fivedragons wrote:Bill, my understanding of mushin isn't "mindless", but rather true mindfulness. I have seen it translated as "mind of no-mind", but never as "no-mind of no-mind." We could be talking about two different interpretations of a word/concept, or we might be talking about the same thing, using different words.
I meant what I said.
There is a time for mindful practice, and there is a time for mushin. They are two *VERY* different states of mind.
When teaching nuances of a kata in class, I am being mindful and I am asking my students to be mindful. When they ask me to check their kata, ultimately I am asking them to be mindful of specific aspects of their form that I think need attention.
When doing repletion in class, we are working to mindless repetition. As Raffi says about his Filipino circular drills, you want to do them with a partner until you get to the point that you're thinking about whether your laundry is done and boy isn't that young woman over there hot looking.
The point of mindful practice is to improve our understanding and/or our technique. The point of mindless practice is to work towards making things so ingrained that we do them without thought, thus freeing the mind to important things like paying attention to *all* our surroundings.
By DNA (long story) and by training, I have "the gift of gab." I can talk to almost anyone, even a stranger store clerk at a 7-Eleven. I can get in front of a crowd and give an hour-long talk about a complex subject with no problem. In doing so, I am sometimes aware that I can almost experience an "out of body" feeling where my mouth just goes on about its business while I get a chance to be aware of the people I'm talking to, how much time I have left, and whether things are going well. *That* is mushin for a speaker. Some can do it, and some cannot. I have the genetics, and - through various activities - I've put in my magic 10,000 hours. Now it's fun for me.
Meanwhile... this past week I was asked to write an abstract for an upcoming article that should soon be in the peer-reviewed literature. While I put it out faster than most, I really had to work at that. I had to brain dump, and then review, and then get feedback, and then mull over it while doing something else, and then brain dump again, and then review my work many times, and then finally hand it in. That was *mindful* communication. Every word mattered, and the way it was said mattered. And it has to make it through peer review. That's quite different from walking up to a stranger and winning a bet that I can make them laugh in less than 60 seconds.
I hope that helps.