Oakville Zen Meditation

#453 Being at ease with "Not Knowing", and Why it is important July 3 23"

  Not Knowing: being at ease with not knowing, and why that?

Zen is teaching us to let go of our addictive preoccupation with accumulating knowledge,

opinion, and judgment.

He is asking us to embrace an attitude of “don’t know mind” or “not knowing”

This “Not knowing ”does not mean stupidity, laziness, confusion, or rudeness. We need to know to function properly.

It is simply an open and receptive mind open to everything like a baby mind, and not paralyzed by conceptual thinking or by too many preconceived opinions, ideas, beliefs value judgments, and attachments. It is also called a mirror mind because it reflects things, and people as they are.

In fact, a don’t “know mind or Not knowing” mind means having an open mind. 

It can easily be achieved by freezing our huge mind database about anything, anybody

accumulated over the years and stopping this newly so-called Google syndrome that is search addiction. 

On the contrary, a “Know all mind” is full, frozen by data, and opinions, and almost hermetic to everything new with little room for progress, tolerance, and serenity.

Through the process of “unknowing” or “de-knowing,” you will discover the real knower that is your inner self. This receptive mind opens the door to our intuitions and awakening.

Please consider the following: 

1) Are your accumulated opinions and values obscuring your intuitive insight into your current situations, and about people.? Press the pause button. With this open mind, the clouds of confusion and frustration will dissipate and your intuitions as to what to do will become obvious.

2) Examples: 

Look at your most cherished opinions about life, death, love, God, no God, maybe God, friendship, intelligence, lover, spouse, boss, consciousness, mind, big bang, freedom, etc. Do you really know your opinions to be true? Maybe, maybe not. Contemplate, and reassess them. We are surrounded by incomprehensible mysteries. Instead of filling the void with many opinions, beliefs, and judgments, we should be more courageous enough to accept and live with our” not knowing”

This open-mind attitude goes directly against our ego but for Zen, having ideas or accumulating knowledge from reading millions of books and spending night after night on the Internet will never achieve serenity and wisdom, but only feed our insatiable ego. Wisdom is simply being mindful from moment to moment and dealing with things one at a time as they are. Experiencing awakening is simply experiencing what is real and differentiating reality from illusion.

Being at ease with the state of “not knowing” except in specific situations such as work

will take you beyond your artificial conceptual mind because our mind is addicted to more knowledge, more interpretations, and more conclusion, and it is afraid of not knowing. Also, It will take you beyond your ego because our ego is always looking to accumulate more to look good.

Obviously knowing is important to function in life but it will not help you too much in your search for serenity.  

Let go of your pre-conceptual opinions, beliefs, and judgments. Practice an open mind and you see the difference. 

Let go of the need to add more value 

Let go of the need to win every argument.

Ask people “ Tell me more” in order to challenge your frozen knowledge.

Assume that you could be an idiot. 🙂 TX