Last Updated 28 Jan 2021

Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

Category Buddhism, Meditation, Zen
Essay type Research
Words 2128 (8 pages)
Views 532

Zen mind, Beginner’s Mind is a book created by Shunryu Suzuki in attempt to introduce the practice of Zen Buddhism in American culture. The study of Buddhism is essential for Suzuki believed that it can be applied to everyday mechanisms of life. The significance of acquiring and owning the Zen mind can help people to determine and therefore practice the right way of living, the right manners, postures and the beliefs which would hone the total personality of an individual.

Zen Philosophy teaches that there is just a thin line marking the difference between the Zen mind and the Beginner’s mind. Both have the capacities to reach its nirvana or transcendental state of mind though they contain differences with their corresponding characteristics. At first, the book Zen mind, Beginners mind may be hard to understand. However, as you go along and read between the lines, Suzuki uncovers the truth of reaching “enlightenment” through simple knowledge and acceptance of oneself.

The different procedures of the Zen were concisely summarized in this single comprehensive book. This book would help people realize the several options in life which would make people think objectively and not become rigid. Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind Introduction Zen mind, Beginner’s Mind is a book created by Shunryu Suzuki in attempt to introduce the practice of Zen Buddhism in American culture. The study of Buddhism is essential for Suzuki believed that it can be applied to everyday mechanisms of life.

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The emphasis of the practice is to integrate the body and the mind through certain meaningful exercises which alleviate a person’s stress and even help a person overcome the vexation of negative energies. The focus of this paper is to impart the significance of learning the practice of a Zen mind by becoming the innocent beginner who is expected to be flexible to learn Zen. As the reader uncovers the secrets proper way of living and dealing with one’s mind and body, effective outcomes are expected to be attained.

Mentors are also to guide their students to reach their desired state of being. Zen practice thus, is for the intention of imitating the exact exercises of the experts. They are to find their way towards becoming the Zen themselves and reach their own enlightenment without a point of comparison (Brussat, 2007). Body Zen Buddhism on Philosophy The significance of acquiring and owning the Zen mind can help people to determine and therefore practice the right way of living, the right manners, postures and the beliefs which would hone the total personality of an individual.

Further, it is also beneficial for introspection and knowing oneself better. Upon knowledge of oneself, one could possibly avoid the harms of the unknown, and also it would enable the individual to be in control of one’s unconscious drives and distracting areas of one’s personality. Thus, one could alter or dispose the negative scenario like illness, negative thoughts, feelings and emotions, etc. Buddhism indeed, is a very substantial and significant course of practice which has to be learned by every individual.

Moreover, it could be learned through self-study of the Zen practice so that readers could integrate the relationship of the mind and the matter, and the matter itself to the nature as one and dual entities. Zen presupposes that there is always two sides in every story as there were two sides in a coin (Suzuki, 2006). Zen Philosophy teaches that there is just a thin line marking the difference between the Zen mind and the Beginner’s mind. Both have the capacities to reach its nirvana or transcendental state of mind though they contain differences with their corresponding characteristics.

In the text, it suggests that execution and application of the Zen Buddhism is what you call the “Beginner’s mind’. It is the state of mind where there are no preconceived notions, desires or hopes, opinions, and biases. Beginner’s mind tends to teach the significance of identifying situations in the “here and now”. It is characterized by humble acceptance of ignorance and complete innocence which is resolved by investigating on other potential possibilities with the use of querying and asking and later on defining who you are and where you are at present.

Suzuki in his book, Zen mind, Beginner’s mind described this difference by implying that the beginner’s mind is more opt to think of many ifs and buts before carrying out a specific action, but for a Zen’s mind, there are only few factors to consider. Therefore, an individual for a Zen’s mind, need not get anxious and worried about several things at the same time, for the Zen’s mind has more expertise since it has tried on the various trials before being able to attain their goals in life (Zenkei & Hartman, 2001). Zen Buddhism on Psychology

Psychologically speaking, with the use of one’s mind or one’s psyche, body would be in unison with the mind and so reach its transcendental feeling of freedom and thus, unite with the nature. The outcome could be interpreted always as both right and wrong depending on the consequences of the choice of action. In Zen Buddhism, proper posture, breathing exercises to gain control over one’s body and mind are taught to meditate and get in touch, to commune, and be in union with the “Buddha” which is residing in every individual.

Moreover, this self-help book by Suzuki offers the instructions on how to accurately execute each proper way of meditation through body and breathing exercises. These plainly matters to teach individuals reach their “righteous state of mind”. Upon understanding cognition in terms of psychological analysis, if an individual thinks a certain way, one would certainly feel the same way and predicts the action that precedes the positive outlook. So, when one thinks positive, the individual invites more positive energy and therefore leads to desirable outcomes.

The opposite thing happen when one is manipulated by negative thoughts and practices (Zenkei & Hartman, 2001). Generally, Suzuki emphasizes that the Zen Buddhism does not limit the human mind and human person into two choices or variations. Black and white does not exist yet black or white are possibilities that may or may not exist. Life and death for instance, is also both finite and infinite. The point is that no one holds the standards to determine what it is from what it is not so no people have to be anxious about what really is the fact. The most important thing is living in the present and cherishing the moment.

Living in the here and now is being a human who maximizes and actualizes one’s full potential. Therefore, to be a fully functioning person, an individual should learn the practice of Zen to feel each part of your body and the body of nature, in order to believe and live the present as it plays a role in everybody’s being. Life is worth to be cherished and understood to reach transcendental nature and share the knowledge and experience gained to others (Suzuki, 2006). Steps on how to execute the Zen practice were enumerated and explained by Suzuki.

The significance of the forms on the flow of energies from nature into the body and vice versa were primarily emphasized to explain the physical benefits of the exercise. To give a preview of how the posture should be, Suzuki teaches that the spine should be in upright position and not slouched, the ears and shoulders should be aligned and in a relaxed position and that the chin should be drawn inwards. Proper execution and frequent practice of the forms should make a person gain congruence over one’s body and mind and would hinder a person’s state of imbalance.

In so doing, an individual could operate at best and think rational at all times instead of the useless idling, unwanted sleepiness, sluggishness, or laziness. Another example is Suzuki’s explanation of the proper way if sitting: people sitting should not slouch nor face the back or the sides. It is imperative to practice the right way of sitting because this holds the central focus of the Zen practice. Further, it is through the concentration of fulfilling the action that a person reaches the desired state of mind, and not by following any standards of expert executioners of the several exercises (Suzuki, 2006).

In the aforementioned link of the Zen practice to cognitive psychology, it was implied that how a person thinks is how a person feels and predicts what a person will do. Stimulus produces a response and the conditioned stimulus in Zen practice is the attempt to internalize the feeling brought about by execution of the Zen exercises. On the other hand, the response after carrying out the exercises would lead a person to bring oneself into a specific state of mind in which the body also responded. Therefore, it is how a person performs the exercises that they define and express themselves or who they believe they are.

Just like a dancer, every step in the dance conveys specific message, meanings and expression for the dancer’s part. In addition, unconscious gestures convey the counter meaning like lack of interest for those people who slouch in sitting while inside in a lecture session. This improper usage of the body produces an outcome of inattentiveness and divided attention. So, the thing that a person should do, is to become aware of such uncontrollable forces and be in control of them before they govern people (Suzuki, 2006). At first, the book Zen mind, Beginners mind may be hard to understand.

However, as you go along and read between the lines, Suzuki uncovers the truth of reaching “enlightenment” through simple knowledge and acceptance of oneself. Furthermore, by going in the flow and carrying out the right procedures of the Zen exercise one would reach the transcendental nirvana. For beginners, it may be perplexing to understand the ironies of Suzuki’s language yet the simple thought of the context is simply not to interfere with the past nor the future but to dwell and cherish the present as it is the most practical and important aspect of a person’s life.

By living the “here and now” an individual would not have to wander one’s thoughts and so the body would become one with the mind and integrate its mechanisms and functions. With knowledge and application of the Zen, life would be more pleasing and smooth flowing without the distractions and vexations to the soul, body, and mind. Zen mind, Beginner’s mind is indeed a fascinating masterpiece that shares the secret of a happy, good, and virtuous life. Having a copy of the book is recommended for it is very worthwhile (Suzuki, 2006).

The different procedures of the Zen were concisely summarized in this single comprehensive book. This book would help people realize the several options in life which would make people think objectively and not become rigid. It opens the mind of its readers that there are always “two sides of the coin”. Thus, in life, people should avoid unnecessary worries and anxieties that vex the spirit and the flow of positive energy that reflects in the body and the gestures. According to the Zen, blocked energies usually cause sickness of the physique and imbalance in the body form.

Upon acquiring the Zen’s mind by reading this book, one would be exhilarated with the astonishing outcome. However, put into account that outcome of desirable execution of exercises with standards performed by other people is not the goal of a Zen’s mind. The goal of a Zen’s mind is to free one’s mind and the body of extremes to settle for contentment and happiness by enjoying the present being; Moreover, remember that comparing oneself to others just cause vanity and bitterness (Russell, 2005). Conclusion

Zen mind, Beginner’s Mind is a book created by Shunryu Suzuki in attempt to introduce the practice of Zen Buddhism in American culture. The study of Buddhism is essential for Suzuki believed that it can be applied to everyday mechanisms of life. The significance of acquiring and owning the Zen mind can help people to determine and therefore practice the right way of living, the right manners, postures and the beliefs which would hone the total personality of an individual. Zen Philosophy teaches that there is just a thin line marking the difference between the Zen mind and the Beginner’s mind.

Both have the capacities to reach its nirvana or transcendental state of mind though they contain differences with their corresponding characteristics. At first, the book Zen mind, Beginners mind may be hard to understand. However, as you go along and read between the lines, Suzuki uncovers the truth of reaching “enlightenment” through simple knowledge and acceptance of oneself. The different procedures of the Zen were concisely summarized in this single comprehensive book. This book would help people realize the several options in life which would make people think objectively and not become rigid.

Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind essay

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Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind. (2017, May 10). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/zen-mind-beginners-mind/

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