious, open to exploring and approaching new things is an important part of being mindful. Interestingly some educators believe a dangerous spark of inquisitiveness should be cultivated in children’s lives.
Here is a short extract from ‘A Book of Sparks – a study in Christian MindFullness’ where I interview Professor Guy Claxton about this.
‘One of those I have learnt much from in conversation is Professor Guy Claxton, who, as we discussed earlier, is out of the line of educational prophets who ask why we count qualifications but not the cost of acquiring them. He wishes to restore the spark of dangerous inquisitiveness into the person of the child as well as the practice of education. He believes this dangerous inquisitiveness should exist not only in education but also in what he calls ‘proximal spirituality’.
For the professor, education is not just about skills and technical proficiency but also about the cultivation of qualities like inquisitiveness.’ (p.118)
If you are working in a concrete jungle, take a minute out of clock time and just enjoy these cows being inquisitive. Perhaps resolve mindfully to be curious, open and inquisitive to new things for the rest of the day.