Yoshizen's Blog

Self again

To a Buddhist, self is the most problematic subject for ever.  Though, surprisingly very little was   written in the scripture.  Do you know why ?   Because, it was the first problem of all.   As you might know, that, in the Buddhism, there is no self. (How to write about which is not exist)

Yes — NO-SELF but in here there are already two problem was loaded.   When we say “Self” there are two meanings or the Aspects of it.   One of them is a part of our mind, somewhat related to the Ego.   And the other is the notion created by its observation.

= If you ARE true ( = Rationally coherent) Zen Buddhist, you can not say No-self. —– ?   Why ?    If there is really no Self, even a word “Self” can not exist.  (If you say “No-Self” there is one more self in your mind who is observing your mind = you are not yet in a state of Ichi-jo = oneness)

If there is a land where no crime neither criminal act exists, there couldn’t be a word / notion of crime there.   Exactly same to this, when there is no self, the word “Self” is not exists. (Unless it was a fraud)  On the time of

Lord Buddha, the followers could receive his teachings in an up to the occasion metaphor or so-called upaya often using the action, there was not much difficulty to understand it.    With, the notion of No-Self, therefore No Perpetual Soul, therefore No Reincarnation, therefore No cast was demonstrated in the Sanggha as a deed (not the verbal explanation) = Everybody was accepted and treated as an equal followers.

Though, hundreds of years later, on the time of Mahayana, the scripture writer had to invent a kind of printable expression to explain the “Selflessness” to the mass without using the word SELF, such as in the Vimalakirti sutra “To give without having the mind of giving is The true giving” or otherwise “See as not to see”, “Do while not to do” kind —– they are trying to express the act without having the conscious of action (not such as a gray zone between two.) —– yet now, quite a lot of people still thinking that to sacrifice own self is the selflessness. (it’s just a devotion —– while riding a bicycle, your body moves without your self-conscious, so, you don’t need a devotion for bicycle = just ride) = It’s the same, Buddhists doesn’t need to be a vegetarian.



Exists or Not-exists ? —– Where is the SELF ?

Probably the most fundamental matter in the Buddhism is the Selflessness / Mushin.

—– though, this matter questions the credibility of the one who observes its existence, it is

nothing like a scientific objective proof of existence, it’s far more complicated or confused.


Therefore, here, the most funniest paradox in the human culture comes in.

If you deny the existence of the Self, you can not argue or even put the matter on the table.

= because, its notion itself isn’t exists, there is no word to describe it.

= how to starts arguments ?

—– If the society has no system of personal possession, everything belongs to everybody, so,

there couldn’t be a notion of “theft” let alone the very word “theft”. 

If the Self is not exists, no word of SELF, let alone SELFLESS could ever exists.

So, without the notion of Self, how to argue about whether it exists or not.    😀


Lord Buddha’s teachings were described as “Explain unexplainable” “Describe indescribable”.

In definition, Selflessness couldn’t be taught.   Selflessness itself is exists though, you can’t

detect or noticed, let alone capture it in objective observation nor describe it in the words.

Because, to notice “it is there”, it’s mean the observer, who was separated from the subject

= independent self is already THERE ! = You are the established EGO.


So, Lord Buddha just gave an instruction what to do, but never explained why or what was

the intention.   (Like, just let Kisa Gotami to run about, or Churi Pantac to sweep the garden.)

—– While doing it, they will get used with its work or practice, hence became able to do it

without conscious = Selfless —– this was what the teachings were intended though,

it shouldn’t be objectively noticed or talked about. = the matter is, JUST DO IT.


Once it was talked about, it became a NOTION and a WORD, it became independent

existence called knowledge.   Once the notion and the words “I’m cutting Lemon” was

established, “I” who cut the Lemon became THE Existence. —– but, you supposed to cut

a Lemon in Mushin, without the Self.   Without such conscious, Just Cut a Lemon, slice

by slice —– your knife, the lemon, your action were all fused in one, with the Dharma

= this is the state of Ichijo / Oneness. —– BUT, once the observant eyes started to see the

situation objectively and started to give a thought or two, the Observer and Be-observed

alienated = the harmony to be in the Ichijo has broken.


In the Vimalakirti Sutra, when he was asked about what is this Oneness, he answered with

NO word (= and the silence hit the people like roaring thunder !) In fact this was exactly what

Lord Buddha did when he was asked about “after life”.

