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  Posted on Aug.01.2009 @ 09:07PM EDT by chontri

Not to be reached by traveling is the end of the world,
Yet there is no release from sorrow
Unless you reach the end of the world.

The one who is wise and lives... continue...

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→→→→ vertical line TOPIC: MUSHIN WHILE WORKING
vertical line Posted on Apr.01.2014 @ 11:47AM EDT by decgomez
Hi All,

I'm new here and am a lay zen practitioner. I've been more interested in the practical side of zen and have been trying to apply it to daily activities.

Essentially I'm in a point of doubt in my practice after reading Takuan's "Unfettered Mind" wherein he described the state of Mushin is when you put your mind nowhere (which is everywhere). As I understood this, this is like using peripheral vision instead of focused vision (but applied to all senses). Hence you are one with everything, and would confirm Lieh Tzu's account of "Riding on the Wind".

So great, but does this mean focus and concentration is essentially the wrong way to practice? Like focusing on the breadth, or focusing on the task at hand?

Essentially what I have been experiencing is I can sit and be in mushin. Well and good, but the problem is when I get up and live everyday life. I can only be in the state of mushin during simple activities (like walking, standing, doing simple manual chores). I lose it when I start using my mind (like work - I'm an IT guy). Also its hard not to focus when doing work, talking to someone or anything that involves high mental activity.

Any advice is appreciated.

Thanks All.
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Reply from Riverstone
Apr.01.2014
09:23PM EDT 
vertical line First of all there are people here who can not even talk to one another clearly about the non-conceptual. Looking for clarification here will and can muddy things. Ideas, thoughts, contrasting metaphors are not useful as tools for understanding. Skillful means can manifest differently from person to person, so that the object of breathing either aids or hampers ones practice. Eventually a focus does drop away. You will find some masters who describe removing the focus on breathing all together and some Masters who use the breathing device always.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 156093
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Reply from Avisitor
Apr.01.2014
10:23PM EDT 
Email Avisitor
vertical line The idea of not focusing to be more aware of the peripheral is not new.
It has been used in the martial arts.
Technically, it is to make ones awareness and concentration better and more focused
before it can be applied to not focusing.
Sorry if that sounds confusing. Riverstone is right.
Ideas are not conveyed properly on such forums.
Practice is better with a teacher and a sangha.

Okay, mindfulness starts with practice.
With right effort and practice, the mindfulness will engage to fill the rest of life.
Then, sitting and waiting for the bus is not wasting time.
It becomes living this life. The moments are filled with space.
Living is same number of years but the living is fuller.

Sorry, it really isn't an easy thing to answer.
Hope you find your way.
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Reply from leoj99
Apr.02.2014
12:06AM EDT 
vertical line As usual the two friends supports each other as good friends are...LOL.. they are of the same mind... they polish their own egos...LOL..

Mushin is no mind...it is an state where there are no thoughts in the mind.. or you stopped thinking...LOL.. Actually Mushin is an enlightenment experience.. where kensho is just a glimpse of mushin..
If you are a beginner.. you are just thinking you have mushin...but reality it is very difficult.. it takes hard work and practice to experience mushin..How can you  have mushin when you cannot even stay focused in counting your breathe from 1 to 10 without losing count...LOL..

Mushin is for the mind as sleep for the body.. imagine a body without sleep.. or try not to sleep for three days.. that is how the mind is bad without mushin.. you don't realize it because you need a zen master to wake you up and point out your mind is so bad..

Well you can always think when you are dealing with work or IT... as to technical things or earning a living to survive.. you think as you like..what is bad is if you are always thinking when thinking is no longer needed..
Mushin is a thousand times more difficult and complex than IT..LOL..

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Reply from decgomez
Apr.02.2014
01:24AM EDT 
Email decgomez
vertical line Thanks for the replies. Would you guys say that concentration on breath, focus on a task at hand or any kind of activity that ties the mind down is just given as a tool to calm the mind?

