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. 



PARADOX in seeking the ZEN


I wrote in previous post, to reach Zen, how it is crucial to block the Emotion.


Though, Zen or Buddhism in general, it is a strange maze of the Paradox =

the more you try to see it, you can’t see.   The harder you put the effort,

you can’t achieve. (—– I think, I wrote the same subject before, while using a metaphor

“You can’t run, as long as you got legs” 😀 )

This trouble is, all comes down to the existence of the Emotion or Emotional thinking.

Because of the strong intention or will is always accompanied by the strong

Emotion. The more you are serious, the more your mind is stack to the subject

though, ironically, the art of Zen is how to make you detached from the subject.

—– You can’t detach yourself from the subject when you are studying it —–

you may say.

(If you ever read the book of Zen Mondo / Koan, then if you read it again while this paradox

in mind, you will see the point, or it will make sense in each answer.

= They are in the matter of this paradox.)


So that, there is a trouble to understand such as “what the Mindfulness is” =

the harder you try to be Mindful = you are falling into a Clu-de-sak or strays away to nowhere

because of your mind = Emotion is just stack to the subject. Emotion blinding You !

—– There is nothing else but the subject, and you can see it clear detached eyes.

= This IS Mindfulness. = because of your eyes are detached from your Emotion, there

couldn’t be any wishful thinking or a greed to succeed etc kind of destructive rubbish = you can

see the true nature of the subject. = therefore you can do the perfect job, hence you will succeed.

This state of mind, detached from the subject, = as there is no Emotional

attachment, hence the mind is blank but only eyes are gazing at =

This is Mushin and in Selflessness = This IS Mindfulness.

Why Selfless here ?  Because, only eyes and the subject are here.  Not your Mind.


Sound easy ? —– or you may utterly bemused, how to do ? How far to be detached 😀

Because of this confusion, ancient Buddhists invented [Middle Way] 2,000 years ago.

While saying “Not too close, still not too far” — Because, they themselves haven’t experienced

real Mushin 😀

= It seems, the vast number of Mantra Authors are not necessary understood the Buddhism.

= That was why so many fancy stories of it was added to the original teachings to cover-up  😀

(Good in writing is not necessary knowing the subject 😀 = The Monks are familiar with sitting

in the temple, but they may not be any expert of DOING something — this is a reason why the

Zen was invented = Zen put an emphasis to DO something and prohibit Thinking)


When you DO something, subject is very front of your eyes.

If it was cutting a lemon, lemon and a knife are there. —– So, just cut it. You don’t need to think

anything else.  After cutting 10 lemons, 100 lemons, (what to do those mountain of lemon slices =

may be better make Marmalade and use one or two for a cup of tea 😀   Or if you are short of

money, cut potatoes instead and make crisps ? —– though, I don’t like to use oil )  you will

run-out anything to think about (NO Thinking) = you will cut it almost like an

automatic machine (NO Emotion),  hence your eyes sees nothing else of Lemon

and the Knife = this is the Mindfulness.   And the brain is in the state of Mushin.

Then, applying this eyes and the Mind-set to see other things in the Life.

By actually DO something, there is NO PARADOX (Paradox is created in the

Emotional Thinking = such as Intention, Will, Gain / Loss Calculation, etc etc =

not exists in Doing )  —– This is the ZEN.

( So, it is a great mystery, what the people is doing while sitting and doing

so-called meditation ?  😀  😀 ) 



Emotion / Meditation

On the surface, you may think Emotion and Meditation are rather antagonizing idea hence

they wouldn’t come together though, it is because you are trying to keep your pretense.

In reality, our Mind is always in the mess, otherwise we didn’t need to talk

about the Mind and its trouble 2500 years, and the Buddhism could have

become redundant long ago.


Meditation is a funny practice. In principle, it supposed to sit while you vacate

your mind.    Yet, in reality, all sorts of your bothering ideas, thoughts, images

are coming up  = The more disturbing,  the more keep coming back. 


Long time ago, in the mountain shelter, I talked with a man said to be a Japanese classics

teacher —– while talking about a poet, Saigyo, who became a monk in his later life, it

touched Buddhism idea, then the teacher reviled, in fact he is a trained, ordained Zen monk.

