Shoji Nakamura

Chosin consists of arranging or controlling one’s mind through a process consisting of several stages. In the first stage this exercise begins with one’s concentration focused upon the respiration. This focusing upon one point is an active attempt to try to exclude all other thoughts from entering the mind. However, paradoxically, doing this focused concentration actually activates the flow of unrealistic mental phenomena. Unrealistic phenomena in this case are defined as images, ideas, thoughts and fantasies that enter the mind. When this occurs, the practitioner should remember that these mental phenomena are unrealistic and the products of an undisciplined mind. He should then let them flow through the mind while concentrating upon respiration.
The next stage of Chosin differs considerably from the first one. Whereas, in the first stage, one is encouraged to concentrate on one object and exclude the other objects, in the second stage the practitioner is encouraged to concentrate evenly on everything that comes to mind, including physical sensations, images, ideas. thoughts and fantasies. That is to say, one has to pay attention to this very moment, the totality of what is happening right now. This state of attention can be referred to as meditation or mindfulness. As this state continues, various unrealistic mental phenomena appear for a moment, and then disappear the next. In the final stage of Chosin the practitioner’s self-consciousness as the one who sees disappears, and is replaced with the sense that the one who sees has been united with the one who is seen – stated differently MU (non-attachment beyond being and non-being) and KU (non-substance). This state of mind and body is called HISHIRYOU (to think beyond thinking and non-thinking) or SHINJINNDATSURAKU (state which body and mind has dropped out).’ (Zen Practice and Self-Control)

I don’t remember where I picked up this short article from. It is a combination of dry analysis and insight, but I thought this paragraph was worth sharing.


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