"If you look for the truth outside yourself, it gets farther and farther away. Today, walking alone, I meet it everywhere I step. It is the same as me, yet I am not it. It appears as mountains and rivers, the great wide earth, the mottled clouds and misty pores."
In Zen, the expression 無存 (Mūzon) unfolds as an invitation into the depths of self and existence. Though its literal translation is “non-existence,” in practice, Mūzon invites us beyond superficial definitions. It is a call to fully embrace our interconnectedness, to realize ourselves as more than separate beings moving through an external world.
Mūzon invites us to glimpse beyond the illusion of a small, isolated self—that limited identity comprised of our shifting and indecisive thoughts, inconsistent emotions, and impermanent bodies. When we peer sincerely within, our sense of “I” starts to dissolve into the web of life around us. Like a drop of dye merging into a glass of water, the boundaries that divide us begin to blur.
This perspective mirrors insights from quantum physics. Light exists as both particle and wave, form and formlessness. So too are we singular beings and universal flow in one fluid expression. Mūzon reminds us that we walk this world as embodied individuals, yes, but we also ripple through it—subtly influencing everything we meet through unseen currents. We are at once the restful ocean and the cresting wave.
When we glimpse through the lens of Mūzon, our perspective has permission to shift. Even those we label as enemies or friends hurting us are not truly separate from ourselves. Their behavior towards us is like the left hand unknowingly fighting the right hand. What appears to be a conflict between opposites reveals itself as the Self meeting itself when we zoom-out and expand our vision to interconnectedness. In this Way, perceived differences can dissolve.
Zazen, illuminated by Mūzon, encourages us to keep looking beyond the limits of thought, remaining open and curious about this wild, interdependent dance. As we settle into stillness, our presence comes into fuller view—dynamic, edgeless, one with all creation yet uniquely expressed simultaneously. We awaken to the freedom of fluid identity.
Mūzon is the unending invitation to meet life anew in each moment. May we respond by softening our grip on smallness and embracing the breadth of our being. May we remember the vastness we share... for when the notion of “self” falls away, only the Interconnected remains.
一We Are the Practice Itself