The way I see it there are two states of mind that I need to have for my karate training. I would guess that many others use something sort of the same mindsets.
At the start of learning something new or perfecting something I need to be mindful of what I a doing. I need to watch and listen to my teacher and absorb what is being said. I need to be able to practice what I was taught effectively paying close attention to the details of the task sat hand. Being mindful helps me to be careful in how I am training my muscle memory. Trying to change your muscle memory after even a short amount of time can be enough to drive some batty.
The mindful part of training can make or break you in someways. It is so important in making a persons basics a strong foundation to their karate training. You can practice for years and years, but all of that practice can be a waste of time if what you are doing is incorrect. Incorrect practice just reinforces sloppy bad techniques that not even you mother likes. If feel we must be mindful in our techniques and our practice.
Mushin, or ”without mind”. This the other half of the puzzle for to me. You need your Mushin to take over when you need it in a real life or death situation, while you are playing kata at a testing/grading or tournament or anywhere that you need to get specific job done and you need your training to take over. The last thing you want is to be looking like you are thinking all you are in front of judges or being thinking too much as someone tries to end your life for enough money to their next hit of crack.
Part of the way I see the mushin is that it is a state of mind where you need your training to take over from (hopefully) years of mindful training to save your life.
Hopefully I will write on this more later, since I feel like I haven’t even scratched the surface of what I could say about this.
IF anyone actually reads this and they disagree or or agree, let me know! I am no expert on this (or anything else for that matter), but I like to always learn and hear no ideas.