Yoshizen's Blog

Paradox on No-Self

Despite the Buddhism IS the teachings of the NO-Self,

there is no explanation of “What is no-self” in the scripture.

Even more peculiar phenomena were = there were hundreds,

if not thousands of description of “the ideal person” still

there was no words saying that the man has no-self. — Why ?  

Because there IS NO-Self.

(To talk about the SELF need to recognize the existence of it = need to

have yet another Self to observe its existence ! — if you can aware/

observe yourself, your observer has already alienated  YOU. )


Our feeling was induced by the Limbic System of our brain. 

In fact, all the signal from the sensing organs goes to the

Limbic System first and the most of important process =

selection of those signal, cognition, judgement etc etc were

done in there and only the last result goes to the New Cortex

of the brain and then converted to the conscious and given

the lexical interpretation.  = It’s mean, we human being has

enough wisdom to sense the environment and judge the

appropriate response to have the daily life by the process of

the Limbic System alone though, all those feelings and the

process are hidden under the darkness of the Subconscious/

Unconsciousness they ARE invisible for the most of us. 

Those process were called instinct though as they were

hidden, often we don’t know why we took such reaction. 

So that, when we say “This IS my decision and how I think”

they ARE only a conscious part of the process in the brain.

= And we called this = “Self-Conscious” and the SELF.

Lord Buddha saw this Self-Conscious as a mere delusion

and it was coherent with the view of No-Self = Anatman.

=== To become aware of the SELF is the sign of

the alienation to yourself and the break-down of Mushin.

(State of the Mind of No-mind) —– It IS the paradox.

And this paradox, delusion IS the loot-cause of the

discord to our nature / Dharma.



Tagged with: , ,

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. 



Talk with Cats = What is MUSHIN

Somebody said “Hey yoshizen, you are utterly nuts, how you can talk with cats ?”

—– Quite often, when I saw a cat, I call him (her ?) “wu Nya” 😀

And lower my body or crouch and say “Oide, oide” (it’s mean, “Come, come” in Japanese.)

So that, my friend who happened to be with me, say “How this cat understand Japanese ?”

or “Can they understand Japanese ? Hey, don’t be silly ” —– then, those friend

was surprised as he saw the cat is coming to me and having their head scratched.


So, I said to my friend “Of cause, they don’t know what that Japanese mean.

But, do you know, the cats can read our mind ?” “Oh yes, I know they can”

“So, this is it. It doesn’t matter what language I have used on my rip, but my mind,

in fact deep down to my subconscious level, I’m expressing the friendship message

as the same kin.  Cat understand this message like a mind reading”


If you remember what I wrote in the previous post, you may be confused by this description.

—– “Deal with cat in Mushin”. —– What the Mushin mean here ?

THIS IS the most misunderstood point in the Buddhism and in the concept

of Mushin and the SELF.

Open your mind, don’t think anything, empty your mind, brah brah brah ——.

They are all just the words, only described the superficial appearance and its observation.

Yes it is true. There was no thinking in the brain on that moment, hence it seemed the mind

was empty. —– still, full function of the body is continuing.

Tea Master is making a tea, Sword’s Master is fighting, I was calling the Cat. = all

those actions were carried out in Mushin.


Lots of amateur Buddhists and Sham Monks or so-called Instructors, Practitioners are believing

and teaching that the Mushin is a kind of special mental state occurred only

when sitting and meditating.

—– Forget the Buddhism for a while. (Before talking Buddhist’s mind, you better know what

the ordinarily mind is 😉 ) = Remember what people say “Talk from your Heart”

It struck our Soul” “Selfless Love” etc ==== You can understand all those words straight,

what it’s mean. = In fact all those words are describing the same psyche in our deep-down mind

= the pure human emotion in our subconsciousness, without any intentional thinking

= away from political, psychological manipulation, self enriching maneuver or egotistic thinking.

People can naturally feel, talk and act without having any those intentional artificial thinking.

