The Scott Shaw Blog Be Positive

Thinking Mind Zen Mind

Have you ever been in one of those situations when you are with someone? You are really in the moment, having a good time but you can tell that their mind is somewhere else, thinking about something else?
Have you ever been in one of those situations when you are with some other person? They are happy and talkative, but you have something on your mind. Maybe you are thinking about business, someone you are annoyed at in association with your job, some life situation that you do not want to deal with, or whatever. Whatever it is, your mind is not in the moment, and you are elsewhere, though your life is going on right here right now.
This happens to all of us. Both of the situations. It is what we do with them that comes to define us and our relationships. It is how we learn to deal with them that decides how we will interact with and truly encounter our life.
For eons, it has been dictated that we must live in our moment if we hope to reach an advanced and spiritual state of being. But, this definition and this proposed mindset is very limited in its scope of understanding. Mostly, it is simply propagated by people who want to come off as some sort of soothsayer and appear to be some great bastion of knowledge.
The fact is, think about when you have been really angry. Weren’t you very much in your moment at that time? Think about a time when you were really in love? Weren’t you very much in your moment at that time?
Answer: Yes, you were. The thing is, though very positive or very negative emotions pull us under their spell, it is how we encounter all of these emotions: how we react to them, what we do with them, what we do because of them, and how they cause us to behave in association with others that sets the stage for the living and the evolution of our life.
Do you allow your emotions to control you? If you do, like many people do, you are not in control of your life or your mind. It’s as simple as that.
Emotions are generated from outside of ourselves. But, it is our thinking mind that decides what we do with them.  There is another, a separate way to encounter all of that Life Stuff, however.
I turn to the understanding of Zen. In Zen it is taught that your life should not ultimately be defined by your thinking mind. Known in Japanese as, “Shiryo.” It also should also not be defined by turning off your thoughts, “Fushiryo.” But, to truly embrace a higher state of life understanding one must exist in the mind space known as, “Hishiryo.” Meaning, “Before thinking.”
Hishiryo defines the state of mind where one exists before thought. Meaning, it is not like the concept of, “Mushin,” No Mind. But, it is the place that one may enter into before the beginning of thought.
But, what does this mean to you and how can it affect your life events? Hishiryo causes one to exist in a space before all of the Mind Stuff that has come to define and to cloud your mind, causing you to become separated from your true and current reality.
This understanding has evolved and his been framed somewhat differently by the various school of Zen over the years since it was initially detailed by Dogen. The main understanding of Hishiryo is to exist in that place of perfection of absence of thought. Yes, this seems like a profound and unobtainable concept, but it is not hard to practice if you simply allow your mind to be silent.
Hishiryo is not the type of silence found in meditation, “Zazen,” for example. While practicing Zazen, for many/most, one is simply attempting to beat down the ongoing thoughts that continually emerge in their mind. Hishiryo, on the other hand, refutes the entire concept of thought.
Try this: Right Now, Right Here, Stop. Turn it off. Turn it all off. Everything. Simply allow yourself to Be, without Being.
Don’t think. Don’t think about not thinking. Just Stop. Exist in that empty perfection.
Even if this practice only last for a second, you will have gained a glimpse of Hishiryo.
The thing is, Hishiryo cannot be studied. It cannot be practiced. For all of that involves thinking and thought. It can only be lived.  So, live it.
You can live your life being defined by your thoughts. You can let your thoughts, driven by your emotions, control how you behave towards others and how you react to others. Or, you can simply let go.
Think about this. Think about a time when you were really happy or really upset. What happened to the emotions, leading to the thoughts, leading to your actions of that time? In virtually all cases, they were here, then they were gone, so what did they actually equal?  
You can allow your life to be defined by all of that Life Stuff. Or, you can step to a higher level and meet true knowledge. Hishiryo, all you have to do is to just stop.