( Mind you, on that time my knowledge of the Buddhism was rather poor = a son of priest

didn’t mean know the Buddhism well.  😀 )

So, I’m not sure whether I made right question to him and how serious the answer he gave me.

He could have just kidding a young man. 😀 —– Any how, he said

“ It is a lie to Meditate in Mushin.   I sit while visualizing the image of a

woman taking her cloths off, one by one and become naked.    Ha ha ha  :-D”

Didn’t you get aroused ?”

“ Oh no. If you do everyday every time, it just became a simple routine and

the same old image.  Nothing exciting”

“ How about to change character to top film star and imagine her naked ?”

“ Yah, I did though, it’s all same”

—– Looking back this conversation half century later, I think he was telling me his truth

and the truth in what the function of Meditation is.

Meditation wear-out your thoughts = To see disturbing thought  straight,

and analyzing again and again,  soon or later you will fed-up, and the idea

will loose its fresh impact to induce an Emotion. 

Without having an involvement of the Emotion, it become just another

opinion and a remote episode in the life ==> Detachment (Emotion put a tug

to the signal / information “this is Mine / My concern” = Turf of the Self )

When you get used with this process, again and again, you will become

rather not to have any useless thought = this is Mushin !

And start to see the things Objective = in the Detached Mind !


Emotion is developed in our old part of the brain / Hippocampus.  This old part is common

with any animal and it is directly dealing with one’s survival.

Hence, not only one’s survival instincts or sexual desire, but also one’s welfare = comfort

for oneself and for the species general, are all part of this Emotion.

Desire, Greed, Envy, Fear, Like-Dislike, Want or Avoid, even a judgement

of Right or Wrong —– are all related to the own survival (and better survival

condition) of oneself  = (hence,  it is the Ego / Greed)

Those feelings are the basis of the conscious of the Self (and its turf).

More importantly, Emotion is always causing a seclusion of particular hormone.

(Such as a fear to a danger needs whole body to prepare for prolonged battle by

seclusion of Adrenalin.  Or whole process of sexual activity needs continuing higher

level of Testosterone.)

—– In comparison, higher logical thinking is done by the later addition of the larger

brain and its process is not necessary induce a seclusion of hormone or Emotion.


So that, when you hear the call of the Wolf = its signal rises your Adrenaline and become

Emotionally alert.   But if it is the same “Wolf-call” again, you just get used and

start to ignore = your perception would no longer trigger the Emotion.

—– Logically, Wolf is still somewhere in the woods yet its logical possibility wouldn’t

trigger your Emotion, because you are not in imminent danger, still, a kind of strong belief

or persistent thought / obsession would trigger an Emotion.

( But they are a subject of mental, neurological disorder)


Seeing those function of the brain,

you might be realized that what the Meditation is doing.

= When your brain keep receiving the same signal, threshold of the reception

rise higher = the same signal loose impact.  You become immune to the signal.

Those external incoming signal or internal thought would work alike.

When the brain (or a Mind set) starts to ignore the signal or thought, it no

longer trigger an emotional reaction = therefore loose the tag  of ” Mine” =

and it become detached from the Ego = your mind would be in PEACE.

And when you do the things without involving your Emotion =

“ Effectively you are in the SELFLESS state” as all of your Emotion which is

defining  “ This is mine / my interest” is no longer there.

—– Buddhism teachings are using those brain function and its tendency =

Mushin and the Selflessness to control our MIND.

( Without Emotion, Selfless, and in Mushin = Just get on the task / Life ! )

Hence we can have PEACE of MIND and the  SMOOTH  LIFE.


( Though, there was an interesting question ” How and why,  some people

who is seeing a lots of sexual images, the person become immune to a

sexual stimulant  (like a Gynecologist),  but in the other hand it would lead

some others become rapist ?”

—– Well, this is the matter of the Mind-set on the starting point,  which I’m

going to write about in later post.)



PS : Please do remember, there is yet another purpose in the Buddhism training, other

than [Eliminates Thinking = Mushin] and [Cut off the Emotion = Selfless] . Also

to sublimates the teaching = Imprint the Teachings into Subconscious by

repeated practice and repeated reading or reciting, is the crucial process. —– here

again invisible Mind.

When the Teachings were imprinted into subconscious (sublimated), it

controls the person unconsciously

= no need to consciously remember it = Mushin again !



Posted in Buddhism, Emotion, Evolution of Mind, Meditation, Mushin, Subconsciousness by yoshizen on July 16, 2010

( This is the shortest summary of what I have explained in the past hundred posts )

Half of the troubles in one’s life are caused by  external situations or factors, which is beyond the one’s

control —– the one was in the wrong place in the wrong time.

Though rest of half were caused by oneself which are largely attributed by one’s emotion, including

one’s greed, sexual instinct and emotionally biased wrong thinking —– in another word, Delusion.

What  BUDDHA taught was the way to deal with those troubles by gaining the clear eyes to

see the situation  AND  the way to control one’s mind (include the Emotion and Instincts ).

——– so, it was the two-way approach, hence the complete package of the solution.

To see the world in the clear eyes with the understanding of its existences ( include the Self ) which are

constantly changing by the chain of cause and result,  is fundamentally rational and factual —— hence,

Buddhism never has a conflict with the science.  ( And the common sense.  😀  )


And to deal with one’s mind which is riddled with Ego, Greed, Emotion and  Delusion, Buddha had

adopted remarkably effective way of practice which can Re-program one’s  Subconscious,

therefore able to eliminate all the effect of those awkward Ego, Emotion etc.

This uniquely Buddhist’s way of practice is,  to repeat the same action or thinking for the tens of thousands

of times thence worn-out the Thinking and makes the action independent and immune from any Emotion.

By doing so,  human mind and the body learns to do it without involving thinking and the emotion

therefore, the action became almost automatic (since emotion is detached) and extremely refined.

And able to achieve the selfless state ( Mushin ) of  the one’s mind.

———- As the result,  the Person wouldn’t be shaken by the troublesome event,  and the Mind can handle

the situation without the interference of the Emotion or  Subconscious blockage,  even awkward trouble

can be solved in the very rational and calm manner.


East and West

Posted in Buddhism, Christianity, East and West, Selflessness by yoshizen on January 7, 2010

While exchanging the comments with formidable Theologian Irishanglican DPh ThD and others,

Stark contrast of, probably the best Epitome of the East and West emerged.

Christianity was based on the universality of the pain on the body and the Emotion.

As all the human has evolved from the single ancestor, all the physical system, brain, naval system,

function of hormone etc are all virtually identical.

And the upper system constructed on it, the Instinct, Emotion, most of the structure and function

and the tendency of the Subconscious is more-or-less the same to each other,  in any race.

So that the depiction of the crucified Jesus and his pain strikes the Emotion straight, together with

the fear of death.  On top of this, yet another Emotional topic of the Love appeals to anybody too.

Even it based on the instinctive fear though,  to be as an attractive Religion it is necessary to have

an exit, Salvation and the Heaven.


In contrast, the Eastern Philosophies are based on the Notion of  Supreme Power who controls

the fate of the individual,  therefore leaving the matters of inequality,—– one may feel pain but

not others and accept the trouble of the life as an individually given fate or Karma.

Then went to find the solution in the mechanism of the Psyche —– to over come the trouble

by shifting the way to see the trouble, and the way to control the Emotion, by proposing

ideal personality and his life style.

The beauty of the Buddhism is, as they found the most effective way to deal with the troubles by

the technique of the Selflessness, which is effectively cut off the Emotion and its detrimental

effect to the life.


In short, The Christianity after Jesus is based on the universality of the Emotion,

In contrast the Buddhism is based on how to detach from the Emotion.

Why Subconscious (1)

Posted in Buddhism, Selflessness, Subconsciousness, Zen by yoshizen on December 20, 2009

Many of you who have read some other posts here, may wondered Why I’m bothering

Subconscious so much ?

(1)  The first reason is;  Fundamentally the  Selflessness appeared when the incoming

signal of visual, sound, linguistic etc what ever, has not been connected to the emotion.

This brain activity is taking place, in deed, subconsciously.

And only in the Selfless state the one can see and communicate with the Dharma.

Therefore, to gain a control of this process, we need to access into our subconscious.


(2)  The second reason is;  If we need to control our Ego, Selfish-Self, Delusions etc,

which is hiding in our Emotion or primitive region of our brain, not to mention the troublesome

our instincts, we have to deal  with very subconscious.


(3)  The third reason is;  as all of our brain activities are carried out without our conscious.

We only know the end result when it was converted to the linguistic context (to the words) or

visual image or action of muscle etc, without even knowing how this result has been deduced ,

induced or inferred by the algorithm there( which all the attempt to simulate by Artificial Intelligence (AI)

had failed ) So that,  we can not discuss the matter while avoiding to touch the matters in subconscious.

On top of this, the basis of those process are relying on our accumulated knowledge, or

[ Data Bank ] (I discussed this in earliest post) which we gathered mostly unconsciously.

Even worse, some part of our  [ Data Bank ] seemed to contain even the Genetic Memories which we

inherit from remote ancestors, which we may only see under the heavy trans like state of the mind.

Trouble of those hidden file is, it quietly influence our perception, way of thinking  and the life itself.


Of cause, non of the Mantra said anything near to this kind of observation, because of it is not

visible and easy to explain, and anyway, the notion of subconscious was not exist in ancient time.

Still, the Buddhism  managed to control those matters in subconsciousness without knowing how its works.

So, it must be said, the one who discovered this phenomena, Buddha had really incredible insight.

He had seen the invisible phenomena which hadn’t have even the notion or the word to describe it.

Selflessness – Detachment

Posted in Buddhism, Selflessness, Subconsciousness, Zen by yoshizen on December 14, 2009

” How to get selfless state of the Mind “

After reading the previous post ” Selflessness Demonstrated “,  you may convinced

that the selflessness is nothing special and it is everywhere in our life.

Then you may start a question ” If everybody has selflessness, can all of us make

good Buddhists ?  ——- Not quite.

To become a Buddhist, one has to cross over the first varier, which is to learn to brake

off from the Ego, by doing the repetitive practice, unconditionally.

To accept this Duty  unconditionally, and able to keep doing it indicates, you have gave up your Ego.

( May not necessary the proof of  non-Ego, but Not accept is definitely the sign of  Ego )

Keep doing its practice endless times, you become get used with it and able to do without

thinking, and it will became your mundane daily routine.

In order to survive this boring tread-mill, your mind become apathetic, and become

emotionally detached from what you are actuary doing.  ———–( In Neurological term, the

threshold of the signal  became higher, therefore incoming repetitive signal loose the significant impact )

——It may looks a contradiction, while doing it in full commitment ( so-called mindfulness / full hearted )

but disconnected from the emotion, in the same time able to carry out perfect practice.


The emotion is not an essential component to do the perfect business,  in most of the situation

it is more of the destruction, otherwise a  Gynecologist couldn’t do their business.

Another example appeared in the brain scan analysis of the

Alzheimar’s cases, the reason why a patient loose the ability to recognize a family face is,

its visual signal lost the connection to the emotional region of the brain, while visual cortex  is still intact.

It is the matter of the control of the signal connection or to make association.

Even without making connection, each faculties of the brain can  works perfect.


As the emotion is directly connected to the basic instincts, such as the feeling of hunger or

I want to have this, I want fuck this woman etc etc, its forms fundamental part of the Self and Ego.

————First, detached from the raw basic emotion, then connect the signal in the brain

to the Spiritually conceived Notion or Ethos and to the activity of the life , is the Zen and the Buddhism.

Even though observing the self doing something, without having the emotional connection, it wouldn’t

produce the conscious of being as the Self,   This is The Selflessness.

Once a person mastered this control, it can be applied to other practice and to the whole life.

( This is why Half Buddhist or Thinking Buddhist couldn’t see the Buddhism. —- need to cross the varier first)


(Some of the reader may not want to agree with  this, as this theory seems (as far as I found) the

first of its kind in the history——-Neuro-scientists would confirm this, soon or later.  But the fact of that the

Zen monk is not emotional is medically tested and established fact—— simply nobody ever thought why )


Fortunately or unfortunately, I went through this first varier in my youth, in the mountain.

To climb the mountain, we just accept the situation, and keep walking, days even a month.

Most of the time, there was no margin to exercise Ego.  We just carry on walking without cry.


(I’m going to discuss spiritual (or even super natural) aspects of the Zen in near future)

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