The conceptual framework for a man's search for meaning

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No Mind or Blank Mind?

August 30th, 2013 by dimpledbrain

One of my favourite movies must be The Last Samurai. ( I have probably watched it more than 10 times).

Click below for a short clip from the movie. (If you want a longer version just go to youtube and type The Last Samurai No Mind)

No Mind

Algren moves first, but his opponent counters, and strikes him easily. They wheel around and engage again, and again Algren is bested. Furious, he throws himself at his opponent, reverting to classic saber technique.

In a flurry of movement, his opponent manages to deflect the blows and also knock Algren to his knees. Yoritomo approaches and bows.

YORITOMO: Algren -San. Please forgive. Too many mind.


YORITOMO: (pointing as he explains) Mind sword, mind face, mind people watch, too many mind. (on Algren’s confused expression). No mind.

ALGREN: No mind?

YORITOMO Hai! No mind. You try.

Algren nods, uncertainly, and picks himself up. Again he faces the opponent, shaking off the tension and trying to stay calm.

This time the opponent charges first, and Algren manages to parry one blow, before he is again bested.

Yoritomo bows happily and begins yammering in Japanese, clearly taking credit for Algren’s progress.


Key takeaways:

(1) Tom Cruise trained with Dr. Richard McCall for the role above. The latter is probably the last white samurai living. ( It was this training I think, that made the movie more surreal.)

(2) One may ask is this a case of going blank? Consider this. In Japanese kendo, some oji-waza (counter attack techniques) require parrying through opponent’s attack, i.e. a vertical parry vs a vertical strike. Some masters can even slice through bullets!


(3) A better word for ‘no mind’ is probably focus.


Then the million dollar question is how do we achieve this?




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