Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Language

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 06-18-2009, 10:12 AM   #1
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,113
United_States
Offline
"No Mind" - What is it?

I'm sure this has been explained a million times, but being that this is a forum, a meeting place, more than an archive, I thought I'd ask: No-mind: what is it?

I don't train enough to feel like an expert, but my impression (for the purpose of critical review) is that no-mind denotes a state of mind in which "word"-thinking and emotion approaches 0; the effect being so attention and intention can approach their maximum. Abstract thinking like concepts of morality become almost a complete tangent to the awareness which is geared purely toward acting and sensing.
Some would say this is a purely instinctive level, but I'm guessing it is not because instinct implies a sub-conscious operator, while no-mind as I've assumed it to be implies a conscious operator, but one purely focused on the task at hand. Times when I was in the zone often revolved around math though, so maybe abstract thinking isn't necessarily as removed as I thought...is it (no-mind) the same as being in the middle of now (naka-ima)? Or, what's different between the two?
Ok, babbling aside: what is no-mind; what is naka ima? And what are their implications?
Dozo yoroshiku onegaitaishimasu,
Matthew

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2009, 10:55 AM   #2
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
Location: Wisconsin
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,218
Offline
Re: "No Mind" - What is it?

Onegaishimasu. In my experience, to have or experience 'no mind' is to focus on nothing in particular, to put your mind nowhere, thus taking in the big picture. Scientifically, it is like peripheral vision, only with your thought.

In gassho,

Mark

- Right combination works wonders -
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2009, 11:46 AM   #3
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,113
United_States
Offline
Re: "No Mind" - What is it?

Quote:
Mark Uttech wrote: View Post
Onegaishimasu. In my experience, to have or experience 'no mind' is to focus on nothing in particular, to put your mind nowhere, thus taking in the big picture. Scientifically, it is like peripheral vision, only with your thought.

In gassho,

Mark
Thank you, Mark. That idea of peripheral vision strikes a chord in me. When "no-mind-ing" I'm definately accutely aware of my periphery...that is to say, the central thrust of my attention seems to go there.

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2009, 05:33 PM   #4
ChrisHein
 
ChrisHein's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Fresno
Location: Fresno , CA
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,630
United_States
Offline
Re: "No Mind" - What is it?

Sounds like you have a pretty good concept of "no-mind". I think no-mind is a term used to describe several different states of awareness.

I don't realize I am in a "no-mind" state until I'm no longer in it. Often times in jiyuwaza or randori I will throw someone in an interesting or unique way, and suddenly the egocentric mind kicks in and says, "wow, I'm pretty good". That is usually the beginning of the end for me, as it becomes difficult to get back into the zone.

  Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2009, 05:48 PM   #5
Josh Reyer
 
Josh Reyer's Avatar
Location: Aichi-ken, Nagoya-shi
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 644
Japan
Offline
Re: "No Mind" - What is it?

It's the state of mind you have when walking somewhere. You don't think left, right, left, right, you just walk. You can consciously think about where you are going, you can speed up and slow down, and you can avoid puddles and dog droppings, but that doesn't effect your actual walking ability.

"No mind" is utterly ordinary; there's nothing special about it. The trick is, bringing that utterly ordinary, everyday kind of mind into the stress of combat/keiko.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
- Chaucer
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2009, 07:45 PM   #6
Shadowfax
 
Shadowfax's Avatar
Dojo: Allegheny Aikido, Pitsburgh PA
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 884
United_States
Offline
Re: "No Mind" - What is it?

Quote:
The trick is, bringing that utterly ordinary, everyday kind of mind into the stress of combat/keiko.
or to use a real world example.

I work in a restaurant. At peak hours it gets pretty hairy in the kitchen, and when I'm on my part of the line alone I have to go to this state in order to handle all of the orders, time them correctly to the rest of he lines work as well as handle requests from the serving staff coming in and out all without loosing my focus on the things I am working on. I can't stop and look at or think about what comes next. If I do it throws off my whole rhythm.And of spomeone comes into my focus they are likely to take a bit of verbal Ukemi ,backed by a large dose of Ki.

