Yoshizen's Blog

Selfless—-What ?

Posted in Buddhism, East and West, Empowerment, Mind, Mushin, Selflessness, Subconsciousness by yoshizen on January 15, 2010

”  Misunderstanding of  Selfless  in the Western  Buddhism “

My career in the Buddhist’s talking is only 10 months long.  I’ve lived my life just as my life and

I just happen to be a Zen Buddhist.——- I didn’t find any needs to talk about other than make a joke.

One of the reason why I didn’t talk about is (any how nobody likes religious talk ) I didn’t know

the existence of this kind of talking forum.

So that I was not familiar with the Technical term  / Jargon of the Buddhists  in English.   Nor, what is

the Western style Buddhism.———- (all of my Zen books and Mantras are in Japanese )

Then what I discovered is, especially from  the criticism against Buddhism  which says

” Killing (or sacrifice ) the Self is no good for the human nature.”

The cause of this misunderstanding seemed to came from the choice of the translation, the word  SELFLESS.

In the East, this Buddhist’s term has been understood as  No Mind  (Wu shin in Chinese,  Mu shin in Japanese)

since, Mind often causes too much thinking (hence indecisive, and too slow) or wrong thinking under Ego,

so that,  get lid of altogether and leave the matter to the Subconscious wisdom.  (In the concept of  Tsu-nyen

in Chinese or  Ji-nen  in Japanese ——Exist as itself / Bore out from itself / Nature.

Which originated from  Taoism,  this Wisdom  is the deepest original nature of the oneself,  and the wide nature)

And this ” Subconscious wisdom is not from the Self ” is a Buddhist’s concept.  Where else its came from.  Obvious.

Though, from the truth of  Dharma, by which we are a Part of it, This Subconscious wisdom belongs to the Dharma.

(—- So What. It’s a tiring  rhetoric. Spread your hands wide,  embrace the  world.  This is the Dharma. )


Equivalent of Selfless in Japanese is  Mu shi.  This SHI mean private, or self (antonym of Public)

One of the most well known author in Japan,  Soseki Natsume wrote in his book ” The Gate ”

using the words to describe this state of Mind as Non-Emotion,  away from the matter of the

ownership of the Mind.  ( Though, I haven’t found Who taught Zen to him yet ).

( Just for the sake of convenience I’ve been using  this word  Selfless from the beginning though,

as I repeatedly writing  ” Selfless is not sacrificing a self, far from it, it release the one from

the bondage of the emotional Ego, therefore it liberate and empower the life.”


As I wrote somewhere,   “—– otherwise  Gynecologist can’t do their business ”    The Buddhist’s Selfless

( in its true form ) is almost same to a  Medical Doctor’s ” Clinical Detachment ” or  Sociologist’s

” Value Free ” —– but its having more universal applications to all aspects of the  life. ——that is why it is

directly connected to the ” Clear Eyes “.  ( Does anybody ever heard a complaint from Doctors or

Sociologists of their occupational hazard, Loss of the Self ?  —– far from it, they are getting the

benefit of it by achieving much higher efficiency in their life.)

The allegation against the Buddhism has been emanated from the misunderstanding of so-called  Selfless,

both by the Buddhists and ignorant Critics. ——- As a matter of fact,  even earliest Buddhists had this

confusion,  as they didn’t have the knowledge of the Subconsciousness.   Thus struggle to define elusive

Mind and the Self,  which was taught by Buddha in metaphor.  Considering the followers and the audiences

of Buddha,  they were not  the scholar or epistemologist, far from it, they are the ordinary people on

the street who never read a book nor familiar with philosophical term (the people who was educated was

the Vedic  Brahman—-antagonist to the Buddha’s teachings) so that the complicated terminology such as in

the Abidhama Cosa Mantra couldn’t be in the Buddha’s words,  therefore  they are all later addition

and the guess-work done by professional monk hundreds of years later.

———- Since we have new insight to the structure of the human mind, we need to have correct

understanding of the so-called  Self,  which Buddha himself had observed then.


I also wrote somewhere ” To do the practice with absolute obedience ”  is not only the matter

for the Buddhists, it is what the life is.

No one can do  Rock climbing  half-heartedly or no  Surgeon can operates  without concentration.

It needs to have 100 % unconditional commitment.

It will kill the Ego certainly,  but if anyone still cringing to Ego, just leave Buddhism or Operating Theater.

Buddhism is to give the most efficient state of the Mind for the life. Thats all.

Who need to ask more ?



4 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. wayne chisnall said, on January 16, 2010 at 20:47

    To read words of wisdom is to remind oneself to look around and see how far one has wondered from the path.
    Thank you Yoshi.

    • yoshizen said, on January 17, 2010 at 02:45

      Thank you Wane.
      I’m glad to hear, if my blog could able to contribute some thought to the people,
      my one finger typing still did some good, and it was not in vain.
      ( As far as I know you are in the right path. And your belief ” Things to turn out
      to be OK on the end” seems working. You are in the palm of Buddha.)

  2. Roy said, on January 16, 2010 at 22:43

    Hello Yoshi, interesting blog!

    • yoshizen said, on January 17, 2010 at 02:52

      Good !
      In your expert’s eyes, you might be wondered somewhere, what is this English mean ?
      Still its good to have something to think and see it again with clear eyes.
      Thank you Roy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: