Yoshizen's Blog

Self again (2) — Buddha’s hesitation

In the Lord Buddha’s story, it was said that the after reached his enlightenment he was very reluctant to tell others what he found, since

Lord Buddha was very much aware that what he found was too difficult to make others to understand.     It seems, the earliest teachings started with the teachings of the Four Noble Truth and other stories showed that the idea of the Karma, Cause and the Effect has followed it. —– though, behind those story, there seemed to be a many misunderstandings or a twisted truth.

Give a thought or two, is the teachings of the Four Noble Truth or teachings of the Cause and Effect contain any difficult logic or the theory which gave a headache to comprehend.

Considering the situation, that the time when the oral tradition of the teachings were written down by the Vedic Brahman ( = only the people who could read and write then, even if he was converted to the Buddhism, like Shari Putra.), the teachings of the No-self may not to be written down faithfully.  Because to the Vedic Brahman who has been taught to believe that the existence of the Atoman (perpetual soul) it was too irrational to write down the teachings of Anatoman (= No-self).    And as I wrote it in the previous post, it is almost impossible to explain it without using the notion and the word of “self”. = (If you use the word Self, it is effectively recognised the existence of the Self.)

So that, it is much more natural to believe that what Lord Buddha found in his enlightenment was the idea of the No-Self (which was the rational answer from our existence as a cause) = Anatoman.   Yet this was really a problematic, revolutionary idea then.  = naturally very difficult to teach against the others popular belief.  Therefore, it naturally made him to become very reluctant to talk about —– until, he found the way to teach it without the words = in action (and the Upaya.)

(Without having this under line  tradition — (or the hidden fact) behind, it is hard to explain how and why the idea of No-Self or Void came up and became very popular in the time of Mahayana.)  


Become Immune or Irritated ?

When you read a post, like Key Mechanism in Zen Buddhists Mind you might have

mistaken that while doing repeated practice and keep receiving repeated same signal,

our brain automatically start ignoring it. —– Really ?      Think it yourself.

In the real situation, such as when you hear the same CM repeating the same name

on the radio or TV, in most of the case you just feel annoyance and irritation =

our brain, our perception couldn’t stand of it. —– So, which is the true.

— the brain become immune or become irritated and mad ?


My explanation there was

“When a task was given by an order or from a situation in the life, first, it’s needed to

have a “Contemplation” some time interpreted as an acceptance, giving-up (to resist) or

determination to take the task (which ever it was passive or more positive, active way).

—–> And as it was accepted = no way else to go = have to face

the task head-on (this is called “Mindfulness”).

= “needed to have an acceptance” (whether, I’ll do / I have to do / I need to do).

This acceptance or determination, mind-set has to come first, preceding to the act.

And this determination = the conviction “I’ll DO” makes the same task, such as  

sweeping the garden,  from just a task to the practice to reach the Enlightenment.

Lord Buddha did know this from the beginning therefore in his earliest teachings of

“Four Noble Truth” he said

1) The Life is in sufferings.

2) There was the cause of those sufferings. (because of Karma, hence  impermanence)

3) So, it is necessary to (actively) seek the way to escape from the sufferings.

4) And the Buddhism is the way to overcome those sufferings.

Lord Buddha didn’t go any deluded idea, how this world was created by whom kind

of mumbo-jumbo but straight into the reality of the life = It IS the sufferings, and

telling the people to accept it first

First to accept, then seek the remedy.  And the way to seek the remedy is the way of

the repeated practice.  So that, the repeated same signal in the brain doesn’t cause

the repulsion but just accepted, then got used => ignored => so, the person become

immune to such signal while carrying out the daily life = => become immune to

the sufferings in the life general => able to live in peace without feel sufferings = is the

Enlightenment.   (What a clever magic or the clever design of the brain mechanism !)

= this is the mechanism (the Dharma) everybody was born to have

= therefore, anybody can get the Enlightenment !

= This is THE beauty of Buddhism.



Is Science, Belief System ? / Is Zen, Belief System ?

Lord Buddha ordered his disciples, [Don’t believe, think Yourself].

It’s mean if anyone thinks, the answer will be found by themselves.

And it’s mean, it doesn’t need to be any special person or special brain = Answer is within

a reach of anyone’s common-sense and comprehension.


There is no fancy mambo-jumbo in the

Lord Buddha’s teachings.  Everything is obvious fact.  Like The Four Noble Truth, who

can deny it is not true.   Life’s sufferings, illness, get old and die, are the hard facts.

And his observation, there are cause of those troubles, is nothing strange view at all.

If anything happened there must be a cause.    Then, there is the way to overcome those

sufferings —– could be true, because that is exactly what

Lord Buddha found and taught which is applicable and effective to to anyone.

The most crucial matter is, that the way to overcome sufferings is not by a

fancy belief and its placebo effect, but an actual change of the mind-set

through practice, which is not a trick but an extension of existing mechanism

of the brain activity, such as to extend our unconscious action of the body.


Like a physical phenomenon, such as Gravity, whether you know the theory, or understand

its mechanism or not, at least you know the effect which you can easily observe.

Whether you imagining (and believe) small green man pulling invisible string, or resorting

with hypothetical particle Graviton causing Gravity, the phenomenon itself exists as a fact,

hence, the science has been accepted as the truth and it is not in a belief system.


In the same context, Zen is a system to utilize a mechanism of the brain

carrying out the action without having a thinking process, and such action

is ubiquitous observable fact.   (Zen calls this [Mushin] )

Whether you are aware or not, we are walking without noticing which muscle is contracting,

or reading this blog without aware of your eyes are capturing the pattern of the letters,

even without having a conscious of that you are reading this = Until you start to think and

become conscious, consciousness of the self is not exists. = (Self is our invention by thinking)

Those function of neurological mechanism is the fact and far beyond the belief system.

And a mechanism of our brain, which tend to ignore the repeating signal,

hence we can be apathetic to the signal, is an existing phenomenon,

therefore it is not in our imagination.  Fact exists long before the belief.

And the practice which enhancing those mechanism to deal with a cause of

the problem was what uniquely proposed and taught by

Lord Buddha.


Lord Buddha’s view that we could live on those unconscious mechanism

in the brain, and as those unconsciousness has no self-conscious, we could

live selflessly, was his theory.

As the water is running down because of the Gravity is an observed fact. Hence, this

running water can be used as a power source is a theory. As everybody knows, this theory

has been successfully implemented in a water mill or electric power generator. Likewise,

Lord Buddha’s theory has been implemented as the Buddhist’s practice and

actually it works. This practice and its effect is not relying on the placebo effects or belief.

It actually trains and changes the way of the person processing the signal,

hence changes the perception towards such as a cause of fear, even a death.


Therefore, the effect of Zen practice is a real fact.

Not in a belief or in an imagination.

This is the reason how Zen practice has been used even in the sports training.

Zen is not imaginary fancy story but a practice which brings a tangible effects.

Key is Just try, Just DO, and see What happens in your Mind and on your Life.



Bowl of Water Zen

When I was talking about Zen practice with others, someone mentioned a BBC news which

showed a group of Chinese Zen monks are walking while carrying a bowl of water

as their Zen practice. —– “ Oh, what a good idea. It’s a good practice to learn Zen Mind “

( It’s easy to try this.  Fill the water to the top of bowl about 8″  big and holding it to your chest high and walk.

By doing this,  you can observe your state of the mind,  how steady and calm your mind is.

Strangely you may find,  the more you concentrate and gaze the water the more it shakes  😀

—– when your mind is almost detouched from the water or whole action,  then the water become still and

make no drip while you are walking —- then you can fill even more water reaching to the edge.  It’s a fun !)


In this blog, I’ve been talking that any action could be a Zen practice, hence in one post I talked about

[Lemon Zen] and the other post, [Walking Zen] in fact I also mentioned about the effects of even riding

a bicycle or typing —– any repeating action could have the same effect to reach

a state of the Mind of No-Mind or Mushin.


In fact everybody is doing the action of walking in Mushin = nobody is thinking when and how to move

the right leg after left leg has moved. —– It’s all done unconsciously.

