“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. In the case of the swordsman, it means death. When the swordsman stands against his opponent, he is not to think of the opponent, nor of himself, nor of his enemy’s sword movements. He just stands there with his sword which, forgetful of all technique, is ready only to follow the dictates of the subconscious. The man has effaced himself as the wielder of the sword. When he strikes, it is not the man but the sword in the hand of the man’s subconscious that strikes.” – Zen master Takuan Sōhō
Mushin is the “mind without mind”. However, it is not a state when your mind is empty. It simply means an absence of the ego, distractions, worries & preoccupations. It is when your mind is completely free and present with full awareness of the self. Mushin is not something that you can understand. It is something you need to experience. It is the flawless realization of the self.
Awaken into the no mind state
The path to a state of no mind is paved with relaxation. It is only by allowing yourself to be who you truly are without judgment, you get into the state of no mind.
Allow all your emotions, thoughts, sensations to just be and accept them unconditionally. Allow and accept it all to a point where you are free to be exactly who you are. When you allow and accept, instead of resisting, you can truly relax and let everything be. Only then, there will be no thinking or doing. Without complete acceptance, there is no state of no-mindedness.
The more you try to fight or suppress your thoughts, the more effort you apply, and the more you will limit yourself from achieving awareness of the self that is true. Resistance will only result in separation from your true self. When you allow the thinking to flow naturally without holding onto them, your awareness is on the allowing of your thoughts and not on the content of the thoughts. Allowing is the key to awareness.
Although thinking can still occur in this awareness, the content of your thoughts will now become irrelevant. Only your awareness is relevant. And your awareness will recognize the peace that is inside you. With this inner peace, you will realize that thinking is a part of the flow of energy. This energy is peace. This energy is consciousness. Now your mind becomes aware of the flow of peace and consciousness. This is when you attain a state of no mind.
No-mind is not about having no thoughts. It is about identifying and being aware of the source of your thoughts; the source of your mind.
How no mind state applies to modern life
The state of no mind can certainly help us attain complete awareness of the self, but can it help us in our modern daily lives? Does it have any significance in a practical, non-spiritual way?
Yes, it does. Our mind is everything as it guides us towards what is good for us, to live a life that is happy, meaningful and fulfilling. Once our basic needs are met, our mind becomes free and limitless to flow without any intention. This can empower us to overcome any challenges or make the most of available opportunities that lie ahead of us. And this can be done with exceptional presence.
When we are able to apply unbound presence in our daily lives, it can help us with having –
- A clearer vision of reality & existence
- Enlightened view on what actually matters in life
- Stronger & healthier romantic relationships
- Better and more engaging social interactions
- More meaningful connections with others
- Enhanced work performance
- Improved problem-solving & decision making skills
- Dramatically increased levels of confidence
- Extremely decreased feelings of anxiety, fear, stress & worry
- Enhanced focus on steady progress with minimal distraction
- Better human experience
- Improved flow of energy
As your mind becomes less influenced by emotionally driven thoughts and reflection, you learn to see things exactly as they are. You will become more responsive and less reactive to various circumstances. You will become more emotionally mature and learn to detach yourself from people and situations that don’t serve your best interest. As a result, you will be able gain better control over yourself, gain mental strength, behave rationally, accomplish goals and pursue fulfillment in life.