Note: read more on Martial Mindfulness and the history of Mushin meditation before trying it out yourself through the guide below.
“No Mind” is usually understood as the principle of having no thoughts, to have a blank mind. This is commonly considered to provide a basis from which you are able to relax and get clarity on issues that may be impacting on your life.
The simple fact is that the mind requires something to put its focus on, otherwise it is a like a child misbehaving wanting attention. The secret and true understanding to No Mind is found by providing your mind with only one thing to focus on and this provides the environment which eliminates the noise and static that constantly creates stress.
We are all suffering from a shortage of time, money and resources which is creating constant stress in your body’s central nervous system and was mentioned earlier it activates the Threat response from the SNS (Sympathetic Nervous System) which produces the stress hormone ‘Cortisol’.
This can lead to hyper-vigilance and or tunnel vision where you do not see all the facts and at times distort them to fit into what you feel they should be for the outcome that you want.
To be able to achieve a No Mind state it is necessary to activate the PNS (Parasympathetic Nervous System) so as to activate the ‘Rest, Relax and Recharge’ response that reduces blood pressure, slows breathing and allows blood to flow away from your limbs back to you brain and switches off the production of Cortisol.
This allows you to see things for what they are and get clarity, to think rationally and logically.
The steps to follow in achieving the state of No Mind are:
1. Outcome: Establish what you need as a clear outcome or solution to an issue
2. Breathe: Notice your breathing and consciously slow and lengthen your breathing. Focus on achieving a balanced breathing pattern, start with the following cycle of:
• Inhale for count of 4
• Hold for count of 2
• Exhale for count of 4
• Hold for count of 2
• Repeat cycle
3. Relax: with each out breath starting from the top of the head and going down through the body
4. Calm: as you relax allow the feelings and emotions to float away and disappear, and allow the calmness to enter your mind and thinking
5. Concentrate: with the tension gone and a calm mind focus on the outcome that you want and see that there are possible solutions by allowing yourself to see the real problem or issues and what are the underlying root causes.
6. Contemplate: the best possible solution, approach, and steps that you can take to achieve the outcome you want. Allow yourself to see in your mind what and how this can happen with your full attention and focus, not allowing any distraction from any other thoughts.
7. No Mind: you have achieved the state that allows you to disassociate from the influence of feelings to see what is, by seeing what is not.
When dealing with work situations and social interactions, human beings tend bring with them their automatic, unconscious assumptions, emotions and bias to the moment that always influence the outcomes before anyone has even spoken.
As we have all experienced, our busy mind is a natural outcome of how the brain processes incoming information. It has some uses, but more often gets in the way of real listening, communication, and collaboration. This is where the state of No Mind can be very useful.
Bringing yourself to a state of No Mind helps you step back into clarity, create distance to the moment and gain a broader view of what is happening.
This encourages more logical thinking and dampens any tendency towards letting your emotions hijack your brain and run the show. Emotions are important but they can cloud our perceptions and lead to an automatic, unproductive reaction, versus a more measured, considered response.
No Mind allows you to see the whole of a situation, versus just your point of view and then respond appropriately and effectively, using your inner wisdom and intuition.
When you empty your mind, you achieve the ability to be very aware in the moment with a clear and unbiased mental state. You can then connect to your feelings and with compassion make both logical decisions and ethical ones with integrity.
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Lead photo: Pixabay / oadtz