Yoshizen's Blog

Is this ZEN or nuts ?

You may not guess what I’m going to talk. And don’t know what this is.

It was my life’s residure and its accumulation. The Lidl’s plastic tray of the Chicken.

I stopped to eat Beef 1987 when the BSE was reported. (It happen to be the same year, I also stopped any sexual contact when the first news of new diseases = later named to be AIDS was reported.) —– So, since then I only eat Chicken or fish, on top of veggie and fruits. Therefore, with my regular shopping of Chicken (about 1kg par week), those plastic trays are keep coming. —– as a kind of tempolary container, those trays are always conveniently in use still, much more trays are piling up. (If I were a good business person, I might have made a rule to limit the number of the trays in stock.)

If it was 10 or 20, nobody would bother. But when it accumulated to the hundreds, people may started to wonder — “Is it ZEN ?” — or nuts.

Number of ZEN stories are the story of the endless concentration and the result of the tenacious pursuit. = as a matter of fact, the practise in the Buddhism is nothing but the endless repetition of the same action. —– whether the matter or its purpose was the end result or in the process, its practise changes the person. So, its hard to tell, whether the continuous action was a part of ZEN practise or the problem of one’s own mental.

Then, if it was the case, how they related to the Buddhist mind of Detachment, No-clinging or live on the Impermanence kind. = you may feel the contradiction between here. —– Why you feel contradiction IS because your understanding of Detachment / Mushin = Mind of No-mind was wrong. This was the most common misunderstanding in the Buddhism. = Detachment / Mushin IS NOT an idea or thinking BUT they are the condition of the mind = like the mind was in an up-beat or sud state kind. I’m not thinking “Not to buy Beef” but I don’t see the beef there. (Not to buy Beef was not an ISM or thinking BUT it was the situation of “No beef was there”. ) So, no-one see the beef, because the one who see the beef / SELF is NOT there.

Because of, the people try to UNDERSTAND the Buddhist’s mind or try to think “That way” they can NOT get it. Buddhist’s mind IS NOT attained by intention. It has to BE in the state. When you are in, you can not aware that you are in.

So, the tray of Chicken keep accumulates —– without my conscious. I’m living without me aware that I’m living. I do, I eat , I speak what is natural to me. So, I don’t import anything foreign to my life. This IS what we call Buddhism. IF you THINK and TRY to practise Buddhism, it is NOT BUDDHISM. BUDDHISM has to reach without intention. While living as a Buddhist but forgot that you are a Buddhist, you are a Buddhist. In that state, even the SELF = you are, not existing.


I found a photo looks too iconic of the Japanese mentality ! This is what we meant “Go for all hog” —– this mentarity was behind the recovery from the earthquake disaster etc.

The young people attending the local ceremony to count that they reached to the adulthood on this year.


Throw a stone

The words here “Throw a stone” is a metaphor or a symbol indicating that there is a meaning behind of such action — in Zen term, a Direct Transmission.  Why Direct Transmission ? — Because the words couldn’t convey the meaning behind or such meaning would be lost if it was expressed in the words. 

After many years, I suddenly realized that Lord Buddha never spoken about the Concept or the Idea conceived in the mind other than in the metaphoric stories.  His teachings were doing or show what or how to do.  And never explained what its action for or meanings of it.  So that, the Disciples were guessing or making their own interpretation if not their own understanding. —– The most of the scriptures were such kind of interpretations or guess-works and very little real teachings of Buddha was recorded because of very few could manage to catch the meaning behind, let alone describe them in the scripture.  (So that, the Buddhism has been surrounded by the mountain of buzz-words created by a superficial capturing such as Selfless, No-thinking, Mushin, Dedication, Self-sacrifice, Detauchment, No-greed, No-emotion, No-fear, Mindfulness, Middle way, — etc etc.)

In deed, Lord Buddha didn’t teach  the meaning or the intention behind of his teachings.  BECAUSE to explain such meaning WILL destroy the teaching itself. (It was recorded in the scripture typically as “Unanswered Questions” =  the abstract, imaginary notions such as an idea of  SELF or theoretical existence like an Infinity, were completely ignored by him.)

