Is there any information in the texts that tell you the difference between the spiritual mind and the physical mind. I know there are ways to transcend, but that's not what I'm looking for. What I'm asking is complicated. At what is a thought or action created by the physical mind/brain, and when is a thought or action created by the spiritual mind, or super-consciousness, or whatever. Or, are all thoughts/action created by the mind?

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    What do you mean by "spiritual mind, or super-consciousness, or whatever?" Is it something like Jung's collective unconscious? Maybe god, or gods or something else? Can you explain it better?
    – eric
    Feb 12, 2015 at 20:26

4 Answers 4


There are other sources that support the notion that there is only one mind or consciousness in all that is. Here is one such source


In contrast with many Indian religious traditions, Buddhism does not regard the body and the mind or spirit as being two entirely separate entities- there is no sense in Buddhism that the body is a "vessel" that is guided or inhabited by the mind or spirit.[1] Rather, the body and mind combine and interact in a complex way to constitute an individual. Buddhist attitudes towards the body itself are complex, combining the distaste for sensual pleasure that characterizes the general Buddhist view towards desire with a recognition of both the individuals dependence on the body, and the utility of the body as an aide in the development of insight.

Roshi Suzuki has given lectures to American students teaching what is beginner's mind. It might be of interest. www.arvindguptatoys.com/arvindgupta/zenmind.pdf

When thoughts stop, there is nothing but sweet nothingness.


There's no physical mind. Brain is Rupa(matter). There are only 2 aspects to the universe.

  • Nama - mental aspect
  • Rupa - physical aspect

These 2 are further subdivided into five groups called the Panchaskanda(five aggregates)

Usually what we call as thoughts belong to the Sankhara group. Thoughts are caused by both physical and mental causes.


I practice with the Triratna Buddhist community and we have a notion of the reactive mind and the creative mind. The reactive mind is small and governed by habitual responses. The creative mind is big and can respond to situations in a more positive and open way. With practice we can access the creative mind however even then the reactive mind will be there but as a part of this greater whole. There is a lecture about this or some lecture notes if you prefer.

From the lecture notes - the reactive mind is..

[..] also a repetitive mind. The reactive mind tends to do the same thing over and over and over again. That’s another reason why it’s like a machine. It gets the same stimuli - the same old newspaper open, the same weather or whatever it may be

while the creative mind is

[...] active on its own account. The motive power, the force, the drive, the inspiration, as it were, of the creative mind, comes from the depths within the mind itself. Not just from external stimuli.

I personally find this way of thinking moderately useful however it can lead one down the path pf a very goal orientated and grasping practice if not taken in the right spirit. Also it's interesting to note that this concept was nicked from the Scientologists who, i think it's fair to say, have a mixed reputation as a spiritual community.


There is no such thing as a physical mind. The mind has no form, color, size, smell, etc. The brain is the organ that controls the body. A thought is always a mental process originated in the mind. Once a thougth arises it can create an emotion and from that comes the "motion" or action. The mind control the brain and the brain controls the body.

  • This is based on what?
    – Xarcell
    Feb 8, 2015 at 19:22

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