Our minds are deeply conditioned to continually seek worldly pleasure, want to get better and competitive. The mind is trained to be an achiever and the ordinary need not be achieved; it is already the case. The extraordinary has to be achieved, the extraordinary becomes the goal.
We are driven by our desires. Those desires arise from our need for wanting more; wanting more shows our dissatisfaction in things that we already have.
Dissatisfaction leads towards suffering and that is what our whole world is based upon desire and suffering.
According to Zen Buddhism, to break free from these worldly strings and attain the highest level of consciousness one must reach enlightenment, a state where there is no desire, no anxiety, no dissatisfaction, no suffering; a state where your past becomes irrelevant and so does your future. ‘I’, ‘Me’, ‘Myself’, all becomes obsolete as you become one with the cosmos in the wholeness.
Enlightenment is an indescribable experience that takes place within you with a sensation of complete fulfillment & awareness.
In Zen tradition, there are two distinct ways to experience enlightenment: Satori and Samadhi.
So What is Satori
Satori is a glimpse of the enlightenment that never lasts too long. You get into the state of a peak experience for a very short frame of time. Seeker suddenly experiences something that is beyond ordinary, with a feeling of incredible oneness with everything around him.
In that very moment, all of his mind made delusions, all of his past becomes meaningless and he sees no future.
Only thing that matters in that moment is here and now. The experiencer disconnects himself from the surrounding completely.
During this moment of satori is like experiencing enlightenment, the seeker experience the oneness and the essence of cosmic intelligence, the reason of his existence and the reality itself.
Satori can happen to anyone, while listening to music or walking in the garden or climbing a mountain.
Satori is nothing more than a sneak peek into real world, so when experienced for the first time the experiencer doesn’t understands it or the cause of its happening but the mere flash of reality leaves them longing for more, wanting more, except it never happens knowingly.
Many who have experience Satori explains it like having some kind of drugs.
Stages of Satori :
Anyone who experience satori for the first time do realize happening of something different, something that is beyond the comprehension of our mind, and something that is truly beautiful and ecstatic but they don’t understand the meaning of it nor can they explain it.
Since it is just a glimpse at first, the whole experience makes little to no sense to them. But having tasted the hint of true reality people tends to seek more of it.
The first glimpse can happen to anybody. It is not just restricted to religious or spiritual people. It can happen to an artist, a traveler, a monk or even a drug addict; just about anyone can experience it.
The first satori glimpse comes naturally and unknowingly. It comes when you are not expecting or anticipating its happening. And once it happens, after a flash it’s gone, it can last for a hour or few days, but this is only a stage, seeing the peak from far.
After the first glimpse the experiencer is left longing for the experience, for it to happen again. But the second stage is not accidental. Though it comes when you are least expecting it to happen but still, to reach the peak of satori you have to go through different methods and techniques. Second stage is about reaching the peak.
The third stage of awakening is the final stage, Samadhi. Hence, there is no seeing or climbing the peak. Here, you become the peak itself, the ultimate stage, point of eternal consciousness, point of no return.
- Ways to reach Satori:
First stage of satori happens just by chance once you have experienced it, you demand more. But simply seeking it won’t make it happen again. For second stage to happen it requires certain practices.
Sometimes shock, sudden danger or intense pain could trigger satori. There are many instances in the history of Zen about students achieving satori when the master cuts off the index finger or throws them out from a second storey window.
These experiences causes powerful shock which awakens the “Bindu”, a higher centre of the brain which when activated is known to give that brief awakening.
Furthermore through rigorous meditation and following traditional practices of Zen Buddhism higher state of satori is attainable.
Since satori can’t be maintained, only by practicing more one can create better chances of achieving satori and deepening the experience.
Each time you take a glimpse you become one step closer to the ultimate destination, Samadhi.
And with each time you draw back yourself little further away from the materialistic world. At the end, when your mind becomes free from all the worldly desire, ego, suffering, bonds, it transcends and the heart opens.
Then there is the true enlightenment. Not just a glimpse, but Samadhi.