—– Do something, JUST do something without do other than DO, = such as to take a bicycle and ride, and go shopping.  When you do such riding, you ARE not thinking how to ride, how to push the feet or take a balance = because, you do it without any conscious “Let alone any conscious of I’m DOING the bicycle ride” = In fact, you ARE doing it without your SELF.  AS this IS the evidence of that the SELF IS not exists, and the idea of the SELF was a creation of your conscious or IMAGINATION.  Since the SELF is not exists, the notion or its word is not exists either (in other words, they were INTENTIONALY created to deal with those notion.) = Therefore, it IS not possible to explain the idea of “There is no SELF” = you can’t explain this without using the notion or the word SELF other than you yourself realize that you ARE riding the bicycle without the conscious of SELF.  Lord Buddha taught his followers to learn it through the action (or a kind of repeating practice — mind you there wasn’t a bicycle then.  😀 ) —– still, how his teachings was successful or succeeded was quite questionable = AND as he was aware of it, he had to leave the very last words “Don’t take the other’s words, learn it by YOURSELF” —– The history of the Buddhism showed nothing but the silly misunderstanding or more precisely the lack of understanding among the followers since then.   (I’ll show it with the most typical sample of “Middle way” in the next post.)



What Buddha taught ?

When we try to find what was the original teachings of

Lord Buddha  among the millions line of scripture, we have

to pay the most heavy attention to the personality of

Lord Buddha as an individual human being in his totality, while

chiselling out all the mixed-ups and the glorifying decorations.

(If the scripture had Hindu name, it is not Buddhism, or the 

story has supernatural magnificence it was just a fantasy.)

—– there could be a gradual change of his view and the opinion

still, there couldn’t be an utter contradiction from the same person.

Since he got his Enlightenment (with his own understanding of the

world) after he seceded from ascetic monks/Guru’s group (with a

disappointment and a lost hope to find a viable answer from them

and such ascetic approach) therefore his idea couldn’t be anything

like a transcendental oracle like fanatic words  (so-called

mumbo-jumbo) but  frank and down to the earth straight idea.


Typically like Four Noble Truth, those very brunt and blatant words

were the words of cool realist.

If the person was a kind of salesman, he would have chosen much

sweeter words and even a misleading bait in it (such as a promise

of Heaven). But

Lord Buddha was not a spin-doctor but rather like a rational scientist,

he talked the facts and phenomena, not his speculation or fantasy —

its mean his teachings were not an idealistic Dogma but the wisdoms

based on the facts and the scientific observations.

= in this approach, he found the mechanism of Karma and able to see

the effect of the time in moment to moment flaw.    So that, to find 

the NO Perpetual Soul (Anatman) was a straight conclusion.

(That’s why in his Sangha, there was no Cast = curse from the past)

Those observations and the understandings needs no special filter to 

see = they are the common facts, and from those observations anybody

who acquired the right eyes can see and find the truth behind 

( 8 right ways meant this) and see the Enlightenment.   That was why,

Lord Buddha gave the last instruction on his death bed

“Don’t believe what was said but see/learn it yourself” = this word

clearly indicates that the teachings were not a Dogma to memorise

but the Direct Transmission =

wisdom which could be learned from the observation of Facts.


And Lord Buddha’s observation went into deep inside of the

human psych = subconsciousness too.

He realised that we are able to see and know the subject

without us thinking it.  (So-called intuition) 

And he thought this is the Manifestation of the Dharma in us.

(We can walk without thinking how to walk — so,

WHO made us to walk ? = It must be the Dharma !

But being in our subconscious, even we know it’s there though

we can not see = It is there and/but It is not there.  (There must

be a big debate about “Self / Soul, the subject / who is thinking, =

the person who is thinking IS WHOM ?       Though, as

Lord Buddha took the stance that there is no Self / Atman = talking

this subject IS effectively a recognition of the existence of the Self =

So, how it was debated was very interesting but we may not know.

—– still from the Scripture we can see the description “Giving

without aware of giving IS the true giving” = we can guess what

was taught there then.  And from here, (if Self exists or not) the

debate extended —> Does Dharma exists or itself is Void ? ? ?