And essentially it will be removed in later stages of the practice because Mushin is essentially no concentration on any specific thing? Which actually drills down to the awareness of everything including ones own activity - like watching yourself as part of the environment, not separated from it.
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Reply from leoj99
Apr.02.2014
03:14AM EDT 
vertical line I think you know what  you are talking about... Yes those concentration tools are just tools to get you to an awakening...once you get awakened so where are those tools needed for... their use becomes passe... like if you have built your house you don't need those tools anymore..it is mushin... no mind.. awakening...
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Reply from leoj99
Apr.02.2014
03:20AM EDT 
vertical line I think you are one of the revelation in this forum...S"
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Reply from decgomez
Apr.02.2014
10:29AM EDT 
Email decgomez
vertical line Ah so the practice is actually harder as I've suspected.

I was in doubt on how to practice and was trying to make it easier for me this way: I was trying to use my awareness like in driving a car. You can focus on the road but you use your peripheral vision around. But in this case you still have a focus of awareness/attention. Like an anchor to the present moment.

While this works very well (I mean for my purpose of meditating while going about my daily routines), it still felt lacking however and doesn't feel the same as meditating while sitting or being still (that feeling of total let go and your one with everything).

So with this kind of Mushin (total let go while living daily life where there is no concentration/ no anchor to the present moment so to speak, but essentially being the moment) there's lots of practice to be done and a long way to go. Thanks again everyone.
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Reply from Avisitor
Apr.02.2014
01:31PM EDT 
Email Avisitor
vertical line Practice upon a given task is to provide one with concentration
The mind calms by itself without action ... unmoving.
If practice is done correctly then the clarity and mindfulness one has in practice will pervade the rest of life.
Space and being here ... it opens up.

Leo is a good person but he conceptualizes.
Riverstone's understanding comes from a different place.
Still, learn and grow.
Good luck to you.
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Reply from leoj99
Apr.02.2014
11:13PM EDT 
vertical line What clarity are you talking about?...LOL

I don't know what is conceptualizing to you... are you and your friend not conceptualizing?... In fact you spew more words in your posts than me...LOL..

Once you put it in words that is conceptualizing... But I conceptualize my practice or my experience.. not like Riverstone and you .. you conceptualize your concepts...LOL..

Wondering what is your friend coming from... maybe from heaven not on earth just facing a blank wall...LOL
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Reply from urgent
Apr.03.2014
07:20AM EDT 
Email urgent
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mushin...good subject

white.just follow white|

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Reply from decgomez
Apr.03.2014
11:46AM EDT 
Email decgomez
vertical line The problem maybe grasping. If one is trying to grasp for Mushin then the whole activity is messed up from the beginning. I feel like my awareness is not clear when I try to be in the state of Mushin. Like there's at certain times a second "self" asking "am I doing this right?", or "am I in Mushin now?"

It seems to be better to just watch everything without comment or judgement - whether if you are in Mushin or not. Even if the mind is messed up and thinking of all kinds of thoughts. To attempt to have no thought and clear minded at all times seems to be a vicious circle because there is a feeling of "forcing" the mind to have no thought.

It might be the same as trying to concentrate on certain things to have a calm mind (like concentrating on the breadth, a task, an activity, etc.). The mind is forced in a certain place. And as a result a certain resistance develops. This maybe because all this is an artificial discipline.

I think the best way to practice is to just watch - everything. Watch yourself, environment, thoughts, emotions. Without comment or judgement, or trying to change anything but simply to take note of it. You let the mind go and do whatever it wants because thinking is what it naturally does best. Eventually it should come to silence when it is not being forced to silence. Forcing it to silence seem to be stirring up more thoughts. Like damming a river. The pressure just builds up.

In this way I believe the mind will take care of whatever comes in and will concentrate if it has too - without the "me" making a conscious decision to do so. I can just trust the mind to take care of things for me. So here there is no intention and no forcing of the mind to a certain direction. I just let everything come and go and sit back. I can let the state of Mushin come to me instead of trying to get it. I can let everything come to me instead of trying to be one with everything.

Mushin might be not to have no thought or sensation and all that fantastic thing of being pure and clear headed. It might be to have all these thoughts and emotions but not to be dragged away by them from the present moment. Not to lose yourself in thought trains and emotional fires. One can have all those going on like everything is going on physically on the physical environment. You can regard thoughts and emotions like cars, clouds, people that come and go.

So yeah, I think that's all that might be needed - just see.
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Reply from Avisitor
Apr.03.2014
04:58PM EDT 
Email Avisitor
vertical line Quote: "What clarity are you talking about?...LOL

I don't know what is conceptualizing to you... are you and your friend not conceptualizing?... In fact you spew more words in your posts than me...LOL..

Once you put it in words that is conceptualizing... But I conceptualize my practice or my experience.. not like Riverstone and you .. you conceptualize your concepts...LOL..

Wondering what is your friend coming from... maybe from heaven not on earth just facing a blank wall...LOL


"
.........

Wow, I am sorry to have mentioned your name in vain ... hahaha
Please continue with your words .... hahahaha
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Reply from leoj99
Apr.04.2014
11:08PM EDT 
vertical line I think you have lots of ideas about Mushin and you even reinventing it. Well good luck.. anyway you can always do as you wish...LOL
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Reply from justin
Apr.05.2014
03:06AM EDT 
Email justin
vertical line Quote: "Practice upon a given task is to provide one with concentration
The mind calms by itself without action ... unmoving.
If practice is done correctly then the clarity and mindfulness one has in practice will pervade the rest of life.
Space and being here ... it opens up.

Leo is a good person but he conceptualizes.
Riverstone's understanding comes from a different place.
Still, learn and grow.
Good luck to you.
"
.........

be careful Avis, some people do not like it when you say things about them it disturbs their ego,

What clarity are you talking about?...LOL

I don't know what is conceptualizing to you... are you and your friend not conceptualizing?... In fact you spew more words in your posts than me...LOL..

Once you put it in words that is conceptualizing... But I conceptualize my practice or my experience.. not like Riverstone and you .. you conceptualize your concepts...LOL..

Wondering what is your friend coming from... maybe from heaven not on earth just facing a blank wall...LOL

vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 156126
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Reply from leoj99
Apr.05.2014
03:20AM EDT 
vertical line Hehe someone who has no ego talk about those who has ego..LOL...LOL>>>LOL
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 156127
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Reply from leoj99
Apr.05.2014
03:21AM EDT 
vertical line He is even wondering why I have not been banned in this forum yet...LOL... 
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 156128
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Reply from justin
Apr.05.2014
08:40AM EDT 
Email justin
vertical line there is only one talking about being banned,

I will explain sarcasm again, it is when someone says something that is obviously not true (and the fact that it is not true makes it humorous to someone who might understand) .

sarcasm. A tongue of which the user speaks of something the complete opposite of what the user means. It often has the best comedic value.


I do not own the forum and i do not care about who is banned or not, I have never thought of that stuff. It is you talking and thinking about being banned. but you are kinda
Like a broken record, (A broken record plays the same thing again and again and again).
Can you understand or should i explain in another way?

I was just fishing i can not help it if a fish takes the bait, :)
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 156131
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Reply from justin
Apr.05.2014
08:42AM EDT 
Email justin
vertical line i have never seen anyone banned from this forum,

 i have never talked in another Zen forum so i do not know about them, 
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Reply from justin
Apr.05.2014
08:45AM EDT 
Email justin
vertical line Personally i have heaps of ego, maybe one day i will not but for now i have.

I am not perfect yet, that is why what i do is called practice

vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 156133
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Reply from justin
Apr.05.2014
08:48AM EDT 
Email justin
vertical line can we play the ego challenge ? 
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 156134
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Reply from justin
Apr.05.2014
08:50AM EDT 
Email justin
vertical line some people talk a lot but never do, and a poet can see anothers poem. 
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 156135
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Reply from Phil Space
Apr.25.2014
09:08AM EDT 
vertical line Your fog lamps are on ...
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 156267
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