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Actually, I'm pretty sure the term you are referring to is Japanese for close your eyes. Bihal 12:35, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

Of course this is more than just "closing the eyes"... But I think you already know that... Anyway, this is quite an interesting description of how to practise mokuso: Osu! MarioR 22:25, 2 November 2005 (UTC)
My apologies. I did know that, but I always assumed that simply meant "Close your eyes", a command given at the start of meditation. It seems it does actually mean meditation. Bihal 01:14, 3 November 2005 (UTC)
Actually, it really means "close eyes". And one does not practice "close eyes". It practices meditation which starts with closing the eyes. Also, at the end, commanding "mokuso yame" is wrong. In Japanese that means "stop/cease closing your eyes". An appropriate command is "kai moku" - i.e. "open eyes". HTH.

Mokuso (黙想) does NOT mean "close your eyes". It is composed of two characters (黙) and (想). The first is (黙), which means to be still or quiet. The second is (想), which means to contemplate. So, it means “to be quiet and contemplate”. ron Southwick 17:29, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

The description above is correct. The Chinese character (黙) does in fact mean silence, or stillness and (想) actually means conception, or thought(they are nouns, not verbs. The nuance of the two together is simply to still the mind. This, of course is an important thing to do when meditating, but it is not meditation itself. Meditation (in a Buddhist sense of the word) is something that one practices over a great span of time. Mokuso is something one does quickly to prepare oneself for an activity; i.e., martial arts training, a nasty exam, good sex, and yes, meditation. With practice one can accomplish "mokuso" instantaneously, whereas a Zen master will still "meditate" for hours at a time.

As for pronunciation, Japanese is a monotone language with no short vowel sounds. MO-KU-SOU is pronounced as it is written. (MO) is pronounced long as in "more", or "moped" and (KU) is pronounced as in "coo-coo", or "cooper". In some cases the "U" of the second syllable can de de-emphasized a bit, to the point that it is barely heard, but it is still there. For the non Japanese speaker, it is best pronounced monotone (MO-KU-SOU), with equal stress on each syllable. The final syllable (SOU), could be thought of as a slightly drawn out version the English word "so", or maybe "soo", if that makes more sense. The added "U" in the romanized version facilitates a lengthening of the syllable, but the difference between the shorter "so" (そ) and the lengthened "SOU" (そう) is so slight that it shouldn't be of concern to the average non Japanese-speaking westerner. [User: Zanshin59]19:29, RMT 13 July, 2006


Oh, also I think it might be more properly written Mokusou instead, but you might have to try and get someone from the Japanese wiki to get a proper opinion on that. Bihal 01:15, 3 November 2005 (UTC)


Is the hand(s) positioning during Mokuso (I'm thinking of Kendo) considered a mudra? Siyavash 16:48, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Very interesting to read the discussion posts here. Anyway, I don't know the answer to your question, but just wanted to comment that I've heard that men are supposed to keep their left hand inside their right, whereas women are supposed to, oppositely, keep their right hand inside their left. Also, the position we are taught to sit in is seiza, which is a topic I don't see mentioned in the article so far. -- (talk) 07:36, 25 January 2012 (UTC)