And in this context, an episode in the Agama sutra was the

story which gave us the most crucial insight.

= That was the true record of

Lord Buddha’s teachings.



Huineng vs Shenxui — Poetry Contest

Provably the most well known Zen story was a contest to became

6th Patriarch of the Zen.

For the contest, the most respected top monk in the monastery,

Shenxui wrote a poem as the answer to the 5th Patriarch, Hongren

who request to show the Zen mind,

Mind is like a mirror, I polish the mirror diligently for

no dust to settle on it”

When an illiterate low-rank monk Huineng who has been working

in the kitchen of the temple heard this, he asked friend monk to

write his poem contesting Shenxui’s,

Since Mirror is not exists in the first place,

where dust could settle”

Hongren saw Huineng has much deeper understanding of Zen,

he chose Huineng for his successor.


This story showed what all about the Zen and its pathway

in amazing clarity.

Shenxui was a well educated, well learned monk, hence he must

have read hundreds of scriptures and understood the attitude to be

a good Buddhist. (in this extent, his answer / poem was quite

appropriate and correct though, it was more like a posture of

Theravada monk, still on the way to the enlightenment, in other

words, he hadn’t broken the barrier, or gone to the other side yet. )

In contrast, Huineng had showed exactly what the notion

of Void in Zen Buddhism.

— How Huineng could get this, while working in the kitchen.


As a son of peasant, Huineng had no education and illiterate hence,

he had no chance to read and study Buddhism other than just pick

up the words, what other monks were talking about.

Anyway, he had to work every day as a casual labourer in the temple,

still, those every day’s continuous repeating work gave him to gain

the essential mind-set to be a Zen Buddhist = Unconditionally

accepting (humble) to be a lowest working monk, hence there

couldn’t be any possibility left to have desire or even an Ego.

And as day by day, the same work continues, the mind

became empty = just the hand repeating the work.

Yet still, by keeping eyes clear, he could see the crux of human

existence = how the Life exists = what the World and the Dharma is.

And he was able to make the straight connection of his state of mind

and the observation, to each notion.   In effect, he had mastered the

Zen in DIY.   Zen doesn’t need to be literate but to have clear eyes to

see inside and outside, with the direction of few key-word.

(This straight connection is behind of

“Sudden Enlightenment” and the “Direct Transmission” )


And this observation lead me to see an amazing parallel in

the history of Buddhism.

Founder of Zen, Master Bodhi Dharma had to establish the way

of Zen in DIY, as there was no text book exist then, even worse in

foreign country. And the situation was more or less the same, when

Lord Buddha started his own teachings = NO Buddhism

textbook at all, of cause, let alone whether even Vada was

available to the public in written form. 😀


But this is what the Buddhism is.

Since, it is the matter of one’s mind-set and the programming of

one’s subconscious = the one has to do it by oneself.

It is literally Do It Yourself / DIY = A book might give a hint, still

the one has to DO the work (practice with good insight) =

Book wouldn’t do the work on behalf. 😀

(Put Buddhist book in a memory of “Automatic Voice Generator”

and make voice out-put of script, wouldn’t make

the Machine enlightened — very fancy though. 😀 )


—– Whether the stories (given in the Platform Sutra) has true

historical fact or not, to make the story in this way itself, was the

reflection of their understanding then = and expressing

supremacy over other sect of “Just reading scripture and sitting”

Illiterate Huineng was THE very typical sample in Zen.



PS :   Still, there are many questions left.   Zen understanding could

be gained without words, since it is not knowledge based intellectual

understanding but to customising the perception and behavioural

pattern in the subconscious level though, whether to compose

a stanza without having enough knowledge of lexical pattern is

possible or not ?   And the script telling the story, “Platform Sutra”

was written long after with a lots of diviating history.

—– Yet the fact is, the mummified body of Huineng has been kept

in the monastery till today and still sitting there !

(you can see the photo by Googling it) —– If he was not such a

great Master in real life, no such things could ever have happened.


