What is Zanshin?

December 16, 1999

Zanshin is truth.

Your truth.

What you feel. The direction your essence is headed. The thoughts and ideas you have which shape your actions. Zanshin is everything that is you, and nothing that is not you.

It is easy to abdicate responsibility for our actions. This is not zanshin. Accept that your actions are yours and yours alone. No one else can make you do or say anything. If you believe that your actions, verbal and physical, are the direct result of others then you have false-personality.

False-personality is the story for publication. It contains some pieces of your truth. It also contains falsehoods. False-personality is all the half-truths we hold near and dear. We tell ourselves that we need false-personality in order to allow ourselves to be seen by others and, we use false-personality to cover up those parts of ourselves that we don't like. Each time you admit some truth about yourself, you reduce your false-personality and step closer to zanshin.

When you accept that your actions have consequences, and that you, and you alone are responsible for those consequences, you achieve zanshin. More importantly you free yourself from the tyranny of pleasing others. Please yourself, celebrate yourself, and love yourself. Let the world take care of itself.

Achieving zanshin is achieving a state of grace with your self. You have simplified your self-concept to the point were it contains only the truth, no matter how painful some of that truth maybe. You have carefully carved away all that is not-truth, all that is false-personality, and you have let go of the burdens that others would have you carry for them.

Carrying the load for others builds karma. Karma is a debt, one that can be very costly for your essence to repay. Striving for zanshin means letting go of the need to build karma, letting go of the need to assume responsibility for others. You are responsible for you, and they are responsible for themselves.

Zanshin is truth.

Your truth.

Your zanshin.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.