“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.” Zen teacher Shunryu Suzuki
yù yī – 玉衣 is the desire to see with fresh eyes, and feel things just as intensely as you did when you were younger—before expectations, before memory, before words.
The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows
From Mandarin Chinese yù yī, literally “jade suit.” Some Han dynasty royals were made to wear ceremonial burial suits made of jade, stitched together in hundreds of pieces threaded together, like a suit of armor made of jade. Literally, it is to be ‘jaded’ in an attempt to protect yourself.
The Atlas Obscura includes this detail, which is useful for the metaphor: “Jade was believed to have preservative and protective qualities that would prevent the deterioration of soft tissues and keep away bad spirits.