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Zen is a mind, body and spiritual discipline to transcend life and death (all dualism) and truly realize that the entire Universe is the “True Human Body.”  *

Zen is a way of being to experience and see things as they truly are. When the mind is attached and dwells on something, it is off balance and distracted.  It is a mind that creates and feels stress.

Although a stalk of bamboo yields when the wind blows, it is firmly rooted and cannot be uprooted.  Better yet, how can one be like a kite flying freely in a hurricane, one with the strong winds, feeling no restraint at all?

Zen Mind

We all have this fluid mind to begin with.  But, over time we acquire habits and begin to rely on our five senses and intellect, which slows the mind so it becomes as ice, solid and stuck.  We lose the freedom that comes from the Mind of Mushin (No-Mind), the free-flowing Mind where there are no distinctions and deliberations.

When the Mind is in the state of Mushin, it moves from one thing to another without stopping, and it will fill up your whole being.


The Zen Mind is fluid, that is, able to freely move, like the water in a boundless, swift flowing river.  “Thought by thought – moment by moment, without stopping.”  If you throw a ball on the surface of a rapid, it will ride on the waves without stopping.  This is like the Zen mind –capable of infinite movements.


  Twelfth-century Zen master Setcho wrote, "A ball strikes the boundless swift-flowing waters." Referring to that quote, Omori Sogen Rotaishi went on to write "boundless means infinitely vast and magnificent. Although it is called the boundless swift flowing waters, it is not only a river.  The heavens, the earth, the entire universe, and everything are on these swift- flowing waters.   Human existence also is flowing on these swift flowing waters without stopping even for an instant . . . Everything is flowing, especially the transient nature of all phenomena.  Everything changes and flows without stopping.   This is the nature of the existence of things, the form and shape of reality.  At the same time, it is the same state of being of one who attains the ‘Way’.” **

"Zen in its essence is the art of seeing into the nature of one’s own being, and it points the way from bondage to freedom. It liberates us from all the yokes under which finite beings are usually suffering in this world." ***

--* Omori Sogen Rotaishi, Sanzen Nyumon: Introduction to Zen Training, Shinjyu-sha, Tokyo, Japan 1964.

** From Omori Sogen Rotaishi's translation of Case 80: Joshu's "A Newborn Baby," from the Hekigan Roku (The Blue Cliff Record), Hakujusha Company, Inc., Tokyo, 1976.

*** D.T. Suzuki,

Zen Is...

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