Friday, March 2, 2012

Mushin No Shin

Mushin no shin, something that I like to call the Void Mindset, is the state of mind that comes when you are not thinking at all. The Japanese call mushin no shin or mind without mind. The Koreans call it moo sim or empty mind, but they mean exactly what I was talking about in the earlier post.

Mushin no shin is hard to understand since we are all familiar with the “I think therefore I am” phrase, but it is in fact a state where the unconscious mind is at work.

In order to achieve mushin no shin, one must be free of all thought and by this I mean free from emotions and ego.

Emotions are typically reactions to interactions. These may be good or bad interactions, which will vary in results. For instance if a person angers you, you may find it hard to think about anything other than that person for the rest of the day. This of course also happens during a more positive interaction.

A list of common emotions that will impede mushin no shin are, but are not limited to:
  • Fear
  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Joy
  • Guilt
  • Pleasure
  • Happiness
  • Amused and so many more.
Ego is also affects achieving mushin no shin. Ego is much more complicated because it deals with how you view yourself as well as what actions you should/would take in order to do/get what you want.

Our conscious thinking is what impedes mushin no shin. The unconscious mind is filled with all the knowledge that the conscious mind has as well as much more. In kenpo karate, mushin no shin would help you defend and attack effortlessly. Your body and mind fully understand the techniques and react accordingly to whatever stimuli applied.

This state is not just for martial arts, it is used in everyday life without you knowing. For me, a common example is driving. I often find myself in that state (not being conscious of it) while I’m on the road. I am a very comfortable driver and so I don’t need full consciousness (that sounds reckless).

Mushin no shin comes with years and years of practice in one area. When you are comfortable and enjoy what it is you are doing, you may find yourself slipping into mushin no shin. This is a good thing, because you will often accomplish things you didn’t think possible.

Now I’m not saying that you totally slip out of consciousness. It is just that you are not aware of consciousness at all. There is no you; there is only the action and usually success.

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