So that, the practice of Mushin ( and the Mindfulness of cause — if a part of the brain is not fully engaged

for the walking, we can not automatically adjust the leg movement following the slight change of a condition

of the road surface) is not necessary an exotic funny action.


Then inevitable question arose —– if the walking is the practice of Mushin which everybody is doing,

why not everybody is an accomplished  Zen Master.

Here is a funny but fundamental paradox of the Zen Buddhism.   When the Mushin in walking is the

Zen, it is the Zen. —– but otherwise it is just an unconscious action of walking.


Buddha didn’t perform any fancy or peculiar action. It was just a simple ordinary daily life, yet

as it was repeated every day, each action was almost identical every time.

This simplified and fixed way of each practice is the requisite condition of [the Life in Mushin].

Buddha’s life style was the text-book and the disciples were learned and copied those action, and in the process,

disciples learned the Mushin ( or the state of the No-Mind  was developed  in them).


Because of the state of the mind can not be learned by the word, but only by the practice ( like any

emotion,  unless a person has experienced it,  the description of feeling couldn’t make any sense )

and this is the reason why non of the ancient scripture was actually talking about No-Mind, but only No-Self.

( No-Self = No-Mind —– still able to live as a person is because there is the enough program in our

Subconsciousness which is invisible —– like what I am talking here, is a new interpretation after Freud invented

a notion of  Subconscious = which was not exists in the ancient time )


And there is yet another paradox in the Buddhism.

To live the Life in Mushin is what all about the Buddhism though, no-mind, no thinking, BUT unless it

was  understood as the Buddhism,  it wouldn’t become the Buddhism.

Anybody can carry a full of water in a bowl, and time to time the one may need to do it.   Just carry a cup of tea

happen to be full to the edge, from kitchen to a table —– some may succeed it while making no single drip, yet

some may make a mess.  What makes a difference ?

Calm mind, hence a steady hand is the crucial point here = a kind of thought “ Oh, I’ve put

too much. I’m silly. I would spill a mess on the floor. etc. “ would make a hand even more

wobbly and the tea would drip here and there   😀


A person can practice this and acquire better coordination on the hand, so that it will be programmed into

the motor legion of the brain and may become a routine movement.   But, that all.

BUT, if a person practised this, under a file name of the Zen Buddhism, the file become

accessible in any moment when it need to have a calm mind in your life.

Carrying a full of water as Zen, it become the Zen with its effects.

Once a person acquired this file with the attachment of the notion of Zen and its spiritual implication,

the file would be applied to any action and any situation in the Life, hence, walking is the Zen, cutting a lemon

is the Zen, and even facing Tsunami Wave could be handled in a calm mind and able to act in the best way

or see the fate with calm clear eyes.   (Sorry to the victims of Tsunami)

With this Paradox ( has to live without thoughts, preconception etc, still needs to organize its notion of

Mushin as the practice of Zen Buddhism) Buddha has asserted “ There is the way, which is to be

pursued as the way of Buddhism “ since in his earliest teachings as one of the Four Noble Truth.


This notion makes the difference between Mushin to just to be an ignorant thoughtless.

Though, the notion itself is nothing complicated = just to be aware [to carry a bowl of water is for Zen]

—– with this awareness, just Do It and keep doing it —– then suddenly you will find that you can do it without

spilling a single drip of water, and realized while doing it you didn’t need to think anything = Just Did It !


Then observe yourself, while doing even other things, are you just doing it as well, without having any

useless thought ? (You may achieve this in few weeks or may be taking few years. Just carry on. —– then you

might be noticed, you have been having no upheaval in your life and strangely, quite unexpected

or too good to be true kind of coincidences has been happening, yet no one can tell why

—– Just carry on with your LIFE without questioning. ) —–This is a Zen Buddhist’s LIFE.


Order in Disorder (2)

Before the Buddhism evolved into Mahayana, the followers try to understand the existences in each

definition, in order, such as described in the Abidharma Kosa, and tried to fix the rules,  so that,

in effect,  made the person into the orderly ideal TYPE.

Then, the Buddhists realized that there is no such things like an orderly type nor

orderly existences —– no order is the order.

Like the nature, even a Hurricane or a Tsunami are also a part of the Dharma, not mention a Death.

Try to impose an ideal TYPE or the imagined ORDER and branding anything else are evil,  is

the human invention, and such thinking is nothing but the delusion.

In contrast to [see the Dharma as it is ], — [try to impose the idea over the Dharma ] is

the fundamental difference between Mahayana and Hinayana.

Accept the Dharma as it is, accept the human as human not an ideal TYPE,  was

the starting point of the Mahayana Buddhism.


From his earliest period, Buddha’s teachings consists of the Four Noble Truth, in which

Buddha defined that the Life is suffering, getting ill and getting old then to die —– far from any

ideal TYPE of the life. —– but this was what Buddha did find.

And it took 500 years for the followers to realize what it’s really meant.

Still, if the situation of the life is confined only to this,

Buddha wouldn’t have taught his enlightened wisdom of —– how to deal with

this apparently hopeless situation.

The Buddha’s answer was,  against this disorderly situation (Samsara),  to live the life

in Mushin (which can be acquired through the practice)  would open the way to live without

fear or negative thought,  and away from any negative effect of ego and the delusion.

—– therefore lead to the peaceful Nirvana.


Only the rules what Buddha found was the Rule of the Karma though, as he also explained the

constantly changing nature of the Dharma (which include ourself),  this Rule still having unknowable

hence,  no-order again.

Yet still,  strangely you might think,  this uncertainty still retains the overall direction of the Karma.

(Which is the direction of the Dharma) —– situation constantly changes,  occurrences seemed random,

still we pick up what the one should pick up = on the end the one goes to certain direction.

Only the matter is, to pick up right one. —– To do this, its need to have clear eyes

and absolutely calmed, exposed sensory. —– here, the Buddhist’s practice comes in.


To the absolutely opened eyes and the mind of no-mind = Mushin,  even a minute sign of

something happening will be seen.    And as the mind is open, usually an out of scope kind

of irrelevant matter (which can be crucial to one’s  life)  may also be seen.

Stereotype,  self-imposed casting always limiting one’s perception and cause wrong thinking.

But, creative, progressive idea and the direction is over this barrier —– why you find this ?  why you ?

is the indication of [ because you were assigned to do this] —– this is what the direction mean.

To the outsider,  the nature / the Dharma looks No-Order though,  to the open mind = Mushin,  it looks no

problem —– since he could see the direction and be in contended as in the right direction.  He stays calm.


– – – “ Oh, C’mon, can’t you see, the World is disintegrating

“Yes I can see, its true.  But because of that, somebody has been assigned to work hard and dealing with it.

So, if he asks your help.   Help him.   If not, don’t interfere him, or worrying about it yourself.

If the Dharma in deed had the intention for the World to sink,

the Dharma didn’t assign him to solve the problem”

Put faith on the Dharma.  🙂


PS :  It may look nicer to shout against the Nuclear Power or multi-national Capitalists etc. while pretending

to be a conscience of Planet Earth though,  I don’t think it is not necessary a typical Buddhist’s attitude,

unless the one was born to be a campaigner.    Because, the Buddhism is not stand on the mouth but practice.

Before open the mouth,  better stop wasting energy, electricity etc,  stop buying bottled water,  fizzy drink,

give up the car etc etc.   Those practices may be in your hand but, —– ? ? ?  how many people in the world

can stop the Nuke ?  —– the drive to change the policy of some country to give up Nuke was not by the

campaign,  but by an accident in Japan which costed hundreds of billions of money.  Money speaks louder.

In emotion, everybody feel ” What a hell, Japanese government is doing (or not doing !)”  though, it need to

think what an emotional shout can affect the actual policy there  —– yet, on the Election, they vote to the

well-known TV characters or comedian —– ? ? ?    (What’s  going on there)

Anyhow,  no-one’s conscience or emotion would give a halt to earthquake or tsunami  😀

(To the Planet Earth, it was a small wobble to release a tension (so, it was a rational adjustment.  Not a

disorderly passion ) though, for us, minute human being, it was a devastating quake) we are utterly powerless.)

—– but this is what the nature / Dharma is.


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