Oneness (Ichijo / Fuji) could exists if no Self was there.   And as NO self exists, of cause, there

couldn’t be any possibility of After-life or Reincarnation, and no such notion or word to

describe it could exist.   Hence, just a silence = Strongest denial !

(If he was to explain, “There is no Reincarnation because No-Self” it’s effectively recognize

the existence of the Self by the use of the Notion and the word “Self”.  

—– It is the same situation, if the one says “I’m sitting in silence”    😀 )


It seems that the author of Vimalakirti Sutra did know what the mind of Selfless, as the

descriptions were spot on though, I’m not sure about the other Mahayana Sutra, and the

author (compiler ?) such as Nagarjuna —– he seemed to have written them from the

knowledge just heard from others.   They were the scripture for the sake of the arguments

and those arguments, theoretical explanation seemed nothing to do with

actual Selflessness and the Void.

—– Selflessness is everywhere, as you are reading this blog without noticing that your eyes

have been following the lines. = as everybody has born with Dharma, everybody has

Selflessness yet, masking it with the useless thinking and the Ego which has been kept you

away from getting enlightened.

May be just forget those words, Selflessness, Void kind of thinkings, and just take a walk

may open your eyes much clearer.



No Word = Strongest Teaching !

Wikipedia is a very convenient place to see the world, even about Buddhism.

Not necessary because it shows the truth but shows the current situation of Popular Belief.

Funny though, it often says “Citation required” — in Buddhism this is THE most blatant irony.

Understanding in Buddhism came from not because it was written. It always come between

the lines. —– Don’t believe what was written but you have to think yourself.


In Buddhism, such as the strongest denial or the things which is not exist was not lexically

expressed.   So that, the matter was often over-looked or even mistook by the people who

only follows what was told or read.

Like a famous episode in the Vimalakirti Sutra —– To answer a question of “Oneness” (how

totally mindful to the subject) Vimalakirti utter no word, and its silence hit the audience

like a roaring thunder (so the scripture said).


—– (If you couldn’t get it) = Think, such as in a situation of Sword Mastery, if a man using

the sword could see the situation, how he moves, how sword moves in the Objective View,

it’s mean his mind is separated and floating in the air and watching the situation in

distance = here, two Selves, one was watching and other was being watched, not mention

the independent Sword = this is far from Oneness.    When the conscious of using Sword

and the Hand(s) and even the existence of the Sword fused altogether and moves as one

unified force,  it is the Sword Mastery and the Master was in Oneness.  

(In Zen term it is Ichijo / 一如 or Fuji / 不二 )

—– If you are good in typing, you must know, when you were absorbed into its task =

not only the position of each key, but the keyboard, screen, even the draft paper has gone

out of your conscious but only a stream of each letters = your finger moves automatically,

completely out of your conscious.   And even your Brain was not in there, if the draft had

miss-spieling you just miss-type as it is = This is the Oneness = two Selves, Observer and

be Observed, in fact, THE SELF itself has been totally disappeared into the “TYPING”.

Therefore, no observer or conscious to describe it, nor description of Oneness on typing

could exist. —– (I can describe it because I myself is one-finger typist, still seeing other

expert, I can guess how it’s works from the aspect of Zen. —– still, I may be wrong. 😀 )


—– So, there couldn’t be a description of Oneness.

= No word even from a wise-man Vimalakirti.    And, in the scripture, there was no

explanation such as what I wrote above ever existed, because able to write about 

expose a failure, that the one was not in “Selfless Oneness” = make a fool oneself.

This was also the reason when

Lord Buddha went out for a walk in a rainy night, he didn’t explain why, even to Ananda.

Because it was about the Selflessness = since the Self / its conscious was not there to

observe, there couldn’t be a word to describe it. = So that, there was no explanation.

(In fact, to teach Selflessness must be the hardest part, even though it IS the gist of Buddhism.

It can be taught only through a practice  (without type-writer !)  I wonder how many of the

followers could have managed to get it ? —– Still, as the tradition has been continued to

the Zen, it’s mean some had certainly mastered it and handed down the teaching !

—– but not by a word or scripture.)


In Buddhism, a lots has not been written.   As, it meant to be a strongest denial.   Such as

Lord Buddha didn’t answer the question related to the “after life”.  Hence no explanation 

= it’s mean there couldn’t be any written record, hence no citation could be possible.

