Yoshizen's Blog

ZEN in Car Accident

A person who read previous post made me a question, saying

“How detached, emotionless mind can be compassionate in the same time ?”

“As I said, you can not understand it because you are thinking while you are sitting”


—– away from the situation, not on the MOMENT, and thinking = brain is in the pure

thinking mode = all the data and the notion is just borrowed data from the memory bank.

Therefore, everything is individual abstract data = having no reality or its real connection =

in other words, they don’t have its entirety.   This is the limit of its ability of the THINKING.


We human invented the tool, language for the convenience of the expression, communication

and for thinking process.    And each word is the representation of each categorized notion.

A word RED represents million of reddish color hue in one notion.

To explain Orange (color), we may say “It’s the color between Red and Yellow” eventhough, there are

million of different Orange.   (Still pretty simple and convenient isn’t it  🙂  )

But when it is more complicated and vague notions such as Detachment  or  Compassion, they are just

conveniently made-up notions and the words.   What is Detached, how far is Detached —– ? ? ?

Actually they are not more than a kind of metaphor to describe a kind of state of the mind.

That’s why, it is impossible to describe precisely a state of the mind in words.


A man who had run into  34 cars pile-up on the M5 accident, described the situation

“When I saw the situation, it was an autopilot. I jumped out to help the other people.

A woman in a crushed car asked “My baby, my baby, take my baby”  I took the baby out”

In the pile-up, other cars, petrol tanker are on fire,  he himself could be in danger too .

Even another car may further crushed into his car —– yet,

regardless of such consideration (consideration itself may not there in that moment) he just

acted what he needed to do. —– (did he needed ? —– didn’t he needed just run away for safety ?)

How he knew what to do ? —– Was he a fire brigade and familiar with car accident ? —– I don’t think so.


Suddenly involved in a car pile-up, fire, explosion, still not overwhelmed by its horror and fear

of own life, able to grasp the situation is nothing but the [Selfless], [Detached Eyes and the Mind].

And this very detached eyes saw the urgent needs of the other people, hence, he acted “autopilot”.

This was certainly the manifestation of the [Mushin].

And as he is a human, he instinctively knew what he got to do, and he did it in his best

in fully minded concentration = [Mindfulness].

This is what Buddhist call manifestation of the [Dharma and its wisdom].

In fact, there was only one mind. = All those selflessness, detached mind, mushin, mindfulness are only the

different aspects of the same mind = actually there was No-Mind = only the Dharma was.

Compassion was not from his emotion, but the Dharma’s expression.   Dharma autopilot him.


I don’t think this man was a Buddhist. —– But this is the real virtue and its universality of the Dharma.

Everybody (Buddhist or not) is a part of the Dharma, everybody is having the nature like him.

Buddha saw this fact, and found the way and the practice to develop this nature to apply all

aspects of the life.  (not only in a situation like an accident or disaster —– still, it works best in such

moment, that’s why Zen asks the mind-set to face the situation,  “as if it is the moment of life or death” )


( In reality,  we are sensing far more information on the spot,  far more than any AI program able to anticipate,

without having any signal compression or abstract categorization = RAW data from all the sensors in the body.

With those moment to moment, up to date information,  we are assessing,  judging what to do —– but all

done in the subconscious level = which we call the spontaneous response.

Because of this process is invisible,  and the RAW data containes even genetically inherited ancient information,

Buddha attributed this supreme process to also invisible Dharma. )


—– So, this post clarified how detachment and compassion are in the same mind in the same time.

And it must be clear, it couldn’t be understood while you are sitting.    (When you are sitting, you can deal

with the matter of sitting —– this is what [Live in the Moment] mean.)

( Convinced ? 🙂 )



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