Yoshizen's Blog

Effort ?

An exchange of Comments in the [Spoon !] post may highlight the point of this Blog.

A person called [EML to OUTLOOK] commented ;

I have learn some good stuff here. Definitely value bookmarking for revisiting.

I wonder how much effort you place to make the sort of great informative web site.”

What I replied was ;

For your eyes, it may looks an effort though, the notion of effort is = If you got to

do it for somebody else or for something obliged to do. (not necessary wanted to do)

But in this case, to sharpening the tool, to carving the wood, to take photos of

it and to write about = all together for no purpose and I have no obligation.

I’m just doing it.

( —– What can I expect and going to do with those utterly useless SPOON  😀 )

If you do something such as a game and completely absorbed in it, you may not

feel you are putting an effort (even though you put so much time and energy)

= same as that.

But, was this for myself ? = Zen doesn’t feel even myself was doing it.

Just the hand was doing it.

This is the Zen in action, or it can be said, living Zen. Zen need no effort.

(This is the reason why such a spoon item is in the Zen Blog)”


As often I said in this blog, the most big misunderstanding in the Zen study

emanated from the word [Mindfulness].

And even more fundamental misunderstanding is = try to DO the ZEN. —– Zen is

not a kind of activity to DO = Zen is a condition like a body temperature. It might be 0.1 degree

higher or lower even you can do the same though, it might have an effect to the result.

You can not intentionally choose to be higher body temperature = it is just to be, as it is. 

What actually I was doing is such as sharpening tool, carving wood or typing.

Or Sword Master’s case, just fighting with his sword = Zen is just a mind-set behind.


Mindfulness is the same = you can not actively DO it.

It is whether you were being absorbed in it or not.

This is the reason, why it is hard to understand, let alone achieve it, when you do something

not familiar or not very keen to do the subject. = And this is the reason why I’m keep writing

“Try to do a thing which is familiar to you or very ordinary such as [Cutting Lemon]

or [Walking] as a practice for Zen.  Instead, if you do very peculiar activity = peculiar only

to a sect of religion = until you get used, its strangeness makes your conscious uneasy = as long as

you feel uneasy, you can not settle with the activity = you can not be absorbed in its subject.

( Hence it takes longer time to get used for it become a daily norm = which you can do it

without conscious = automatic)


The man commented was seeing an [Effort] in this blog, especially to make spoon etc, though

as I wrote in my reply, there wasn’t much effort there. = I got used to do all those process.

—– this is the reason why the Buddhism keep saying [Heijyo-shin / 平常心]

( Mind in ordinary) = Zen is just a condition of the mind in the dairy life and

it is nothing special.


There is a fundamental paradox in the condition of the mind —– people were

attracted by a peculiarity of a strange religion which give an impression of something special

= which may give a person to feel “I’m special = better than others” —– though, as long as the

person having this kind of arrogant feeling or Ego, there is absolutely no benefit

of such religion other than a placebo effects of such [special] feeling.


Nothing special or noble, let alone peculiar super-natural vision etc.

in Zen.   Only Zen makes difference in the results in the dairy life.

That’s all.

(The best thing of it is, we can do it without effort = since we can do it while

absorbed in its subject, hence with much higher efficiency 😀

 —– I mean not just carving a Spoon.   😀 )





5 Responses

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  1. Paul said, on May 15, 2012 at 10:07

    Yoshizen, this is an interesting post about a message which I would class as spam…this type of message is generated to allow the author to gain access to post again, or for other purposes. I’m always taken by your words, because they are always written as if you are there – or rather, reading to me. 😉
    I have been reading about right brain and left brain thinking, and it does seem that mushin is very much being in the flow of information from left to right, right to left.

  2. yoshizen said, on May 15, 2012 at 11:10

    Hi Paul. I’m well aware the person is yet another spam though, 99.9% of spam were posted to
    [About the Blog] hence deleted straight. So, the one was a rare exception, and I used it as an
    excuse to talk about [Effort] 😉

    My theory of Mushin is, as I’ve written many times, it emanated from the “customized = hard-wired
    link from Limbic system and old cortex” ( as it was hard-wired = no need to think again, hence
    reaction is instant and automatic —– Practice is to make the Link accustomed).

  3. Lemony (Gr)Egghead said, on June 5, 2012 at 18:57

    Hi, yoshizen. I very much like what you have written here about Zen not being an activity that one “does,” and your comparison of it to body temperature. That’s a very useful concept, and I do understand what you mean. I find though that, as a relative beginner that “mindfulness” is something that I have to practice. I cannot maintain a state of mindfulness all day long. I slip in and out of it, and do have to apply a certain mental effort and discipline. Is this effort different from “doing”?

    • yoshizen said, on June 6, 2012 at 01:20

      Hi Lemony. When you took pictures of poppy while shaking the camera,
      you were doing it with full of your concentration and inquisitive excitement.
      Try this or that way, and changed a tactic or setting etc, then etc —– until
      you satisfied (in certain extent) —– On that moment, I don’t think you were
      thinking any other things. That was your Mindfulness.

      Then after that, you might have had a chat with your friend about this and that.
      Talking pieces might have moved this and that though, you two were doing
      nothing but the chat and you fully enjoyed its moment. = This is yet another
      = Did you need any effort to do those ? I don’t think so.
      And can you expect any gain from those activities ? I don’t think so neither.
      I don’t think any Greed expecting any return there, nor your Ego was there.
      Still, you put all your existence, your moment in your life to do those and
      you’ve enjoyed to have that moments. = This is the Zen.

      Just do, what you need (or wanted) to do (without any justification or pretext.
      = justification or pretext is only an useless thinking)
      Only the result of what you did count. —– And your resulting photos were
      very well appreciated. Pretty good result isn’t it ?

      In our dairy life, our mind always wobble = this is what the mind is.
      The matter is, when you do what you want or has to do. Just do.
      If it is crucial for your life, you automatically concentrate.

      ( Trouble is sometime, even if it is important, our mind also wobble = this
      symptom need to have a little bit practice to gain Mushin = please refer
      to another posts 🙂 )

      • Lemony (Gr)Egghead said, on June 7, 2012 at 13:45

        Yes, you’re right about all you’ve said here. This is wonderfully helpful, thank you! I appreciate that you’ve used my own experiences to help clarify.

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