No-Mind vs. Metacognition

The Animals – House Of The Rising Sun.

Before reading onward, I strongly recommend visiting the Metacognition Hub, and reading the previous posts in sequential order. As with all activities, meditation can be dangerous; reading the posts in order may reduce that danger. You’ve been warned.

“No-Mind” is a universal concept within the meditation and “enlightenment” culture. It’s purported as a mental state that allows the practitioner to fluidly, and peaceably, handle any situation in life. It’s often presented as the end-goal of meditation, the final stage of “enlightenment” – barring the more absurd claims of the superstitious.

No-mind is acquired through a precise form of meditation: while meditating, we allow our thoughts to flow naturally, abstaining from consciously influencing them. As the thoughts flow, we are to merely observe them, without judging their value, without encouraging or repressing them.

Repeatedly practicing this form, over a very long period of time, causes the mind to naturally “quiet.” Standard meditation durations – hour a day, we’ll say. Once the mind is quiet, and thus bereft of unproductive and random thoughts, “enlightenment” is purported to naturally begin growing.

The method produces results, but those results aren’t necessarily desirable. The reason is that, nearly the entire process, is a subconscious one. The practitioner is a casual observer of their own mind, focusing entirely on remaining relaxed and passive, waiting for their mind to self-organize.

Throughout our entire lives, the mind is constantly, subconsciously, self-organizing; no-mind meditation encourages that process to extreme degrees. But subconscious thought-processes are, for most people, out of their control. Lacking conscious control of our minds and actions, is the opposite of metacognition’s purpose.

Again, metacognition is conscious self-control. Willfully submitting to instinct is not control. Therefore, no-mind is not the goal of metacognition. However. The no-mind meditation technique is useful for metacognition beginners, whom must learn to observe and settle their thoughts, before moving onto conscious control.

It’s important to remember that no-mind can eventually lead to metacognition’s conscious control, though it mostly results from coincidence. But, if we begin with the aim of passivity and submission, we limit our potential, and the speed at which we grow. Also recall that no-mind’s laissez faire, slow and relaxed approach, is far safer than conscious control.

So, you have more options for your practice. Unless I find something else to discuss, next on the list is describing the actual practice of metacognition; it’ll probably be awhile before I get to that though: its very difficult to explain.


Metacognition Hub



~ by Louis Naughtic on September 9, 2016.

3 Responses to “No-Mind vs. Metacognition”

  1. No mind, is actually an extremely beautiful state of mind – (oxymoron) – Once you’ve spilled out the emotions, you have suppressed your entire life, due to following false ideas …
    In the end, the Buddha’s demon Mara, was himself …
    The thing you fear, is yourself …

  2. Oh, I know that no-mind is very pleasant, and that’s why I dislike it. Its an easy, relatively unproductive result of low-grade metacog. More could, and should, be pursued.

  3. Just because you silence your frontal cortex, doesn’t mean your subconsciousness stops working. Quite the contrary in fact … 🙂

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