Sunday March 15 we will meet at my office at 2 pm for meditation followed by a discussion of the meaning of the term no mind. I will refer to The Zen Doctrine of No-Mind by D. T. Suzuki, originally published in the US in 1972. This book is a commentary and explication of the Platform Sutra of Hui Neng. In this book Suzuki gives a very good description of no-mind. However, those who do not already have a very solid experiential realization and recognition of this awareness would have a very hard time understanding it from just reading the book. I consider no mind awareness to be the fundamental understanding and expression of awakening manifest in daily life. Although these terms may seem unfamiliar and the subject matter arcane, this talk is for anyone interested in the direct experience of self-realization.
No-mind means that the mind is free of constructions, creations, conditioning, and obstructions. Seeing (the truth), Knowing (what is needed in the moment), and Acting (with freedom, power and effectiveness) all occur simultaneously. The mind as we ordinarily understand it is full of concepts and notions.
The mind of no-mind is aware, alert, present, and attuned to what is real in this moment. It sees clearly and directly what is real without addition or subtraction. The ability to see clearly and directly implies the action of no-mind. In this clear, direct seeing, knowing and acting also occur. These processes are not separate in time or space. There is no deliberation or uncertainty. Nor is there second-guessing, evaluation, or criticism. We all have this ability naturally. Everyone has experienced it repeatedly in their life. Because it happens 'outside' of time and space, the ordinary thinking mind does not notice it or sometimes even remember it. We do not earn it by our actions or efforts. It is freely given, inherent in all human beings. Just as we cannot ‘lose’ it, so we cannot ‘find’ it. It has never been lost. Wherever we are, there it is. It is our true nature-our birthright.
It does not need to be learned or cultivated, although we have become highly skilled at not noticing it. Consequently, it may be necessary to have the no-mind accurately described and pointed out in order to help us ‘remember’ what we have always known. Recognition and remembrance are important in the realization of the no-mind. The no-mind is represented in Christian thought as ‘surrender to the will of God”. No-mind is the same thing, exactly, that is meant by this absolute, unconditional surrender. It is what Jesus meant when he said-“Not my will, but Thy will be done”.
To recognize It is a ‘not-doing’. There is truly nothing whatsoever to do to be or become what you already are. “Be still and know that I am God” expresses this understanding perfectly. Thus, thinking from no-mind is no thinking. Acting from no-mind is no acting. There is no one who thinks or acts. It does what it does. “The wind bloweth where it listeth” is the King James version of this profound truth. The more modern translation (New International Version) of this passage from John 3:8 is: “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." The mind cannot grasp it. To Know it, the requirement is to die to who you currently believe you are and be reborn in the spirit.