Definition – What does Big Mind mean?
Big mind is a term used in Zen Buddhism to describe the higher Self or “Buddha nature.” It is the mind of wisdom in which the yogi lets go of ego and control. The big mind has an awareness of individual thoughts and feelings but they do not alter the consciousness. It also is aware that reality is eternal but true reality lies within the big mind.
In contrast, the small mind is the individual self, where the ego resides. Filled with delusion and restless everyday thoughts – the small mind is limited, seeking gratification from the world outside itself.
On explains Big Mind
The Buddhist teacher Shunryu Suzuki is credited with bringing the big mind concept to the West in the 20th century. He described big mind as being able to reflect on all facets of something without preconception or judgment. By calming the small mind through zazen, or Zen meditation, the yogi allows the big mind to take over. Unlike the small mind, the big mind does not relate to the outside world but looks within itself.
Enlightenment is possible simply by acknowledging and resting in the big mind, also called the natural mind or the original mind. It is the Buddha within.
Big mind has become better known in the West through the trademarked Big Mind meditation process developed by American Genpo Roshi. In this form of meditation, the yogi “talks” with his ego to earn its cooperation rather than destroy it.