Big Mind Meditation

Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Big Mind Meditation Mean?

Big mind meditation can refer to meditating on the Zen Buddhist concept of the big mind or to the trademarked process developed by American Genpo Roshi that is based on the Zen concept.

In Buddhist traditions, the small mind is the place of ego and the individual Self, whereas the big mind is the wisdom mind, higher Self or “Buddha nature.” In the big mind, we let go of ego and the desire to control. Big mind meditation seeks to tap into this big mind where there is awareness but individual thoughts and feelings do not disturb the consciousness. The big mind is an awareness of reality that is eternal and vast but still within.


Yogapedia Explains Big Mind Meditation

Shunryu Suzuki, a 20th century teacher who is often credited with bringing this Buddhist concept to the West, used “big mind” to mean being able to reflect on all aspects of something without judgment or preconception.

Genpo Roshi is a controversial figure both for his concept of the Big Mind Process. Even so, some still find value in his enlightenment process, which merges Zen with Western psychological techniques, specifically voice dialogue. Big Mind Meditation, as he designed it, involves “talking” with your controller, or ego, to gain its cooperation rather than eliminate it. Then you ask the ego to step aside so you can converse with other aspects of the mind, such as the skeptical mind, the seeking mind, the non-seeking mind, and finally, the big mind and other higher concepts such as the “big heart.” The ultimate result is Self-realization or enlightenment.

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