Journey to the Core: No-Mind as a Gateway to Stopping the World

The No-Mind emerges in the heart of silence, unshakable and serene amidst life’s chaos.


Daoist Monk Contemplates The Void — by Author

“Once a man is in a state of No-Mind, nothing can distract him from his being. There is no power bigger than the power of No-Mind.” — Osho

The Alchemy of Silence and Action: A Journey Through Eastern and Western Wisdom

In the article below, I will explore two relatively unknown but powerful processes, one from the West and one from the East, to enter the state of No-Mind. But first…

If you have been walking a spiritual path for some time and are looking for ways to access the depth of your being, then you need to Stop The World.

In the quest for deeper understanding and spiritual awakening, two profound practices emerge from diverse traditions — the Eastern practices of “No-Mind” and the Western Toltec wisdom of “Stopping the World.” Though rooted in different spiritual lineages, these pathways converge on a singular, transformative goal—transcending the habitual chatter of the mind to experience a more authentic reality.

The Alchemy of Silence: Unveiling the No-Mind — An Eastern Way

Pursuing No-Mind is a journey toward an ego-less state in the Eastern meditative practices of the Daoist Zuowang, Hindu Dhyana, and Zen Mushin. It’s not just about silencing thoughts but transcending them, achieving a state where the mind is free from its habitual tendencies and ego-driven processes. This deep immersion into universal awareness makes it possible to see reality as it really is without any personal biases or conditioned perceptions getting in the way.

Bridging to the West: The Art of Stopping the World

The Toltec tradition, as illuminated in the teachings of Carlos Castaneda and Theun Mares, speaks of Stopping the World in parallel with the Eastern tradition of No-Mind. It’s a radical shift in perception, moving from the ordinary interpretation of reality, heavily influenced by social conditioning and internal dialogue, to a direct, immediate experience of the world and energy. This practice silences the mind and suspends usual ways of perceiving, ‘stopping’ the ordinary world experience to make way for a broader, expansive awareness of what is behind the surface of everyday reality.

‘Stopping The World’ creates a paranormal doorway to see energy without cultural interpretations. This involves stepping off the ego game and achieving a state of heightened awareness or ‘Seeing’ with a capital ‘S.’” don Juan speaking to Carlos Castaneda

The Common Thread: A Shift in Perception of Reality

Despite their diverse origins, these practices share a common goal: transcending egocentric mental states to access an alternative perception of reality. They encourage the reduction of mental chatter and the shift from a common, conditioned view to a more expansive, unconditioned one, facilitating a deep insight into the nature of what we are.

In the state of No-Mind, we touch the Source of all creation — the Void. Daoists call this Wuji a state of emptiness yet full of infinite possibilities. The Toltecs of Mesoamerica call this the Nagual — the undifferentiated Source of all that is.

The Void, or Nagual, is unstructured. The mental body, which contains our thoughts, beliefs, worldview, and self-image, is structured. Being a structured entity, the mental body cannot directly perceive the Void. Talking about it, thinking about it, or reasoning about it is not the same as perceiving the Void. The only way to directly perceive unstructured essences is by bypassing or temporarily ‘turning off’ the mental body.

A personal experience of the Void. My wife Kalyn and I had taken a group on a journey to sacred sites in Mexico. While in the Yucatan, we visited the Great Toltec pyramid of Chitzen Itsa. Kalyn was guided to take the group of about 15 people to a clearing where pieces of ancient columns were scattered around. We each sat on a column in a circle and Kalyn proceeded to bring through what we call unseen friends. In a matter of just a few minutes with the help of unseen friends, all of us had entered the void. Everything shimmered and when I looked around it looked fluid, like liquid mirrors. A group of tourists approached and walked through the middle of our circle and out through our perimeter like they were walking through the participants. It became apparent that they didn’t see us as we were no longer in their dimension.

Chichén Itzá — Wikipedia Commons

No-Mind is often associated with a direct experience of reality, unmediated by thoughts or conceptual filters. This direct experience is a crucial aspect of understanding the nature of the Void. No-Mind is a state of consciousness where conventional cognitive processes, ego-identity, and dualistic thinking are transcended. In this state, there’s a direct encounter with the true nature of reality — a reality that is interconnected, unfixed, and filled with potential.

“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.” — Anonymous

How You Can Enter No-Mind

Western and Eastern spiritual traditions have techniques to enter No-Mind. Western techniques tend to be more active, and Eastern are often more passive. I will give examples of both approaches, beginning with the Toltecs of the West.

The Shamans of Mesoamerica’s Mitote

The Toltecs were an advanced civilization in Mesoamerica, known for their esoteric spiritual practices called Nagualism. Carlos Castaneda introduced this practice through his book series, chronicling his encounters with a Toltec Nagual (master) named don Juan.

Toltec wisdom tells us that what we perceive as reality is not the true reality of the world. Instead, the actual reality is a reflection of light hidden behind a thick fog of illusion that creates a realm of separation and ignorance. This fog is sustained by the constant mental chatter in our heads, also known as inner dialogue, which the Toltecs call the “Mitote.” The Mitote is a state of continuous mental talk influenced by societal norms and personal beliefs.

The Mitote, derived from the Spanish word for a traditional outdoor market, metaphorically represents our internal thought processes’ busy, noisy, and chaotic nature. Like a bustling market, the Mitote is full of constant activity where one can easily get lost in the noise and chaos. It encompasses the myriad of voices in our head telling us what we are and should be.