No citation indicates, no such things in the Doctrine of Buddhism.   And no word by

Lord Buddha ever existed since such matter has no worth to spear even a single word.

(Unfortunately, this situation had been exploited, knowingly or with sheer ignorance,

so many stories of “reincarnation, etc” had been fabricated.)

—– Yet western rhetoric wants to have a denial also has to be expressed,

and No-existence (it’s hard to explain what the Voidness is), has to be proved even

in the Wikipedia. —– It must be a headache to the author.

They can’t create a blank page in Wikipedia and put a comment  “This is Zen”.

(I wonder why not.   A blank page could convey as much as message written

in the same space.)     Ha ha ha.   😀



Reverse Engineering of ZEN

As I often wrote before, my approach to Zen Buddhism is a

way of reverse-engineering = disassembling a product to

analyse the structure and components etc. to find the reason

why it was designed in such a way, for what purpose and for

what advantage.

Then able to see even a philosophy behind of it.


In a case of Zen, to see what sort of practice in such as

Tea-making or Martial-art etc. which were well known to be

a part of Zen culture, and see what is the common factor and

common philosophy, how they are related to Zen teachings.

—– from those observation, it was

easy to see that the key-word was the [Mushin], and

to attain, it was achieved by the years of repeated practice.

—– But, what repeated practice to do with [Mushin] ?


For me, it took many years of search until I connected it to

the neurological phenomenon, which is the threshold of the

perception rose against the same repeated signal, and

become immune to it.

It was almost an Eureka moment to me. —– With this,

how the emotional tension decay after while, or how we get

used and overcome a fear, even become apathetic, all became

clear and able to make straight connection to the Zen.

Then, I realized that this is the reason why all the Buddhism

sects are using the endless repeating practice as a part of their

teachings.  (whether chanting the same or banging the drum,

walking round and round etc etc —–

Lord Buddha said to have used the way of breathing as a practice)

—– All for getting the state of [Mushin]. —– And I realized

that the continuous action such as cutting the log in a mountain

shelter, or even Disco-dancing which automatically reflect to each

element of music I did, had in deed having had the same effects.


Mushin is not only to abandon the thinking process

but more importantly, it disconnects perception 

(coming signal) to the emotion. = This is exactly what

Buddhism says [Detachment] which is behind the

[8 Right path]. (I wouldn’t presume that, it included a

Disco-dancing though. 😀 )

And as a neurological fact, detached emotion cause a

detachment even from a conscious of Self and the own belongings.

= Detachment from primordial Instincts, Ego and

Greed, is exactly the State of [Selflessness] and not 

attached to any fixed tendency is the [Middle-way] = 

Hence, all the peculiar phenomena in the Buddhism became clear.

(In fact, all those [Mushin], [Selflessness], [Middle-way] even

[Mindfulness] are all created by the [Detachment] of the nerve

signal from the Emotion = actually they are the same one

phenomenon, but named it seeing from different angles.)


As all those phenomena was the core of

the Buddhism teachings, it’s mean,

Lord Buddha did know all those mechanism in our mind

though, to trace back all those to his teachings in the scripture

is not straight forward, such as metaphor and his real wording

may not been correctly recorded and translated.

—– A description in the Vimalakirti Sutra “If you have a mind

that you are giving, it is not true giving” or in a typical

Mahayana expression “Giving as not-giving is the giving” are

in fact all meant “Giving in Mushin or in Selflessness”

(without conscious of action).

—– All the religion require the active mind-set, “Complete

attachment to the Belief which was written” but only the

Buddhism teaches [Detachment] = this is the very

distinctive point though, to describe something

which is not there = [Empty mind] is very difficult.


The trouble of the Buddhism is, virtually no reliable written

record exists.   It’s a pile of hearsay after 10th, 100th of Chinese

whisper.  🙂   And seemingly, the person, good in writing may

not be the person who actually reached Mushin or Selflessness

— otherwise such as Abidharma-kosa was never been written.

And on top of this, even though the matter is all in the depth

of murky subconsciousness, there was no understanding of

psychology neither a notion or word to describe was existed then.