NUDE 4×4+1

Posted in Art, Buddhism, Direct Transmission, Intelligence, Kinetorori, Make, Mind, Mushin, Subconsciousness, Zen by yoshizen on February 5, 2010

As a mean of communication, the Art has very peculiar property.       Since when I was doing photography, this

peculiarity is one of my conundrum. Some photos are the Art, but most of them are just a flat copy of the object.

But, strangely, anybody can distinguish a good photo in

one glance.      And anybody can also distinguish good art

as The Art at one glance.——– (so, conceptual art is not art,

but it is only an intellectual concept, as the name indicates)

With my artist friends, photographer friends discussed together

in many occasions, still we never found a good explanation

in the words,  why and how do we know, is it the Art or not.

Because ART is a communication between  Subconscious

to Subconscious / one’s inspiration to the other’s feeling

without involving the conversion to the linguistic Notion.

(Its mean, the ART strikes the EMOTION straight, not the intelligence)

So that even if we found the typical sample, it is impossible to

describe it in the words, instead, just point the very sample and say  ” You see this is it “.


Something similar phenomenon is in the artistic expression such as in the abstract figure.

This is the matter of cognitive ability. —— How simple and even simpler, we still able to recognize as it is.

———- The photo above is, some said,  the most simplest and cheapest nude sculpture in the history.

It is just a twisted wire though, even 5 years old kids instantly recognized it ” Ah, it’s a  woman “.

This Wire Nude was made by just twisting a wire 4 times clockwise for right-hand side, and 4 times

anti-clockwise for left-hand side, plus one for the head.  ( Hence the title 4×4+1 )

I experimented many design and simplified further and further.  This seems the minimalist’s limit.

(Sitting woman putting both hands to her head—— in case, if you couldn’t make sense from flat photo)

It is impossible to describe exact shape in the words,  still it convey the message, ” This is the Woman”

and people can see and feel straight, this is the woman. ——— and makes them smile  🙂


Our brain, Deep Layer / Subconscious System has remarkable ability to capture the meaning beyond

the ordinary intellectual logics. ———-( I’m still puzzling, is it Pattern Recognition or something else ? )

And this is the way, how direct transmission of  Zen  works.  ” You see, this is it”

Direct Transmission at work

Posted in Buddhism, Dharma, Direct Transmission, Lemon Zen, Mind, Mushin, Paradox, Subconsciousness, Zen by yoshizen on January 19, 2010

Something amazed me is, soon after I put the words

” Spread your hands wide, embrace the world”  This is the Dharma. (at [ Selfless —What ?] )

I started to receive Emails which saying  ” This is the best / most impressive expression you ever made

in your blog “——— m m m.  (what about another 50 odd posts ? ——Ha Ha Ha, I should be humble )

I know many of my  friends are quietly reading my blog without putting comment publicly still

advising me to correct my pigeon English.

Yet I didn’t know they are reading my blog in such timing,  soon after I have put it up.


What impressed me even more is, the response from those readers.

The expression  ” Spread your hands”  was the  Zen Direct Transmission.

( It is only the Action.  No Notion contained there.  Yet, it conveys direct Message to strike subconscious)

If you read that  paragraph in the post, you may find,  I was rather tired to write in the words, as I was

the one kept saying ” Stop talking, stop thinking, just do it —-” , so I changed the tact at that moment.

———- And it worked straight.

Non of those friends are practicing Buddhist,  and if they know anything about the Zen, it may only learned

from my blog,  yet still they grasped the meaning of the Dharma straight.

Yes,  Direct  Transmission does  work. —– This is the living sample.


Learning from the suggestion ” Detached from Emotion “, ” Apathetic ” etc,  some  people could  reach to

the deep understanding.——-By this Detachment, it exposes the soft tissue of  Subconscious.

Let the most sensitive sensory to work, (Zen Master called this Shin-gan / Eyes of Heart) ——and able to see

the meaning behind.  Like them, even non  Zenist could  able to notice the significance of that expression 

spread the hands, and  able to respond to it at once.  This is the Zen.

By the Apathetic eyes and the mind,  they could open their deepest Pathos.  ( Paradox again )

This is the Buddhism and  Zen at work.

Direct Transmission

Posted in Buddhism, Dharma, Direct Transmission, Flower, Mushin, Subconsciousness, Zen by yoshizen on January 12, 2010

Direct transmission is the way to communicate using purely in one’s sensory and put the signal

straight into one’s subconscious / old layer of the data process system, without relying on the word / notion.

(Though this signal can be just a sign.  And this sign trigger the feeling, dormant memory in the spirit).

Especially if the subject is too ambiguous or too complexed, too big to convert to the notion or

even the word is not existing.——( like a word / notion of  Subconscious in the time of Buddha )

Buddhism is the teachings, challenged to tackle such subject, Dharma.

Superficially the meaning of the Dharma has been explained though, it contains too many meanings

and notions therefore too complexed to define,  and its deep meaning in its totality is almost unknowable.

Still, funnily enough, it’s everywhere, hence it is on front of you as everybody is seeing it

and you are a part of it.  This is not an invisible Atomic Sub-particle’s theory.

So that the Buddhist spend hundreds of years to analyzing and trying to define it,  resulting the

mountain of Abidharma Mantras.


Buddha himself didn’t explain it,  since it is on front of our eyes and can be seen by anybody, yet

unexplainable by the words.—–And make the people to discover its deep meaning by themselves

through the practice, is what he was teaching.———-There was, and still is, no short cut.

So that,  the famous ” Flower Summon ” comes in, ( though, this story only appeared in the

Chinese Mantra ——since they are pretty good in this kind of symbolic expression originated

from the Taoism,  such as the huge blanc space express the rich notion of “Wu” (Mu in Japanese))

———- if you see the Dharma there, this is the Dharma what Buddha meant.

( If you see ” Oh, Master, you decapitated poor flower. You killed it”——– you see a dead flower.  😀 )

———- It is like your stomach up-set.  You know it but you can’t explain exactly what it is in the word.

And only the other who got the same, may know it.  So, to know it you have to bite  onion, plenty of it.

( In  Zen term, blanc white paper may be the expression of the whole Universe,—- or Nothing.

Therefore “Noting” can be the whole existence / the Dharma )——so that,

a small room in the Vimarakirti’s house can accommodate 3000 bikkus. )

Shaolin Martial Art / BodhiDharma

Somewhere in the Internet, there is a story telling an origin of  Shoaling Martial Art, which

says it was started as Bodhidharma taught an exercise to the lazy monk. ———-m m m ?

I quite doubt this story.

Bodhidharma didn’t come to China to open yet another talking shop.

He came there only to bring the way of the direct transmission.

Bodhidharma came from Southern India where many types of Yoga,

include so-called Dancing Yoga has been widely practiced.

——- As all the Buddhist sect using each unique practice to deepen

and sublimating their teachings as a part of study or training,

the practice is the essential part of the Buddhism’s teachings.


When Bodhidharma came to China, spending three years of harsh

journey, he must have had definite purpose and firm idea what to do in China.

And well-practiced Yoga Guru, he must be an expert to see the Dharma within the ultimate movement of

the Dynamic Yoga. (Which later developed into the Martial Art infused with the local culture )

—— Anybody who practiced the body movement, such as gymnastics, dancing or martial art etc knows,

its technique evolves and skill deepens just by doing it again and again.

And on the end, body gains almost super human like movement, speed, balance, rhythm and harmony.

And all those movements are programmed into the Motor region of the Brain, to do it without thinking,

its mean no Self  there. Most importantly, its potential was there from the beginning as everyone has.

This is exactly the Dharma what Lord Buddha taught.

——- While having a simple life in the Temple as a monk, and watching own body movement

evolves, the awareness to be with Dharma deepens.

This is the very direct transmission of the Buddhism what Bodhidharma

taught in China. —– in there, no words required.  Just Do It.


Legend in China says that Bodhidharma had blue eyes though, I quite doubt it.

While live in London I might have met tens of thousand of people from southern India

such as Tamil people, I never seen even a single blue-eyed dark-skinned Tamil man.

It must be a made-up story to elaborate him, as

Lord Buddha also had a legend having had the blue eyes.  (This must be also false )


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