Yoshizen's Blog

Mushin / Peace of Mind – How To ?

In the past week or two, I’ve been heavily involved in talking to people who have trouble in mind.

(Hence, nothing new has been posted in this blog – I’m not by profession an agony-aunt.

I can’t mass-produce crap advice = one subject at a time = that’s as much as mindfulness can handle.)

(Total cop-out!)

One person beautifully described having a sort of escape-walk in the woods

and watching the flow of water in a small river.   She said, that this solitude seemed to

be only her escape = but, she knew of course that she had to go back to the mess of her life

disturbed by an agonizing regret.

Mmm ? ? ?

What a shame. The kind of the advice which so-called psychiatrists are giving nowadays would recommend

regressing to the source of the person’s trouble, hence re-experiencing the agony again and again.


Unlike these so-called psychiatrists, Buddhism has been handling the matters of the mind for

thousands of years, so it is clear to Buddhist eyes that the solitude which this

woman found was, in fact nothing but the state of No-Mind = Mushin in the Zen term.

Unless this particular person was a botanist, knowledgeable as to the name of every plant, there wasn’t

much for her to think about in the woods and hence her environment out there was just an environment,

nothing more.   And the flow of the river with its faint song would have no meaning for her = outside of

any intellectual brain activity.

Let’s suppose this woodland had been visited many times by her = so that there was no new stimulation,

nothing to cause an alert of any kind.

If this had been the case this person could have had complete peace of mind in solitude without

any thinking-processes. Expecting nothing.  Projecting nothing. 

Her mind absolutely open, completely remote from any thought-disturbances.


Well, as she had already found the state of No-Mind / Mushin, I advised her to follow a particular practice,

to just lightly shake her head, and at the same-time, visualize the scene of the woods with

the running water. 

And I instructed her that when she did this, her mind would become empty, distant from all useless thought.

Afterwards, when the simple practice was over, she could then start to do what ever she needed to do,

the work, the daily chores, even sitting on a toilet. 

And in daily life,  she should do this like a ritual, when ever she saw a sign of bad thoughts coming-up.

Shaking or wobbling the head once, visualizing the running water and emptying the mind does

actually work.  This is the right process to get rid of trouble-in-mind.
Following this advice, I sent her a few emails explaining how our mind works, describing the structure of the

brain etc etc = rather boring stuff = to make her fed-up of dealing with Mind-matter

and just concentrate on the work = Life.


Just a week later, I received an email in which she explained that she was now free from useless thoughts,

or more precisely, she was fed-up with being bothered by such thoughts.

She felt that now she could just get on with her work; she has no time to waste on useless thoughts.

(Well done! )

This is a sample to apply state of Zen Mushin to the dairy life.  (and get rid of the useless thoughts)

Any practice by which a person can experience the Mushin, can be connected to this sample and

this was the reason why I’ve been writing about such as Lemon Zen, Walking Zen etc etc.

Like in this case, visualization and to shake the head was a trigger to go-into the state of Mushin

= conditioning of the mind.   Once this practice became a routine in the brain, actual action to

shake the head can be minimal (invisible).

In the Lord Buddha’s story, a woman called Kisa Gotami said to have achieved this, in one day.

Still, this person achieved this in one week ( plus priory walking in the woods) wasn’t too bad.

This person may not become knowledgeable to  Buddhism stories and its spiritual artifacts though,

what she needed was to get on her life without the disturbing thoughts = peace of mind.


Note :  The photo = Magnolia Grandifloria —– from Wikimedia


3 Responses

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  1. Lemony (Gr)Egghead said, on February 9, 2012 at 15:42

    Wonderful. I strive for Mushin in my daily life. It requires a great deal of discipline for me, since I am still a beginner. There are certain times of the day when I make a point of practicing, such as when I wash the dishes, or brush my teeth, or even just when walking up and down stairs. I take those moments to reign in my mind and rid it of all thought, to achieve a state of No-mind, as you call it (I love that expression.) I can see why this trigger of shaking one’s head would be quite useful and efficient. I enjoyed this post. Thank you.

    • yoshizen said, on February 9, 2012 at 16:16

      It is the greatest support I’ve ever received Dear Lemony !
      And I just discovered the secret of your hi-intensive eyes.
      It was the concentration (or say, mindfulness) of the Zen.
      That’s how you can beat an iron into a sharp sword.
      Thank you very much to leave such important teachings in this humble blog.

  2. Lemony (Gr)Egghead said, on February 10, 2012 at 01:23

    You are so very kind, Yoshizen. Thank you.

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