Saturday, July 6, 2013

黙想 (mokusō) - silent thoughts

The generally accepted translation mokusō (黙想) is "meditation", but this translation confuses me as I can't get a grasp of what the word "meditation" really is. The first kanji tor mokusō is "silence" and the second part is "thought", so by looking at this I could take mokusō to mean "silencing one's thoughts" or "silent thoughts". Approaching it this way could give me a better idea of the goals of this particular practice (in this case, shugyō - 修行).

How do one silence one's thoughts? Is it by telling it to be silent? Forcing it into silence? A friend of mind did make a good point on this, suppressing one's thought is not the same as silencing one's thought. The reason being the action of silencing one's thought becomes another noise, so this noise becomes a suppressant because it's trying to be louder than the other thoughts, drowning them.

Of course, most people are familiar with Jedi Master Yoda's saying, "Try not. Do or do not. There is no try."

Don't try to be silent, don't force it, just be without being.

Though the understanding of mokusō is more of a process, as mushin no shin (無心の心), the mind of no mind, mokusō is also a state of being.

No mind does not mean the absence of mind or a mind that wanders. It is a state of mind that is not a relative mind, the true mind. As the silent thought is the true thought, immovable, uncorruptable.

Ideas such as this is a difficult concept to grasp and leads to over-thinking and over-explanation. This too only a theory of mine, as in taitoku, I have yet to truly experience this to have the right explanation and even if I did, I wouldn't know how to put it into words.

As I often close these types of blogs, I usually quote the following:

To think about not thinking, is already thinking.

It is better not to think about not thinking at all.

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