No mind

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In Zen the “no mind” (Mushin) is the state of complete awareness. That is, a mind not fixed or occupied by ego, thoughts or emotions and thus open to everything.

The term is shortened from “mushin no shin”, an expression meaning the “mind without mind” and is also referred to as the state of “no-mindness”.  Mushin is the essence of Zen and translates as the “mind without mind”, and it is also called “the state of no-mindness”.

Mushin is identical to the Japanese metaphorical expression “mizu no kokoro” or “mind like water”. This state refers to a ego-less mind that is in harmony with the all. It (ego-less mind) resembles a still pond of water without any ripples. A pond where the surface reflects a clear and perfectly undistorted image of the surroundings. Be it like a mirror.

Mushin can be archived when a person’s mind is free from thoughts of anger, fear, or ego. There is an absence of discursive thought and judgment, so the person is totally free to act and react without disturbance from thoughts. It’s a mind in a state off flowing, full awareness and not a state of relaxed, near-sleepfulness.

The mind must always be in the state of ‘flowing,’ for when it stops anywhere that means the flow is interrupted and it is this interruption that is injurious to the well-being of the mind.

This pure state of mind, the state of flowing can only be experienced  by the absence of the ego or limited self. A mushin mind, is not an empty mind like an empty shell, on the contrary is a mind fully present, fully aware and free from disturbances.

“Mu” or “emptiness” in mushin refers to an empty mind in the sense that distractions, preoccupations, fears, worries, are absent and thus no more an issue for the mind. Mushin cannot be grasped with the intellect; it must be experienced. A Mushin mind has no Ego and no substance; it is pure Enlightenment and is the perfect realization of the self.

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I like to reflect on the concept of Mu in my running practise; run without mind or ego. A way to experience the state of non-mind and non thought, without loosing contact with reality. In awareness, experiencing the relation between my inner self and the universe. Still free of any formal religious or secular moral precept.

Running with the Buddha mind or the mind of a cow: Mu.

Photo by scotbot

Running and the practice of silence and solitude

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Dismiss that which insults your very soul.
Walt Whitman

For me, running is a solo practice, I run preferably on my own; in my own tempo, on my own track. I dont like to run with a group or in a group. Occasionally I run with a friend, and then I enjoy the companion; but its different than running alone. whenever I go out for a run I know that I will be spending a few hours alone, in silence and in solitude. Its me, being on my own, free and with my own thoughts and feelings. No disturbances and none to ventilate and reflect my thoughts with. Just me and my mind.

Loneliness adds beauty to life. It puts a special burn on sunsets and makes night air smell better.
— Henry Rollins

Especially on longer runs, which can take several hours, the feeling of being with myself is like a solitary retreat. Solitude or withdrawal is the state of being secluded or separate from others. Time spent in Solitude and Loneliness is something we find in most religious traditions. The Buddha taught that we must cease to yearn for happiness outside ourselves and begin to trust the potential that lies within us. This potential can be found, when we quietly remove ourselves for a few hours from the daily noise and disturbances that surrounds us. The disturbances which make it difficult to focus on our own mind, on our own thoughts and feelings. and by being with ourselves, in our aloneness, we notice how essentially connected to others we truly are and all the disturbances we are confronted with.

When a man knows the solitude of silence, and feels the joy of quietness, he is then free from fear and he feels the joy of the Dharma.
Buddha

By removing these worldly disturbances,even for a few hours daily, we are able to come at ease and we are able to reach a calm and relaxed state of mind. A mind where idea’s and pictures come and go. The mind wanders, the soul gets quit. The value of solitude is priceless. For whoever finds it, finds life, and the peace and joy in live. As the Imitation of Christ notes: the greatest saints avoided the company of worldly men as much as possible. For they preferred to be alone with God. Of course there is no need to remove ourselves completely from society, but we all benefit from a break, a break from nagging people, commercials, social networks, tv and whatever you are confronted with on your daily path.

Whenever possible I run in silence; or with an mp3 player so at least I am in charge of the noise that gets into my mind. Silence completes and intensifies solitude, silence is solitude practiced in action. When there is silence, we create the space for solitude. Silence. Interior and exterior silence, the silence of the senses helps us to recover psychological. It helps to reorder our minds, reduces stress and helps us to deal with our feelings and emotions.

“The stillness in stillness is not true stillness; only when there is stillness in movement does the universal rhythm manifest” – Taoist Text

By practicing solitude on a regularly base we are able to reach our inner powers of mind and we are able to get deeper in touch with our feelings. It will make your self to a more stable and stronger person, and so able to deal better with your daily live. And it is so simple, just go out and run, alone with yourself, relax and listen to your inner voice. Just one step at a time.

Enjoy your live !

Photo by Paul2807

Ten Theses of Secular Dharma

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  1. A secular Buddhist is one who is committed to the practice of the dharma for the sake of this world alone.
  2. The practice of the dharma consists of four tasks:
    1. embrace suffering
    2. let go of reactivity
    3. behold the ceasing of reactivity
    4. cultivate an integrated way of life.
  3. All human beings, irrespective of gender, race, sexual orientation, disability, nationality, and religion, can practice these four tasks. Each person, in each moment, has the potential to be more awake, responsive, and free.
  4. The practice of the dharma is as much concerned with how one speaks, acts, and works in the public realm as with how one performs spiritual exercises in private.
  5. The dharma serves the needs of people at specific times and places. Each form the dharma assumes is a transient human creation, contingent upon the historical, cultural, social, and economic conditions that generated it.
  6. The practitioner honors the dharma teaching that have been passed down through different traditions while seeking to enact them creatively in ways appropriate to the world as it is now.
  7. The community of practitioners is formed of autonomous persons who mutually support each other in the cultivation of their paths. In this network of like-minded individuals, members respect the equality of all members while honoring the specific knowledge and expertise each person brings.
  8. A practitioner is committed to an ethics of care, founded on empathy, compassion, and love for all creatures who have evolved on this earth.
  9. Practitioners seek to understand and diminish the structural violence of societies and institutions as well as the roots of violence that are present in themselves.
  10. A practitioner of the dharma aspires to nurture a culture of awakening that finds its inspiration in Buddhist and non-Buddhist, religious and secular sources alike.

The Soul of an Octopus

What is the soul? Some say it is the self, the “I” that inhabits the body; without the soul, the body is like a lightbulb with no electricity. But it is more than the engine of life, say others; it is what gives life meaning and purpose. Soul is the fingerprint of God.

Source: Brain Pickings