—– Where those Thinking come from, and where those psyche described as

Heart, Soul or Pure Human Emotion come from ?


Complexed highly intentional thinkings are all bore out of our highly intelligent Cerebrum =

large Brain.  But Heart, Soul and Pure Humanistic Emotion are come from our

Old Cortex and Limbic System.

(Which is common, even with cats, hence we can shar the same psyche. 😀 )

Mushin = Mind of No-Mind is the state of the brain, when all those Thinkings in the Cerebrum

were stopped (or suppressed, abandoned what ever the word. And an advanced Zen Master can

stop even the process or Emotion in the Limbic System as well). = Still, some subconscious and

basic function in the Limbic System can be maintained and continue its process.


Likewise, the Self with its Self Conscious Thinking together with its Emotion could

be disappeared, still able to maintain the integration of the body and its function.

= Thinking was stopped still, subconscious is aware the situation.

In fact, subconsciousness knows the situation far better, because Limbic system

is directing and controlling all the data flow in the Brain.  The Cerebrum is only

converting some of those data into the words and to the visible conscious.

(This is why the argument, what is the SELF and whether it is exists or not was started.

And the typical Mahayana Expression [It exists as not exists] was invented).

Consciously conscioused SELF is clearly be seen, but subconscious is invisible. 

You can hear my word to a cat “Oide, oide”, but you can’t hear the signal

in [Z-band] channel hidden there.   (Unless you too a cats person  😀 ).



Some days ago,  I saw a bizarre demonstration which purported to be an electronic display of the

Buddhist Meditation,  consisting a video image said to be controlled by the Brain Wave.

Loads of scientific buzz words such as Quantum Mechanics, Sinusoidal Alpha Wave etc etc were spoken.

———- Yet strangely, a demonstrator  who got a shaven head said ” I’m not an electronics expert,

so,  I don’t know the details of the technology here “—— Oh, I’m, sure Brain Wave is not Sinusoidal at all.


How bizarre this one was —– to begin with,  Alpha Brain Wave is nothing to do with the Meditation.

EEG  Brain Wave was picked up on the surface of the head and showing the summed up electric signal

of the inside Cerebrum Cortex’s activity.   Therefore,  the Brain Wave is the reflection of the vigorous

activity of the brain —— sound opposite of the calm Meditation.   (Of cause, even under the deepest

meditative state, certain physiological function is fully active, hence creating so-called  Artefact ( back

ground noise ) is always there.

Any how, the activity of inner part of the brain such as Limbic System is not possible to observe by the EEG,

unless a hole was cut to the skull and put through a probe deep inside.  ( Very risky operation )


More than 40 years ago, when a meditating monk was wired up and the EEG / Brain Wave was recorded

first time, the relation between Alpha Wave and the Meditation was discovered.  So, a  Myth  was created.

Though, ironically, some years later, the true nature of the Alpha Wave became clear —— it was the

indication of the ” Eyes are Closed ” —— its mean, the visual cortex in the back of the head is in idle state.

Nothing to do with meditation.    (Well, see nothing was indicated.  At least   😀  )

(  In the Zen, Eyes wide open and seeing, but take NO NOTICE is the key technique —– Thus able to

either Detach or Concentrate to any subject,  any time,  by will )

Yet still, the Myth or idiosyncratic misunderstanding was kept and worshiped by the people who doesn’t

know the Buddhism neither Medical science or Electronics.

And this kind of bizarre gimmick industry is flourishing.

How amazing  !!!

When Mankind didn’t have the knowledge of electric activity,  lightning was believed

to be an act of angry God.

The Brain still remaining in the mystery is,  nothing to do with  the mystery of the Buddhism.

Mind is not just a matter of  Brain cell and  Electric pulse.

PS: Half year later, I bumped a man who demonstrated aforesaid  Electronical Meditation, at an art

gallery and found that the man is (despite his shaven head  🙂 ) just a novel art performer, not a monk

or to do anything with Buddhist’s meditation.  So, he must had a lots of fun for doing it. 😀


Posted in Buddhism, Emotion, Evolution of Brain, Evolution of Mind, Mind, Subconsciousness by yoshizen on January 23, 2010

We tend to simplify the Notion, such as the Emotion, like thinking it as if it is only the feelings,  Sadness,

Joy, Anger etc—– just see as an indicator of the mind, thus totally missing the point of  its function behind.

The part of the brain which is dealing with Emotion is known as Limbic System,  which situated under

side of the Cerebrum, and just above the Thalamus where body functions were kept controlled.


Structurally, this part of the brain is the older or original part in the evolutionary scale ( sometime its called

Old Cortex ) therefore common  with other simpler animal.

(less number of Neural layers indicates this too ——primitive hence it is fundamental to the Life)

So, what is this Limbic System is doing as the main function.

Its function is to Assess the incoming signal (Information / Data ) according to the Self-interests.

Self interest is largely, the instinct of survival and own comfort. —— its mean, Ego.

( Though, highly developed human’s case, this ” Own comfort” include the feeling of  Achievement ——

of which target may not necessary immediately link to his or her own gain, and it can be very spiritual )


And the action which was triggered by a stimulus such as a visual signal of the danger,

the evading action has to be continued for a certain length of the time, (just out of vision  wouldn’t be enough)

it has to be kept by the chemical effects.———- (So, Adrenalin is high, tension is kept high )

Since the Limbic System is directly linked to Tharamus,  effects are mostly Physiological,and the

secondary Psychological effects must be a later development,  or even a cultural development and

the result of the Conditioning.  (When to laugh or get angry etc are depend on the Culture, so that

small children don’t have same Emotion.  They need to lean the manner,  how to react and should  feel !!!).

Programing of ” How One has to Feel”— is the basis of the development of  HUMAN like  human.

This is what we call ” ETHOS” —– since, it is in Emotion / Uncontrollable—– hence Imperative.

( Carl Jung called this ” Collective Unconsciousness”  though it is only the end result. He didn’t know why )

( Most of the people know only their own culture and  own emotion—– so, not aware of this)


To see a news “A boy was rescued after 8 days” may trigger an Emotion ” How lucky this Boy is” and

feel a joy,  or dreaded with a thought ” What a poor boy to spend 8 days next to the Death” —– is

depend on each personality,  still this news gave significant impression to both person —– as it

triggered their Emotion,  but if it didn’t trigger the Emotion,  this news couldn’t

even be noticed / insignificant Data to the person.

Even an exciting signal source such as a sexy object (person) may become boring subject after a while.

( Hence, ” Seven  Years  Itch” —— 🙂   )

———- Emotional perception is very subjective, hence changeable.  So the importance of the Data as well.

Selfless (so-called) is to handle the signal while  being Apathic to the Emotional Bias, which

bore out of the Ego or deluded idea.

And giving no significant weight to any signal, and treat all the incoming signal impartial is

The Open Mind. ( Sociologist’s Value Free )

Emotion is the part of Self-conscious feeling,  noticeable side-effects of the Limbic activity.

Before the Large Brain / Cerebrum evolved and took over the Decision making process,  this part of the

Brain handled the thinking function / assess the Data and decision making. —– Important fact is, its still

doing  this subconsciously —– Hence it makes  Double Layer System .

( Emotional feeling  may started like an  Allergic Symptom to alert the individual.)


In metaphor, the incoming signals were assessed and directed to each door. (One is a Trash bin)

And this signal leaving each foot print.—– Some of them might make very muddy big foot print,

even splashing sticky muddy water all around.  ( Emotionally drenched. It’s a mess.    😦   )

Buddhism is making this signal to tread quietly, leaving minimum foot print and the noise.

When the foot step become  silent,  the Buddhist can hear the minute sound behind.

And some experienced Buddhists can even re-direct the signal and prevent it goes into the

door of House of Horror.   —— (Shame, screaming Horror House may be quite exciting and fun   😀 )

%d bloggers like this: