Mu Newsletter

Yes and no, Yin and Yang, do or don’t – language is structured and limited.

The form of the question often limits the answer so sometimes you need to question the question.

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was one word that meant, ‘Your question is based on a assumed view of reality so it’s impossible to give a proper answer’?

There is – in Japanese at least – and it is ‘Mu’.
If I knew that in ninth grade, class would have sounded more like a day at the farm.
Actually ‘Mu’ has many meanings. It sometimes means ‘No’, or ‘No thing’,
or ‘Unask the question’.
Here it means ‘No’ in the sense of ‘Your question is inadequate to the situation – Find a better question.’

There is a Zen story of the eighth century Zen Master, Joshu.
A monk pointed to a mangy, scrawny dog and asked him,
‘Does this dog have Buddha nature?’
Something of a trick question, as on one hand everything has Buddha nature, on the other hand to admit it was in the dog would seem to cheapen it.
Joshu replied ‘Mu’.
Both ‘yes’ or ‘no’ would have been wrong.

Everyone likes simple answers, but life is neither simple nor straightforward,
so life tends to give us plenty of ‘Mu answers.
A Mu answer demands a better question.

You have probably heard some version of the Schrodinger’s cat paradox.
The cat is in a closed box with fifty chance of poison gas being released into the box.
You don’t know whether the cat is alive or dead until you open the box – quantum physics claims that the cat is neither alive nor dead until you open the box.

Which is very confusing for the cat, waiting (or not) for someone to open the box.
Is the cat alive?  ‘Mu’. (Or should that be ‘Miaow’?)
Is the cat dead? ‘Mu’.
Does the cat have Buddha nature? Mu.

Our knowledge and our happiness and our answers all depend on the quality of our questions.
‘Mu’ reminds us of that.
Let’s always find the best question we can rather than strive for answers.

Mu newsletter

The Mu newsletter is short – but satisfying.
It ranges over all the coaching topics – Physical, mental and spiritual, always looking for a better question.
You will also get links to interesting events, music and books.

Subscribe for the Mu Newsletter

Just fill the form


Past blogs and newsletters

Be a scientist of experience

Everybody wants to be right.
It feels good, but it’s also a survival skill. When we are proved right, we get the message, ‘I understand the world and how it works. My predictions and thinking skills are good and I can survive and thrive.’

read more

The Tyranny of Tiny Tasks

Isn’t that a felicitous phrase?
It describes exactly how I feel when I sit down at the computer and instead of being able to get on with one important thing, there are dozens of little things to do.

read more

Sweet Dreams

Here's the first practice in the series. This is the one for the body - health and well being, but it has implications in all parts of our lives. Very simple - enough good quality sleep. Good quality means a reasonable amount of time in each of the three states of...

read more

Diamonds In The Rough 1

Good information for troubling times  Here's the first post to bring you good information about the corona virus situation.  Good science and good ideas from trustworthy sources. Best medical and scientific coverage - Peter Attia Peter Attia is a North American doctor...

read more

Why good ideas are not enough

What now? 9th April 2020 Welcome! What now for me? I am starting this blog with as many helpful ideas as possible and with a Postscript with the best sources of information I know about the Covid 19 situation. Right now we need good information and there is a lot of...

read more

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. Our privacy policy

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.