Unfortunately, the Mitote leads to a vision of reality filled with separateness, scarcity, lack, competition, fear, injustice, and suffering. It also fosters a feeling of inadequacy and lack within ourselves, leading to a lifetime of self-imposed limitations and suffering. By stopping the internal-dialogue, we can break free from these limitations and awaken to our true nature.

The Toltec teachings highlight the significance of recognizing and halting our internal-dialogue, which enables us to wake up from the illusionary dream created by our minds. When we stop our inner-dialogue, we can perceive reality without the distortions of our conditioned beliefs and thoughts.

When we stop our inner-dialogue, magical things happen. By stopping inner-dialogue for extended periods of time, we can Stop The World, the Western name for a state akin to the Eastern No-Mind.

A Toltec Technique for Shutting Off Internal-Dialogue

Unfocused Eyes Technique: Toltec spiritual practices involve many active techniques, one of which is the Unfocused Eye Technique, which is used to stop internal-dialogue and Stopping The World. This practice consists of walking for extended periods without focusing the eyes on anything specific.

By slightly crossing the eyes and maintaining a peripheral view without a direct focus on any object, one can observe an extensive range of details in the surroundings. This technique is considered a powerful way to shut off internal-dialogue.

To perform it, one should gaze unfocused just above the horizon to see a panoramic view of almost 180 degrees.

This practice floods the mental body with impressions, breaking its habitual mental patterns. As a result, one enters a state where internal-dialogue ceases, and experiences a sense of inner silence and heightened awareness.

Eastern Spiritual Practices Are Rich In Various Techniques That Lead To The No-Mind State

“To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.” — Lao Tzu

In Eastern traditions of spirituality, the idea of All-That-Is, or ‘God’ differs from most Western traditions. Instead of God being a Divine Being, Person, or Thing, God is more of an indescribable principle in the East.

While the specific interpretation of All-That-Is varies across different Eastern traditions, it generally refers to the ultimate reality or the fundamental essence of the universe, the ultimate reality, beyond all forms and phenomena. The unchanging, infinite, immanent, and transcendent reality is the Divine Ground of all matter.

In Eastern spirituality, there are several paths to No-Mind, such as:

  • Dhyana ध्यान In Vedanta, it means effortless abidance in the awareness of one’s True Nature.
  • Mushin (無 心 means “emptiness mind”). It is rooted in Zen Buddhism.
  • Zuowang (坐忘 means “sit forget”). It is a Daoist meditation.

The Daoist Zuowang Meditation Technique — a RARE but powerful Daoist meditation

Zuowang is sometimes called the ‘sitting in oblivion’ or ‘sitting in forgetfulness’ meditation. It is a state of deep emptiness or intense absorption, during which no trace of ego-identity remains.

“In a state of sitting in oblivion, what could be unforgotten? First, one forgets all outer manifestations (ji), and then one also forgets what causes the manifestations. On the inside, one is unaware that there is a self (Shen). On the outside, one never knows that there is heaven and earth.” — Guo Xiang

The Practice

Preparing for Meditation

  • Sit comfortably, ensuring you have a straight spine and are sitting tall. Find a position where you can remain relaxed and still for a few minutes.
  • Embrace an attitude of letting go, forgetting everything, including your environment, body, mind, worries, and memories.

Forgetting Your Body and Inner World

  • Feel as if all of your five senses are gradually shutting down. Forget hearing. Forget feeling. Forget seeing. Forget tasting. Forget smelling.
  • Forget your body.
  • Forget your mind.
  • Forget having a beginning, a middle, or an end.
  • Forget all concepts.
  • Forget all memories.
  • Forget all desires.
  • Forget all fears.
  • Forget where you are.
  • Forget what you are doing.
  • Forget you exist.

Releasing the Outer World

  • In this emptiness, there’s nothing to worry about.
  • There’s no need to think, move, or react in this stillness.
  • The world doesn’t need your attention right now. Let it go.
  • Continue to release everything: thoughts, concepts, stories, labels.
  • Let your mind become empty, releasing an all-knowing, understanding sense of self and others.
  • Remain silent and empty in the present moment. In this space, there is no sense of lack; everything is perfect and full.

Experiencing Changes and Concluding the Session

  • Dwell in the still, quiet, empty No-Mind.
  • When ready, slowly bring your attention back to your body and environment. Be aware of the sounds around you, move your fingers and toes, and gently open your eyes.

Incorporating These Profound Practices Into Your Spiritual Practice

The active Toltec practice of Stopping The World is a wonderful technique to use when outdoors. It can be practiced by walking around the block of your neighborhood. But, it is particularly powerful when in nature.

Transitioning to a different yet complementary technique, the passive Daoist meditation practice of Zuowang stands as a superb addition to any meditative repertoire. This approach, contrasting with the physicality of the Toltec practice, invites stillness and deep contemplation.

You create a harmonious balance by integrating both methods — employing the Toltec technique during physical activity and the Daoist method in moments of stillness. This synergy between active and passive approaches can profoundly and rapidly transform your perception of reality.

It’s important to note that, although neither method is overly complicated, their simplicity doesn’t necessarily equate to ease. As with most spiritual practices, the keys are constancy and consistency. This dedication to regular practice unlocks the depth and potential of the Toltec and Daoist techniques.

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Carl Gerber (aka Kristopher Raphael)
New Earth Consciousness

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