In such an environment, to pretend to be a Master and boast,

creating yet another Mantras was very easy, but to disprove

it was difficult. = all came down to the political power game of

the sects. Winner takes all and justify their righteousness,

regardless of its authenticity —– hence, created utter

mixed-up-Buddhism (in fact, it was a Tantra mixed Hinduism

with some idea from the Buddhism)

for a sake of populism and a commercial success. =

(It’s easier to sell, “This God would save you” than “Need to

know, Suffering is not exists” —– after a death nobody ever

came back to complain “God wasn’t there”= So, its sale’s point

has never been disproved and able to keep assume that the

dead are in Heaven. 😀 )


Obviously, it is necessary to re-examine and to see what was

the original teachings, even though it might be yet another

guess work. —– Still, my approach, which is based on the

neurological mechanism, can explain all the Buddhism

phenomena. —– If not what else could explain it ?

(Leaving the matter to mythical unknown power and

its blessing ? —– Joking !  We are in the 21st century ! )


This neurological, psychological response is common to

all human being (hence it was described that everybody

born with it) it is applicable to anybody and many area of

human activities. (In fact it has been used a lot.)

And it will prove that the Buddhism has a tangible substance.

(unlike any other religion, which is based on a fantasy which

is only exists if it was believed) —– As the Buddhism is based

on the tangible substance, not on the imagination or belief,

it was often classified as a philosophy not a religion.



Self Denial — Self Sacrifice — Duty of Charity — MUSHIN ???

Self Denial – Self Sacrifice – Duty of Charity – MUSHIN ???

This is one of the most misconceived area in the Buddhist’s practice, hence I’ve been asked a

question again and again about the distinction.

Such as like a practice of one of the Buddhist’s sect in Japan, Ittou-en which I had mentioned some post ago,

which member is going around the town, asking household to let them clean their toilet.

This is the practice to learn Self Denial and the Self Sacrifice, and make people’s toilet clean may

seemed it is an act for other’s benefit hence it must be a charity. ( Though it seems quite patronizing )

I can see their point though, in the same time I would rather feel the intention with a pinch of salt.

If a practice to clean somebody else’s faeces could make a person humble and enlightened, the

people in India where particular job has been assigned to one particular cast ( or former cast ) should

have created thousands of enlightened holy man there. ( Never heard of it 😀 )

I’m sure, to clean somebody else’s faeces could destroy the person’s dignity still, not necessary it

destroys the person’s Ego. ( Ego is not dependent on the profession. Arrogance may be )

The more the required practice was dreadful, the more strong will and the determination is needed.

Unfortunately, this strong will, a belief of “ This practice should make ME higher noble person “

and “ I WANT to achieve it, I WANT TO ACHIEVE IT “ is nothing but an obsessive thinking.

Far from it, what Buddha taught was to DO the things without thinking, i.e; in Mushin.

The so-called practice is its formalized form of each sect.—– As everybody has unique grown-up and own

life history, even in the way of learning the same Buddhism, everybody takes different pathway and

as I described, there are three distinctive aspects how people related to the Buddhism, hence to learn

the Mushin, each person would take different approach and the steps.

Hence different expression, explanation were come up, such as Self Denial.

As a matter of fact, Buddha didn’t teach such things at all. What he taught was “ Self is not exist

from the beginning “ ( Since he took a stance against the Vedic idea of Atoman —– he saw it is the cause

of the trouble, as  it is the delusion.   That is why, he taught the MUSHIN / Mind of No-mind) —– though,

this is one of the hardest part in the Buddhism to understand. ( If anybody has able to achieve

the MUSHIN, it is almost the completion of the enlightenment. )


History of the Buddhism clearly showed this fact, that even Buddha’s immediate disciples are not

necessary understood this. Hence the first few hundreds years, Buddhism have had the time

of Hinayana to Suppress the Self = Denial of the Self = Superficial mimicry of the MUSHIN.

To be in MUSHIN, of cause there is no SELF hence no EGO or Arrogance, Greed.

But try to achieve it from other way round, suppress the SELF first, not necessary works, because of 

a thinking of “Deny the self, deny the ego” is there.

———- As you are reading this, only your visual cortex and the brain to configure the word and

their meanings are working = you are not aware the existence of your eyes and

the conscious “I am READING this”. ——- You are reading this in your MUSHIN ! ! !

Buddha also against the practice to torture the mind and the body, therefore the Self Sacrifice is

not in his teachings. It was not the Self Sacrifice but as the ( Enlightened ) person doesn’t have

the Self, the person just react to the situation in the best way or necessary way —– it only happen to

be seen “ the person has sacrificed himself “—– but the person himself was Just Doing It, that’s all.

