Oakville Zen Meditation

#395 At ease "without knowing" April 24th 22

I” Not knowing “ is understood as a mind empty of appropriate knowledge,

at max,  being stupid.

Knowing about x, y, and z is, a vital tool when decisions must be made all the time.

Also, knowledge is assimilated with self-identification (I think therefore I am said Descartes), intelligence, respect, control, and power.

However, when knowledge is the predominant modality in relationships, it becomes very limiting, even destructive. Thoughts and concepts create an artificial barrier, and our interactions become mind-based.

In its Zen meaning, ” Not knowing” should not be understood as a lack of knowledge.

A “Not knowing mind ”is:

    A mind open to everything, free from its frozen ideas, opinions, judgments, labels, concepts including 

    the expectations of potential outcomes of future events.

   Such freedom is a must to understand and experience the difference between a controlling mind,

   and our genuine consciousness.

How to practice “Not knowing mind “ in our Western culture?

Becoming at ease with the state of “Not knowing” is counter-intuitive and counterproductive but, with practice, it will take you beyond the mind because the mind is always trying to assess, judge, interpret and conclude.

It is OK to brainstorm when needed but when there is no such a need what is the point besides being under the control of our controlling noisy minds very often ego-driven.

Our mind is afraid of not knowing, especially regarding the future, and full of prejudices.

The more labels, ideas, judgment, opinions, and occlusion we accumulate in our mind, the more restless and stuck it becomes and the more trapped we are. The ego cannot survive w/o this load of prejudices.

Try to minimize or even delete your unnecessary mental beliefs clogging your mind.

This unnecessary and accumulated mental overload is too often just food for the ego and to maintain a social conversation. 

When you are at ease with “not knowing “, you are gone beyond the thinking mind and its booby trap.

As stated before, a feeling of mental and emotional freedom will appear because ongoing assessment, interpretation, and conclusion evaporate.

Korean Zen Master Seung Sahn used to consider this state of “not knowing mind”,  

that is, being beyond thinking, a mandatory critical step to master in order to achieve serenity and



If you cannot control the content of your mind that is thoughts, feelings, and labeling, your mind is controlling you and the search for serenity is impossible.

On the other hand, when we become comfortable with the uncertainty that is an open mind,

infinite possibilities open up in our life because; being at ease with not knowing is critical not only if you are looking for answers but also in your quest for serenity and Awakening.

Thank you.