Return to shinjin (idea)
Shinjin (しんじん) when used in Dogen's Buddhist texts refers to "the mind as spirit" as in the phrase "escape and let go of mind as spirit" (shinjin datsuraku). This idea is central to Dogen's system of meditative practice.
In the state of not thinking, a meditator moves beyond discursive and dichotomizing thought (shiryo), transcends the tendency to stop ordinary thought by suppressing it (fushiryo), and thus enters into a spontaneous awareness of reality in which thoughts flow along of their own accord. In this state of spontaneous mindfulness, the meditator experiences his or her own "buddha nature," an inherent propensity toward enlightenment that is shared by all beings.1The first kanji is 'mind/heart' (kokoro when alone), the second is 'spirit/soul' (kami when alone, like kamikaze).