Tune-up your senses at optimal level through decluttering

Tidying up is about subtracting your belongings toward the ultimate essentials. Zero = abundance shares common theme. But there is something deeper.

Zero (kuu): the core tenet of Zen Buddhism

Chapter 1-13: Zeroing in on our potential

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Can we put ourselves in tomatoes’ shoes to see what happens when we internalize Zero? Let’s look at Zazen, one of the Zen meditation methods. Zazen is a sitting with prescribed rules.


Zazen au Dojo By Faverte (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Zazen rules (according to Sotoshu)
  • Use a neat and clean room that is not too cold, not too warm, nor not too dark, not too bright
  • Fold legs and hands and straighten your spine
  • Keep your eyes slightly open – do not focus on any particular thing but keep everything in your field of vision
  • Quietly make a deep exhalation and inhalation
  • Do not concentrate on any particular object or control your thought

The rules above are just a part of the entire Zazen protocol.  The protocol covers everything from how to maintain your surroundings, clothes and physical condition, to how to maintain your body (head, eyes, mouth, shoulders, abdomen, back, hands, legs etc) and mind during Zazen.

You can ask for a warning “Katsu!” using  an “awakening stick”  if you go off balance and become restless or sleepy.


Image “Zazen kai meeting” courtesy of Koufukuji

 Just like the Nagata tomatoes that were denied an abundant supply of water and nutrients, people lose all kinds of external pleasures during Zazen. 

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 Conceptual state of mind during Zazen

Through the Zazen training, you learn how to keep your optimal level of arousal for every part of your body and mind WITHOUT relying on any external intervention.

This state can also be called mindfulness.

Do you see that mind-FULL-ness is actually achieved by Zero?  Here, mindfulness emerges exactly because there is zero external intervention.  It’s an accomplishment of purely your own.

Buddhist practitioners attempt to achieve optimal arousal level literally with zero external stimulus. And the ultimate state is Nirvana.


mindful satisfaction


Chapter 1-9

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And, by the way, this is not a new experiment at all. People in the Middle Ages devoted themselves to this issue, sincerely and diligently.  Zero is actually the very old black.

Today we can trace the results of their sophisticated experiments in the form of refined art, philosophy and religion.

Old manuscript

Augustus Hoernle, 1887, The usual form of the numeral figures used in the w:Bakhshali manuscript,  “On The Bakhshali manuscript”, page 9, http://www.archive.org/details/onbakshalimanusc00hoeruoft Public domain

While mathematical zero emerged as an essential element to advance science in the modern world, “sunya” continued to inspire various forms of art and philosophy in many Asian countries.  Buddhists especially devoted themselves to the issue of “emptiness” and “void.” This concept is expressed by   in Chinese character, which means “sky”, “emptiness” and “void.”

Buddhism is a religion of  “Zero (). ” 

Buddhism’s core belief is to achieve Nirvana (the imperturbable stillness of the mind after the fires of desire, aversion, and delusion have been finally extinguished) to free ourselves from all kinds of sufferings.  Sufferings are the product of desire and lust.  If you stop “wanting,” then you no longer have to suffer.  Once you reach Nirvana you almost merge with the vast universe;  you acquire the eternal truth.

One school of Buddhism, Zen, has a distinct characteristic: it denies text as a means to acquire the eternal truth.  Religious text is inherently prone to multiple interpretations. You could lose the critical truth when you are mired into disputes to decide which interpretation is correct. 

Zen believes that the state of Nirvana can only be achieved through physical, mental and cognitive training (most notably by meditation).  All the religious truth has to be inside yourself, not external to your body, like text.

Zen middle ages



Chapter 2: Abundance by subtraction

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We start our journey for Zero from the subtraction experiment.

Focus on your VISION. 

You see a basket of beautiful, colorful and abundant flowers.  Looking at them gives you pleasure. 


Now subtract: 

number of flowers,

number of colors,

even number of species.

Subtraction to vision 2

Zero Narrative

    Zero was discovered more than two thousand years ago.  Since then humans have been working seriously and sincerely to understand what Zero truly embraces. If it makes sense to “biomimic” Earth, because it is the longest surviving lab to test resilience, then Zero is the long-standing lab to test humans’ resilience. In addition to biomimic, we now human-minic.  “Zero narrative” provides you a perspective about what kind of ship we are on when we talk about Zero. 

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