Oakville Zen Meditation

#337 Practicing "Don't know mind" Nov. 1 - 20

       Practice the “don’t know mind”

      also called an open mind and opposite of "mindset"

How often do we say: “ I know or I don’t believe in that, or I believe in this”

We are making these statements very often even if we have no clue or understanding.

I don’t believe that climate change is human-based”.

“ On what ground are you so sure?...Did you study climatology?....You don’t believe some 24,000experts?

“ I don’t believe all of their conclusions. They are fabricated”.

Also It takes only few seconds to have an opinion on someone w/o knowing at all this person.

There are zillions of examples in which belief, opinion including non-requested judgment are based on pure assumption, intuition or faith but not on strict evidence-based fact and yet......this mind-set, that we all have very soon, is impossible to off-set.

Mind set controls our mental activity and therefore our daily decisions and behaviors.

The question therefore is the following:

1)“ Why our supposedly rational and intelligence brain-mind” is acting that way ” w/o any objective knowledge”?

No one has the answer, but I think that our ego is behind those day-dreaming assumptions.

We need to have an opinion on everything so we can pretend, at least to ourselves, that we know.

Opinions, ideas, beliefs, judgments are parts of our self-identity and way of behaving.

However having an opinion, idea, belief and judgment are expecting when we are chatting during a social event because we cannot keep saying “ I don’t know” or remain silent.

The great Korean Zen Master named Seung Sahn wrote a wonderful book called “ Only don’t know” Being a good friend of my teacher and invited in Canada, Seung came to pay visit and give us agreat Dharma talk entitled: “How to attain nothing-mind”.

“Nothing mind” also called “Don’t know mind” was his main teaching during more than 45 years.

By saying so, he did not mean to be ignorant or being stupid.

Here are his words from his teaching. I am editing it for clarity.

“ Don’t know mind cuts thru thinking, judging, from opinion and belief.

 A don’t know mind is before thinking, before words.

Of course, we need thinking for action or when required but, apart from them, keep “don’t know mind. A don’t know mind does not mean stupidity or having an empty mind; it means no  I-me-mine, no hindrance to our opinions, beliefs, and judgments

It also means not being trap in the past and future.

Practicing “Don’t know mind” is having a mind like a mirror reflecting things, people    e and events as they are. The mind becomes free of ideas, opinions, judgments and fictional dream-states.

A don’t know mind is acting like a baby mind open to everything.

There are time when” don’t know mind” becomes  “knowing-mind” especially when your opinion is requested or when you have to make a decision. That’s OK.

Beside these moments, keep an open and clear mind by unloading what is not necessary or not based on facts. You will free yourself from your own mental trap

Thank you”

Seung Sahn message is clear but practicing the “Don’t know mind” is a very difficult challenge because, again, we identify ourselves with our thoughts, ideas and opinions which become

static as we are aging.

One step towards serenity is 1) To realize that mindset such as opinions, ideas and judgments, 2) To let go of most of this useless mental noise in order to achieve equanimity.