Page 1 of 1

A zen approach to the mind

Posted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:23 am
by alfa
Friends :smile:

This is about how zen views the mind - and how it compares with the theravada position.

In zen, the mind exists only through activity. Even if the body is still, the mind will try to be active in some form or the other. The mind will never be unoccupied. It will always try to be occupied with something. Because in zen, the moment the mind becomes inactive or unoccupied, it ceases to be mind. So fearing its own non-existence, the mind seeks to keep itself occupied.

This is why zen masters recommend just sitting in front of a wall, doing nothing, so as to see how the mind keeps indulging in some activity or the other. The objective is no-mind, which means all preoccupations of the mind should end.

How does this compare with the theravada position? I get the feeling zen uses just one word MIND to include everything - ignorance, craving, etc., whereas theravada is more detailed. But aside from that, I think in both schools it's all about cessation.

I'd like your insights on this.

Re: A zen approach to the mind

Posted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:15 am
by SarathW
According to Theravada consciousness ceases only when you are in Nirodha Samapatti or Sanna vedaniya Nirodha. (cessation of perception and feeling)
All other times you have the consciousness.

Re: A zen approach to the mind

Posted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:24 am
by retrofuturist
Greetings,
SN 47.42 wrote:"From the origination of name-&-form is the origination of the mind. From the cessation of name-&-form is the cessation of the mind.
Metta,
Paul. :)

Re: A zen approach to the mind

Posted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:39 am
by Dan74-MkII
alfa wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:23 am
Friends :smile:

This is about how zen views the mind - and how it compares with the theravada position.

In zen, the mind exists only through activity. Even if the body is still, the mind will try to be active in some form or the other. The mind will never be unoccupied. It will always try to be occupied with something. Because in zen, the moment the mind becomes inactive or unoccupied, it ceases to be mind. So fearing its own non-existence, the mind seeks to keep itself occupied.

This is why zen masters recommend just sitting in front of a wall, doing nothing, so as to see how the mind keeps indulging in some activity or the other. The objective is no-mind, which means all preoccupations of the mind should end.

How does this compare with the theravada position? I get the feeling zen uses just one word MIND to include everything - ignorance, craving, etc., whereas theravada is more detailed. But aside from that, I think in both schools it's all about cessation.

I'd like your insights on this.
Hi alpha :hello:

What do you base this formulation of "zen position" on?

To me it sounds not like "the zen position on mind" but perhaps one Zen teacher's motivating remarks on some of the reasons why we sit. I would avoid taking such remarks as 'a position on anything'.

It has some obvious sense to it, since if we commit to just sitting, our habitual clinging, fears and preoccupations have no little to latch on to and become a lot more visible.

Re: A zen approach to the mind

Posted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:07 pm
by befriend
I've learned recently that when you apply mindfulness or awareness to a negative thought it weakens and when awareness is applied to a wholesome thought it is strengthened I find this true from personal practice. This is a type of right effort.

Re: A zen approach to the mind

Posted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:43 pm
by Manopubbangama
befriend wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:07 pm
I've learned recently that when you apply mindfulness or awareness to a negative thought it weakens
This is the method taught by the Buddha. The Mahasi method, which derives from the Buddha can accomplish this.

Re: A zen approach to the mind

Posted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 2:04 pm
by sentinel
SarathW wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:15 am
According to Theravada consciousness ceases only when you are in Nirodha Samapatti or Sanna vedaniya Nirodha. (cessation of perception and feeling)
All other times you have the consciousness.
It seems the consciousness didn't ceased to be but comes to a halt .

Re: A zen approach to the mind

Posted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:31 pm
by SarathW
The word used in Sutta is Nirodha.
Which means cessation.

Re: A zen approach to the mind

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:30 pm
by sentinel
SarathW wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:31 pm
The word used in Sutta is Nirodha.
Which means cessation.
Perception and feeling ceases not consciousness

Re: A zen approach to the mind

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 11:34 am
by form
It is very hard to define zen method, as its descriptions is beyond words. It is more like a freestyle demo in an interaction that has no fixed rules.