I have to be able to take in a situation and react to it immediately without thought, and have it be correct and sometimes I have to avoid colliding with someone who comes into my space when they don't belong there. In this state I am aware of ,and reacting to, everything going on around me and yet thinking about nothing. Its really quite cool. My perception of time slows way down.

Someday I'll achieve that in the dojo. I have a feeling that when I finally get there I am going to really have fun with Randori.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2009, 11:07 PM   #7
swalsh
Dojo: Watanabe dojo/Australia
Location: Perth
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 9
Australia
Offline
Re: "No Mind" - What is it?

I agree with the comments on "no mind" as a state of environmental awareness, however I also believe it applies to your tactical plans. Although Aikido gives us some basic tactics (taisabaki, irimi/tenkan ans kuzushi), we don't fix on one techinque. We don't fix our mind on "I'm going to do an ikkajonage now". A mental state of "No mind" allows you to respond and react with what ever technique is appropriate and even change technique if uke resists or is not fully unbalanced.

Last edited by swalsh : 06-18-2009 at 11:09 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2009, 12:39 AM   #8
PeterR
 
PeterR's Avatar
Dojo: Shodokan Honbu (Osaka)
Location: Himeji, Japan
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 3,054
Japan
Offline
Re: "No Mind" - What is it?

In sports its called being in "The Zone"

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2009, 03:43 AM   #9
Charles Hill
Dojo: Numazu Aikikai/Aikikai Honbu Dojo
Location: Three Lakes WI/ Mishima Japan
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 837
Offline
Re: "No Mind" - What is it?

Hi Matthew,

I have never heard of "naka ima" as a concept. Can you describe how you learned of this?

Charles
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2009, 08:07 AM   #10
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,113
United_States
Offline
Re: "No Mind" - What is it?

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote: View Post
In sports its called being in "The Zone"
lol! But "no-mind-ing" sounds so much cooler!
...or dumber.

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2009, 08:10 AM   #11
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,113
United_States
Offline
Re: "No Mind" - What is it?

Quote:
Charles Hill wrote: View Post
Hi Matthew,

I have never heard of "naka ima" as a concept. Can you describe how you learned of this?

Charles
It's literally "the middle of now." Being fully present in the moment. I'm pretty sure Sensei Barrish has used the phrase before, but I could be wrong.

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2009, 09:03 AM   #12
akiy
 
akiy's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 5,850
Offline
Re: "No Mind" - What is it?

As I've posted before, Mihály Csíkszentmihály describes this mental state as a state of "flow":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_(psychology)
Quote:
The Wikipedia article above wrote:
Csíkszentmihályi identifies the following nine factors as accompanying an experience of flow:
1. Clear goals (expectations and rules are discernible and goals are attainable and align appropriately with one's skill set and abilities). Moreover, the challenge level and skill level should both be high.
2. Concentrating and focusing, a high degree of concentration on a limited field of attention (a person engaged in the activity will have the opportunity to focus and to delve deeply into it).
3. A loss of the feeling of self-consciousness, the merging of action and awareness.
4. Distorted sense of time, one's subjective experience of time is altered.
5. Direct and immediate feedback (successes and failures in the course of the activity are apparent, so that behavior can be adjusted as needed).
6. Balance between ability level and challenge (the activity is neither too easy nor too difficult).
7. A sense of personal control over the situation or activity.
8. The activity is intrinsically rewarding, so there is an effortlessness of action.
9. People become absorbed in their activity, and focus of awareness is narrowed down to the activity itself, action awareness merging.
-- Jun

Please help support AikiWeb -- become an AikiWeb Contributing Member!
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2009, 12:58 PM   #13
Don_Modesto
Dojo: Messores Sensei (Largo, Fl.)
Location: Florida
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,267
Offline
Re: "No Mind" - What is it?

FWIW, I think Jackson and Csíkszentmihály's Flow in Sport is much more useful than Suzuki Daisetsu or Takuan and Yagyu.

http://www.amazon.com/Flow-Sports-op.../dp/0880118768

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
------------------------
http://www.theaikidodojo.com/
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2009, 01:06 PM   #14
thisisnotreal
 
thisisnotreal's Avatar
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 693
Offline
Re: "No Mind" - What is it?

