Shoshin syndrome is a rare fulminating heart failure caused by thiamine deficiency. In Japanese “sho” means acute damage and “shin” means heart. It consists of a rare and hyperacute manifestation of beriberi that was first described in polished white rice-eating communities in various locations across Asia including China, Japan and Indonesia. In a totally different context, ‘Shoshin’ is a word from Zen Buddhism meaning "beginner's mind”, which is considered the necessary attitude to approach the Zen practice. This case report is a prime example of clinical manifestations of thiamine deficiency for the presence of both cardiological and neurological disorders, for hyperacute onset of cardiac failure (shoshin syndrome), for the simultaneous involvement of peripheral and central nervous system, and for the dramatic global recovery after thiamine replacement therapy. We therefore explain why the physician should adopt a beginner’s mind in clinical practice.