Yoshizen's Blog

Zen in Daily-Life

Don’t mistake this title as “Twisting leg everyday”.

Zen is to do something in a Selfless state of the mind. Twisting and sitting (supposedly while

meditating) is a mere practice to gain this Selfless (Mushin) state. —– Though, we are not

born for sitting but to do something to have active life, otherwise we have had extinct long

ago with starvation. So, even Eating in Selfless (ie; in Mushin, and in complete commitment

ie; Mindfulness) IS the Zen.   = This is the realization of what

Lord Buddha taught us = Anatman / Selflessness.


To DO Selfless mean, DO IT without connecting the matter to the Emotion. = This is a state

of so-called Detachment. —– Everybody ever attempted to learn Zen, must heard the words

such as Mushin or Detachment, though, very few had been instructed how to learn it.

(Because in most of the case, their instructor had only an experience to have sat somewhere

in a temple, that all. Still, he is thinking that he had learned Zen.

So, teaching the same sitting  (and only sitting)  to others. 🙂


The trouble of learning Zen by sitting is, even if the person (luckily) able to manage vacating

his mind while sitting, to keep this state of mind (whil doing other than sitting) is almost

impossible.   Because the mind had been accustomed to “Sitting and Do nothing” and make

empty Brain.   Therefore, TO DO anything else, the Brain and the Thinking will come back.

—– Naturally, to learn Zen in the ordinary situation, in a daily life is far better, as the person

can apply the same method and the state of the mind to DO another  “Thing”  as well.


Such as to make a cup of tea. (In this purpose, DON’T take short-cut = make a tea from loose 

tea-leaf —– (this has the same concept as how “Tea making as a Zen practice” developed.)

The way I make a tea is :

Put a water to a kettle and shake it to wash inside and drain it. Put a water again to the

exactly the same level.   Switch on and wait it boils.   When the water started to boil,

switch-off (don’t wait automatic switch-off).   Pour the hot water (about half cup) into a

teapot where a tea-strainer and a tea-spoon is in.  (To heat-up them all together.)

Then take the spoon and tea-strainer out and make the spoon to dry.   Throw the hot water

from the teapot.   Then, put a spoon-full or two (according to the taste) loose-tea leaf into

the pot (heated spoon takes no condensation of the steam from the warmed tea-pot, hence

no tea lief would stick on it.)   Then pour the hot water to tea-pot.   Wait two minutes then

serve a tea. Put sugar or milk when I want.

(In fact, when I pour a tea to the cup, I add the (still) hot water from the kettle for next cup.

(I’m a chain tea drinker, anyhow.)   (Hot water was not as hot as before though, tea would be

brewed longer in the pot = it prevent the tea become too strong !

— Second cup doesn’t have fresh flavour though.)


—– The process may seems too much details.   But they are all for a sake of good tea-making,

and to concentrate for this purpose IS the Mindfulness.

By doing the whole process always the same as THE Accustomed Form.

—– If you follow this, soon or later, you will gain the Formalized body movement and

gradually able to refine the details.   And soon or later you must be realized that you are

DOING all the process Just as a routine = without thinking and the process seemed to be

carried-out almost automatic.   It goes almost independent from YOU —– (As you know,

Do the same, again and again, you start to Do it without excitement, interest = No Emotion ! )

= Now the tea is ready for you to enjoy.   And it was made without your thinking (in Mushin)

and Detached from your Emotion, in other words, Without the  Conscious SELF

= You were in Selflessness.

Do anything in a part of daily-life in the same approach = DO only what you ARE doing

= Mindful Concentration to the only subject.   (nothing else in your mind)

And DO what that subject demand, in your best.  = This is the ZEN in the daily-life.


= As you did the things, as good as you could, it’s mean “You may do better next time though,

what you have Done WAS the best on That moment = no regret.   (Regret can not change the

past, because the past has gone and the matter to DO better would be on the next time.)

= So, you can live the day without useless regret.   (You only can live, on its moment !)


Key point is,

(1) Take it as if it is a Formalized procedure, hence you only Do it as if an imperative form.

(2) No short-cut and Do the best. (3) Establish your way and stick to it. (Stick to it though,

“Do the best”  has priority = the way to Do should evolve to even better on the process.)

(In fact, Mushin or Selflessness is mere By-product of this process = Forget them and just Do

what you got to DO = The matter is, you to DO it and only the result count.)

—– So, enjoy your Tea.      (While having the tea, think about, when you live in this manner

down to all the detail of the life, from the way to get-up from the bed – – – – – each frame of

picture to picture, you did your best = in total you had the best satisfying day, and next day too,

so does next year = in total, you have satisfying LIFE.  

As you been doing the best, others will know you are the most reliable consistent best,

because you are the Zennist.      What you wish more on your LIFE.

—– (without able to make satisfying tea, able to have satisfying day, you are far behind

of even start to talk about Zen,  let alone Enlightenment.    

But when you achieved to make a good tea, and had satisfying day, year, life = then,

you don’t need to have any Enlightenment on top of your life, since you already had one.

—– Life has full of funny paradox.  😀


This was the reason why, when the Zen Masters found their Enlightenment,

all uttered “It’s a dog shit” = after all, all of us walking completely in Selfless Mushin

= nobody need to think how to move the legs.   We were born, able to live Selflessly

= So, it was explained as “We are born possessing the Dharma” which enabling us

to Live without relying on to the Self.    In fact, The Conscious of SELF is obstructing us 

to Live Selflessly.  —– When the Master discovered  this,  after spent years of practice,

he was annoyed to feel ( as the years had been wasted,)  hence    “What a dog shit”  😀



This is the answer to BlindRob

Posted in Buddhism, East and West, Meditation, Paradox, Selflessness, Zen, Zen in Action by yoshizen on April 18, 2009

* * * This blog was originally posted on a site which has been talking about whether Zenist should be

allowed to use cushion or chair for their meditation practice.

And this one was intended to be the response to BlindRob who asked me the sitting situation among

the Japanese young people today.

Hi Rob

The situation in Japan is what you guessed it. Now a day, to have Tatami mat room is only kept by rich people,

as its labour intensive product became too expensive and the dwindling number of the craftsman who makes it.

In the same time, the westernization of the culture and life style made even the body shape changed.

In the old days Japanese had bent shoter legs.

(which is good for Judo and Sumo—–incidentally it is one of the reason why Japanese lost its dominance)

When young people happen to attend such as Tea ceremony or even funeral, they can not sit in traditional way

more than 15 minutes —- let alone lotus posture.

When Master Dogen started his Soto sect, he was a young man of only late 30 th. I don’t think he could foresee

what would happen in the later age.

In Japan a doll called “Daluma” is very popular.

It is a round egg-shaped doll without leg and painted in red. It is the effigy of the BodiDahrma.

The legend says, he kept sitting facing the wall for 9 years and got enlightened (with the price of legs )

——-M M M ? ? ?

I rather like to remain a man with legs, walking around meeting the people

and live as an ordinary folk like Vimalakirti.

——- When I submitted this, it was blocked and disappeared. I found the script in the server’s memory

as a previous page. And when I re-submitted it again the screen showed a notice;

“Duplicate comment detected; it looks as though you’ve already said that !”

It signify that they received it and has been filed,though they do not publish it, in another word “Censorship”

——Yet here in my site, this is the answer to Rob.

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