Quote:
Don J. Modesto wrote: View Post
FWIW, I think Jackson and Csíkszentmihály's Flow in Sport is much more useful than Suzuki Daisetsu or Takuan and Yagyu.

http://www.amazon.com/Flow-Sports-op.../dp/0880118768
It is worth a lot.
Josh
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2009, 04:05 PM   #15
Charles Hill
Dojo: Numazu Aikikai/Aikikai Honbu Dojo
Location: Three Lakes WI/ Mishima Japan
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 837
Offline
Re: "No Mind" - What is it?

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
It's literally "the middle of now." Being fully present in the moment. I'm pretty sure Sensei Barrish has used the phrase before, but I could be wrong.
I' m thinking you're thinking of "tada ima".
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2009, 04:39 PM   #16
Erick Mead
 
Erick Mead's Avatar
Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,499
United_States
Offline
Re: "No Mind" - What is it?

Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote: View Post
As I've posted before, Mihály Csíkszentmihály describes this mental state as a state of "flow":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_(psychology)

-- Jun
Or, .. if, like me, you have ADD, it is the way we just are normally, when nobody is bothering us ... hyperaware, either narrowly or globally, and without much conscious direction of our attention. We have a different problem -- not in finding mushin, no-mind, but finding fudoshin -- immoveable mind. Lack of mushin means you are "outside" the action and thinking about it instead of being wholly within in it without having to think.

ADD people's attention is very fluid. When people bother us, we are forced to lose our natural tendency toward mushin -- and so we need to develop fudoshin so we hold onto our natural manner of awareness. "Normals" conversely, have no problem being perturbed from the task at hand, (and for this reason are often unfairly deemed "boring." ) But because of their rather "viscous" attention, they miss stuff globally that should prompt action, because it is "outside" of their understood task awareness. They need help cutting off that lingering attention. They are related. Normal people have a harder time getting in the door of mushin -- ADD people have a harder time staying inside it.

When people intentionally bother us ADD-types, by demanding attention, they interfere with our normal "within the moment" awareness We HATE that. We have to either consciously ignore them to give attention to what we are doing, which is unnatural -- or ignore something else to give them the attention they are so inconsiderately demanding, which is also unnatural. Did I mention we HATE that?

It is, as I say, bothersome ... When I started training, people trying to hit me bothered me, and interfered with my awareness.

The key in martial arts was coming to the point where, having people trying to hit me ... no longer bothers me.


Putting this in mythical terms (hey it's Aikido) -- whether you are easily disturbed from mushin or have difficulty achieving it-- whether of either type -- you also need fudoshin. Fudo Myo-O carries two instruments -- a sword and a rope: the sword cuts off stolid attachments and the rope binds flighty desires. He serves both types ... .

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2009, 05:05 PM   #17
Williamross77
 
Williamross77's Avatar
Dojo: aikido of shreveport
Location: Shreveport, Lousiana
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 143
United_States
Offline
Re: "No Mind" - What is it?

Its Like When You Drop A Glass And You Just Catch It Without Hessitation.

in Aiki
Agatsu!!
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2009, 07:44 PM   #18
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,113
United_States
Offline
Re: "No Mind" - What is it?

Quote:
Charles Hill wrote: View Post
I' m thinking you're thinking of "tada ima".
Thanks, Charles! I probably just took some of the few kanji i know and did a little "creative" application....the "middle of now" sure sounds cool!

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2009, 08:35 PM   #19
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,113
United_States
Offline
Re: "No Mind" - What is it?

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Thanks, Charles! I probably just took some of the few kanji i know and did a little "creative" application....the "middle of now" sure sounds cool!
Hi Charles, I just did a little research and naka-ima is a Shinto concept according to Encyclopedia Brittanica:
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/...01992/naka-ima
Unfortuntely the site requires an account so I can't read much more on it. I'll have to ask Sensei Barrish about it tomorrow at keiko.

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2009, 08:46 PM   #20
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,113
United_States
Offline
Re: "No Mind" - What is it?

Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote: View Post
As I've posted before, Mihály Csíkszentmihály describes this mental state as a state of "flow":

3. A loss of the feeling of self-consciousness, the merging of action and awareness.

-- Jun
Thank you for repeating the reference, Jun! Number three reminds me of the famous idea, "I am the universe." I wonder if it is directly through this "flow" that O Sensei came to this idea.
Thanks again,
Matt

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2009, 06:43 AM   #21
Charles Hill
Dojo: Numazu Aikikai/Aikikai Honbu Dojo
Location: Three Lakes WI/ Mishima Japan
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 837
Offline
Re: "No Mind" - What is it?

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
I'll have to ask Sensei Barrish about it tomorrow at keiko.
Do so, I am very interested. I will check some resources I have as well.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2009, 05:07 AM   #22
PeterR
 
PeterR's Avatar
Dojo: Shodokan Honbu (Osaka)
Location: Himeji, Japan
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 3,054
Japan
Offline
Re: "No Mind" - What is it?

Quote:
Bill Ross wrote: View Post
Its Like When You Drop A Glass And You Just Catch It Without Hessitation.
Or when you don't drop it in the first place.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2009, 06:49 AM   #23
Shadowfax
 
Shadowfax's Avatar
Dojo: Allegheny Aikido, Pitsburgh PA
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 884
United_States
Offline
Re: "No Mind" - What is it?

Quote:
When people intentionally bother us ADD-types, by demanding attention, they interfere with our normal "within the moment" awareness We HATE that
I'm not ADD and I hate that. I get it a lot at work when I get in the zone. I can only imagine it has to be harder for someone who has ADD. Thanks so much for that post. I liked how you explained the differences we might experience and it may help me to help someone on the mat someday.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2009, 11:18 AM   #24
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,113
United_States
Offline
naka-ima continued

Quote:
Charles Hill wrote: View Post
Do so, I am very interested. I will check some resources I have as well.
Hi Charles,
Well I didn't make it to keiko (thought my wife might be going into labor), but I did email Sensei Barrish and he was kind enough to share his understanding of naka-ima. Rather than paraphrase, I'll just copy and paste it here:

Quote:
Barrish Sensei wrote:
Naka-ima translates literally as "the middle of now". We can say that Nakaima is the doctrine of "presentness".

"Presentness" implies being fully alive in the current moment—this is a place of amazing power and potential. A place from which all events unfold.

Yamamoto Yukiyasu Guji teaches us about the classical philosophy of Heraclites—who postulated that the present does not really exist. Guji teaches us that the Shinto point of view is opposite--- the present is the only authentic reality. Nakaima means each moment and it's activities are treasures… Guji teaches us that we should not look upon life as a series of peremptory moments, necessary yet irksome stepping stones to the future..but the future as it comes to be.

When we can gather the diverse elements of ourselves from the past and imagined future into the current moment, we enter the ongoing wavefront of creation--- we realize each moment is completely new and will never return, we achieve balance, we have access to all our abilities to act as proxies for Sarutahiko Okami and create order from chaotic situations….. this is the middle of now and the physical, mental and spiritual "stance" of balance is the experience and power of being truly alive as a human being.
Take care,
Matthew

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2009, 02:57 AM   #25
Charles Hill
Dojo: Numazu Aikikai/Aikikai Honbu Dojo
Location: Three Lakes WI/ Mishima Japan
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 837
Offline
Re: naka-ima continued

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
I (thought my wife might be going into labor),
I certainly hope your wife and baby have a safe delivery. Maybe by now, congratulations are in order?

Thanks for the info from Rev. Barrish. The book, Shinto: The Fountainhead of Japan doesn't say much beyond what you quoted, but talks about the Emperor, who "incarnates the Eternal Now (naka ima), since heaven (Kami) and earth (man) concur in attempting to strengthen his life and body."

Anyway, best to you and yours,

Charles
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Handmade Aikido Gifts - Handmade functional ceramic art with aikido themes



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 12 Peter Goldsbury Columns 32 05-16-2009 06:05 PM
Is Aikido effective for police? erogers General 136 07-13-2008 07:00 AM
"Off-The-Mat" Forum akiy "Off-The-Mat" 6 06-02-2008 12:22 AM
Mind dumbness vs activity in randori suren Techniques 16 09-29-2004 01:29 PM
Who said this? Jim23 General 34 02-16-2001 02:18 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:48 PM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate