Yoshizen's Blog

Zen in Daily-Life (2)

In the previous post I explained how to gain the Selfless-mind-set with an example

of Tea making though, obviously Tea making is hardly a “Task in our daily life”.

It is more like a not too serious leisurely moment when we have a break.

So, how about a handling business matter such as to deal with Bills.


Zen only deals with the matter on front.   And divides the whole task into small section.

And to deal with each section, one at a time.   (To climb the mountain, not overwhelmed by

its 8,000m hight, just concentrate to make each step perfect ! = On the end, reach to the top.)

Of cause, our brain can trace the implication of the matter even to 3rd, 5th effects and able

to speculate further though, the further we go it become a products of Imagination, or

pretty close to a Delusion.   (As a matter of fact, most of the speculation is nothing but a

delusion and the rest of only few, happen to meet the probability. —- Yet I wouldn’t totally

reject the facts, some people could foresee this probability in amazing accuracy.)

—– So, when a bill dropped on front of you, how you handle it ?     This bill is no delusion, and

fact how much money you got, wouldn’t have so much grey area.   (Of cause, if you are

running a business, the money coming in, may have some uncertainty of timing, hence some

speculative juggling may be inevitable.   Still, a situation of unknowable wouldn’t give an

excuse to halt the whole business.   In a situation,“Can’t pay now” still, just keep a silence, or

send an excuse of delay, would make a big difference.)  

If ignored, it would come back twice harder.


To live a life, “Don’t care” is one of THE attitude.   The way of Zen is the another attitude, and

I wouldn’t judge right or wrong but just show the resulting difference in efficiency to deal

with the Life.   Throw the bills to a bin and leave the payment until receiving a Red-bill, is

also a life-style.  Though, Zen chose the way, responding it at once. Because, anyhow a due

payment has to be cleared soon or later, not mention additional Late-payment charge etc.  

Unless the amount is in millions and keep it one more day in the deposit account will create

thousands more interest, instead, just clear and see no mess, is the choice of Zennist.

Even just to open an envelope, tear it regardless if it could also tear the document, —– but 

Zennist use scissors. (For THE task to open it, take the neatest way.  NOT the least effort.)  

And to pay attention, whether to keep the envelope together, if the document was

back-dated.  (—– I had an experience to argue in the Court, for the serving date of a

legal document with the stamped date on the envelope as an evidence. !)

Zen approach is to make everything into a clearly sorted file, and make a way to handle

it to a fixed routine, and to deal with them automatic = no hesitation, no stammering =

hence nothing bothersome would be left.   Even if having a headache of juggling, still see

the balance on a clearly filed order would make the Life easier, otherwise see it among

the piled-up bills, notices and other letters etc., will make the life into a confusion.

It’s far easier to deal with it, one by one in the first place.   The more delay only makes

the pile-up higher and such situation makes one’s mental state only depressed more.


Dealing the things with a rule, and make it routine would change the matter from

“personal” to “one of an item among the lots”, hence it became an object, and

separated from the Emotion.  = Because of it is under the rule = independent from your

whim, and the rule and the routinised process handles the matter = not your mind = this

is the Selfless state.  —– (In fact this is a well known situation, “the customer complained,

don’t handle me as a number but as an individual person”— still, in an aspect of

efficiency, the difference is obvious.)

With a superficial impression, you may not like this though, the Zen originated “Selfless 

work Ethics” has contributed to High-productivity and the quality in the Japanese industry.


This rule and a fixed routine creates consistency in the repeated task, and makes 

a person’s brain “Selfless state” —– This phenomenon is all common in the Tea-making or

the handling of clerical work, even the car-making — in fact all the human activities.

—– Behind this phenomenon, there is an crucial tendency of the brain. = Our brain has a

threshold of signal intake = if the same input has been repeated, the brain start to ignore

the signal and respond to it as a pattered routine without involving the Emotion.

It’s mean, when the brain handle a matter without involving Emotion,  the feeling of MINE,

or conscious of SELF  would not be generated.  


All the sensory signal first goes to the Limbic System to have a reference from the memories

and anything related to one’s interest  (gain, loss, danger, comfort) was marked as significant

and the related hormone (if it was a sign of danger, Adrenalin) will be secluded to the

whole body to respond.  But if the signal has no such importance and repeatedly coming,

this process in the Limbic system would be bypassed. (Even though, the same bodily action is

still carried-out but “Emotionlessly”).  

Because of this Limbic System distinguishes and sorting the signal related to the SELF, if the

signal was bypassed,  one’s reaction would be carried-out without the connection to the

SELF, and the related hormone wouldn’t be secluded = No Emotion. — (Emotion doesn’t come

from a Thinking process, but mostly from a Mood created by the Hormone.) 

—– Therefore, when the brain was trained (through repeated practice) to bypass the process 

in the Limbic System, both  Subconscious of the SELF and the Emotion would be suppressed.

 —– And this phenomenon is the basis of

Lord Buddha’s teachings of the Selflessness (Anatman) and the origin of Buddhism.  In deed,

our brain, thoughts, mind is bothered by the interference from the conscious of SELF and the

Emotion, which creates Ego and the Greed and subsequently all sorts of the troubles in the LIFE,

Lord Buddha’s approach to utilize those Brain Function was a brilliant idea.   And without a

bias of Self, Ego, Greed and Detached Emotion, we can see the things much clearer

= We can see The Truth —– This IS, what Zen and Buddhism can achieve. 




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