Same applies to a Charitable act —– “If the one is doing it with a conscious of I’m doing the

Charity, it is not the Charity “ —– so as the Enlightenment. Which occur only in Mushin.

This is the reason why, in the Mahayana Sutras, there are typical expression like “ Exists as not exist “

“Do as not do” hence, do the charity (or help others) without having the conscious of helpingothers.

Without conscious mean, without thinking, without having the



To re-discover the Buddha’s original teachings, Buddhists spent another five hundreds years until

the Mahayana was introduced. And with its new ( or original ) understandings, sacrifice the life

to get Enlightenment as an Arakan ( Arahat ) was rejected, since the matter is not a posture but to

be in MUSHIN, and to be in MUSHIN, anyone and any life-form can get enlightenment as the

Dharma itself is, in its nature. —– But the reason why Buddha remained as a Bhikku ( begger) was

very simple. He was not trained to be a farmer nor any profession, there was no way else to get food.

To have a simple humble life go round the town begging the food was enough for him (and to his followers

together ). It was his simple easiest life style. To live as a Bhikku he didn’t need to think neither. He just lived.

Therefore, to be a Bhikku is not a precondition to get enlightenment, it was just happened to be.

Buddha never accused to be wealthy and had no hesitation to receive their giving of good food and

he ate any food. A funny description in the Vimalakirti Sutra “ You have to mind to receive it from

the poor people as well, in order to give the same opportunity for them to offer the food ( Hence

let them to practice good deed —– for them to attain their Nirvana ) show the situation well. 😀

Buddha’s teaching to those wealthy people to stay modest ( Middle Way ) and the way of giving

in Mushin would lead them to have Nirvana without any danger to reborn to be animal ( Since no such things

of perpetual soul exist ) must be well received by them.

As it was the historical fact, the Buddhism spread and did grow having with the wide support of

the ordinary people. It is impossible to imagine that Buddha asked those people to endure a kind

of practice to sacrifice their life, let alone to clean the faeces in order for them to reach Nirvana,

as Buddha himself rejected the practice to torture the mind and the body.

Simply because Buddha knew, anything can be done in Mushin, and the Mushin has no Ego.

Anything can be done mean, the practice can be anything, hence it doesn’t need to be torturing practice nor

heavy self-denying act. Mushin can be achieved Not What the Practice IS or how to understand it,

but by the Mind-Set = Mind of Just Do It.

It is the easy practice, as easy as some late Masters described it as Dog Shit. And as difficult as

non of Buddha’s disciple could understand .

It seemed that Buddha did know the situation, hence he needed to order his disciples “Think yourself,

not just believe what you were taught” in his death-bed.

Its meaning of thinking is, not what the answer they would get, but the process and the effects of

thinking (and effort to figure out in practice) —– “Mushin has no Self, no Ego” was what they had

been taught. And they must have shown well copied practice what they learned from

Buddha.  But it was just a copy of the movement, not necessary in Mushin.  Buddha must be aware of this.

That was why he needed to give an order to his disciples. —–  It was an inherent short-coming of

having the master near you. You can get the explanation easily from him, then you satisfied as you

could understand it (intellectually). The trouble of Mushin is —– you can’t get it with an

understandings or any thinkings. You have to DO it to discover.

—– therefore, many hundreds of years Buddhists monks just argued the definition of Dharma or try to prove

whether the Self is exists or not.

But the situation like this provoked the mind of free-thinker. “What a hell, what are they talking

about ?” which made them aware, that the matter is not whether the Self is exists or not, but it lies

in the phenomenon, that we can do the things without the conscious of the Self, and it can be

done by anybody. ( hence Mahayana )  ! ! ! ” This must be the core, what Buddha had taught.”

This kind of observations never came from the monks who is just sitting and thinking, but from the monks who

are under-taking the chores  in the monastery or low-ranking monks walking and begging the food by himself.

That was the reason why, such observation became a noted idea and written-down to the Sutra took long time.

Yet still, they couldn’t go further than the description

of “Do the Charity without having the conscious of Charity” or “Do as not Do”.

Mahayana Buddhists only thought about the DOING side, not knowing how DO changes the mind.

And how this DO came out of one’s brain was completely out of their sight.


To decipher what was the mechanism in the brain / to see the roles of the subconsciousness, took

another 2000 years. ( Until here )

I am well aware and confident, for you to read this post, this 10 minutes opened your eyes to

reach your enlightenment. ( You only need to open your eyes and the mind  🙂   )



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