Quotes on Mushin, Flow and Open-Focus – Part 2

  • Overview
  • Part 1
  • Part 2 – Quotes from
    • Eckhart Tolle
    • Chetan More (on the Gap Between Thoughts)
    • Charles Muller
    • Kip Mazuy
    • Additional Authors 1
    • Additional Authors 2
  • Part 3 & References

Eckhart Tolle from [Tolle_YouAreNotYourMind]

Incidentally, I found reading the entire chapter very helpful.

  • When a thought subsides, you experience a discontinuity in the mental stream – a gap of “no-mind.” At first, the gaps will be short, a few seconds perhaps, but gradually they will become longer. When these gaps occur, you feel a certain stillness and peace inside you.  This is the beginning of your natural state of felt oneness with Being, which is usually obscured by the mind. With practice, the sense of stillness and peace will deepen.  In fact, there is no end to its depth. You will also feel a subtle emanation of joy arising from deep within: the joy of Being.
  • It is not a trancelike state. Not at all. There is no loss of consciousness here. The opposite is the case. … In this state of inner connectedness, you are much more alert, more awake than in the mind-identified state. You are fully present.
  • As you go more deeply into this realm of no-mind, as it is sometimes called in the East, you realize the state of pure consciousness.  In that state, you feel your own presence with such intensity and such joy that all thinking, all emotions, your physical body, as well as the whole external world become relatively insignificant in comparison to it.
  • So the single most vital step on your journey toward enlightenment is this: learn to disidentify from your mind.  Every time you create a gap in the stream of mind, the light of your consciousness grows stronger. One day you may catch yourself smiling at the voice in your head, as you would smile at the antics of a child. This means that you no longer take the content of your mind all that seriously, as your sense of self does not depend on it. 

Chetan More (on the Gap Between Thoughts)

  • From [More_HowToMeditate]
    • (The) Gap between two consecutive thoughts or between consecutive incoming and outgoing breath can be a door to the state of meditation.
      • The gap is also called empty mind or the origin of mind.
    • It is a state of thoughtless watchfulness.
      • Thoughtless watchfulness is the mirror in which you identify the state of meditation within you as yourself.
    • Recognizing yourself in the mirror of thoughtless watchfulness can be an intuitive recognition.
      • It can be like recognizing that your spectacles are on your forehead. Meditation needs just a little adjustment of focus of awareness.
    • By stretching the limits of your ability to stay aware you, as awareness, can break free from the gravity of experiences.
    • Once the references of experiences is passed, there remains infinite void or utter infinite emptiness. As a personality, you are no more.
    • In meditation slow is faster. Greed and ambition is disaster too subtle to be realized.
  • From [More_Gap]
    • The moment you become aware of any thought, the chain of thoughts break and thoughts disappear. If the chain of thoughts do not break and thoughts do not disappear, that means you are not aware of the thoughts but indulged in the thoughts.
    • If you remain aware of thoughts, the chain of thoughts break, thoughts disappear and you remain aware of gap between the thoughts.
    • Awareness in the gap between thoughts is your core nature and your true self.
    • Try to practice and be the continuous awareness of gap between thoughts so that the thoughtless awareness becomes stable. Thoughtless Awareness is like clean water and a stable seamless thoughtless awareness is like clean settled water in which you can see your reflection.
    • A stable seamless state of thoughtless awareness is like a mirror in which you recognize yourself. It is like seeing your reflection in clean and calm water of awareness. Recognizing yourself in mirror of stable state of thoughtless awareness is an intuitive recognition. Just as you recognize that the spectacles you were searching for are on your forehead. It is a moment of “Aah”.

Charles Muller in the Section “The Meaning of No Thought” of [Muller]

  • For it is quite clear that in Ch’an Buddhism, no-mind, rather than referring to an absence of thought, refers to the condition of not being trapped in thoughts, not adhering to a certain conceptual habit or position.
  • … after the break in thought, successive thoughts continue to flow, but one no longer abides in, or clings to, these thoughts.  Nowhere is there mention of any kind of disappearance of, or absence of thought.  “No-thought” refers to nothing other than an absence of abiding, or clinging.

Kip Mazuy from [Mazuy]

A very insightful and helpful article!

  • No mind rather means there is no attachment to the thoughts, no identification with the thoughts. The thoughts simply flow by themselves unhindered while your consciousness remains completely detached from the identification with thinking.
  • When you reach no mind, there is an incredible sense of freedom. You are completely free of your personal self. There is no sense of a separate me but rather the experience (of) one all-encompassing flow of conscious energy.
  • Do not make it a goal for thoughts to come to a halt, rather, keep your attention on allowing the thoughts to come and go without ever grabbing hold of them. This will take you to no mind.  (Editor’s note:  This seems to echo Takuan Soho’s teachings)
  • In no mind, you do not experience yourself as anything.  There can be no definition, no perspective. You cannot say you are here you cannot say you are not here. It is a freedom beyond all understanding. There is consciousness but there is no one there that can claim to be consciousness or to call it consciousness.

Additional Authors 1

  • Gaze to the distant mountain – 遠山の目付け (enzan no metsuke).
  • Mind of water – 水の心 (mizu-no kokoro).
  • Miyamoto Musashi from “The Gaze in Strategy” section of [Musashi, p.14]:
    • The gaze should be large and broad. This is the twofold gaze “Perception and Sight”.  Perception is strong and sight weak. 
    • In strategy it is important to see distant things as if they were close and to take a distanced view of close things. It is important in strategy to know the enemy’s sword and not to be distracted by insignificant movements of his sword.
    • It is necessary in strategy to be able to look to both sides without moving the eyeballs.  You cannot master this ability quickly. Learn what is written here; use this gaze in everyday life and do not vary it whatever happens.
  • In that world of no thought or intention there is neither sound nor smell, neither gods nor devils. Take for example the mirror, as the mirror reflects what is before it, so does the heart, and thus it is known as the heart-mirror. When the heart of the opponent is observed in the mirror of ones own heart, one cannot be struck, however when ones own heart releases its image it ceases to be the true heart-mirror.

Additional Authors 2

  • Love more.  Fear less.  Float more.  Steer less.  – John H. Styn
  • [W]hat is the nature of your mind without any physical sensations to form mental perceptions from?  After all, your senses are only sensations, they need a place to exist within, for them to be sensed. So if we go beyond all the stuff that’s floating around within our mind, we find awareness itself.  This is the mind without mind, this is no-mind. – Bryan Thompson [Thompson]
  • Dr. Jacobson, through his work, which he named Progressive Relaxation, taught subjects, through prescribed tensing and releasing of particular muscle groups, to become more aware of these subtle tensions of the speech mechanism and eye muscles that accompany both verbal and visual thinking respectively.   A special few subjects became so adept at recognizing and releasing these subtle muscular tensions that they were able to experience brief periods of blank mind, or no thinking. – John Christianson from [Christianson_EyesStill].
  • I was visited by a man that I didn’t know very well and he noticed a calligraphic scroll I had hanging, with only the character for “mu” (nothingness) on it. He asked, “Toler san, have you ever entered the world of Mu?” I said “Yes. Many times.” He then asked “How can you do it? At what times do you do it?” I said, “Oh, you can do it anytime”. He asked, “How?” So I led him through the pointing exercise. When I came to the question, “Now, what do you see at the place where your finger is pointing?” He said, “Nothing.” I said, “Well, that’s Mu, isn’t it?” He thought about that for about ten seconds, then suddenly laughed loudly and clapped his hands and said “I’ve been pondering that for years, and you showed me in a minute!” and thanked me profusely. J.T. (Zen abbot) Japan – Collected by Douglas Harding at [Harding_PointingHere]
  • Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less. – Rick Warren
  • Robert Greene: [Mastery_Greene]
    • The end point of mastery is an intuitive feel for what you are doing where you no longer have to think.
    • You’ve got muscle memory, you’ve mastered the craft, but the thinking will mess you up every single time.
    • The most powerful point you can reach in sports and in any kind of endeavor is when you’re one with the moment.
  • It was just one of those programs that clicked. I mean, everything went right, everything felt good… It’s almost as though you don’t have to think, it’s like everything goes automatically without thinking… You hear the music but you’re not aware that you’re hearing it, because it’s a part of it all. – Susan Jackson (Figure Skater)
  • May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children. ― Rainer Maria Rilke
  • The goal of practice is always to keep our beginner’s mind. – Shunryu Suzuki [Suzuki]
  • From Tao De Ching (The Way)
    • A good traveler has no fixed plan, and is not intent on arriving.
    • Remind yourself daily, there is no way to happiness.  Happiness is the way.
  • Is there anything you do regularly that makes you forget what time it is? – Martha Beck
  • Attention is like energy in that without it no work can be done, and in doing work is dissipated. We create ourselves by how we use this energy. Memories, thoughts and feelings are all shaped by how [we] use it. And it is an energy under control, to do with as we please; hence attention is our most important tool in the task of improving the quality of experience. ― Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi [Csikszentmihalyi].

Continue to in Part 3 and References

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