“Even though Satori is a key concept in Zen, it should be brought to the attention of the reader that Zen and it’s traditions does NOT have exclusive rights to the Enlightenment experience. That which is called Satori in Zen is a term that is wrapped around a phenomenon that “IS” and that “IS” is not “owned” by any group, religion, or sect.”
~ taken from: http://sped2work.tripod.com/satori.html
1. If this is true, how can one reach Satori without formal Buddhist practice? and how do you know if you have reached Satori, is it a perpetual state or only brief moments in time?
2. Do you know of any examples of people who have reached Satori outside of a Buddhist culture, maybe outside of the “East”?
English is not my 1st. language.
Maybe Jakob BÃ¶hme experienced Satori?
Enlightenment (or satori, a Japanese term for that experience) is simply a complete turning away from self-absorption.
Enlightenment means that our life fully expresses compassion, wisdom, generosity, creativity, kindness, joy, curiosity and other qualities much needed in this suffering world.
All of us spend nearly 100% of our lives in self-centered thinking and activity. In Buddhism, this is called “I, my, me” mind. This type of mind produces profound suffering for ourselves and others.
Buddhist practice is designed to transform self-absorption into concern for the well-being of others.
People recognize their attainment, and that of others, by the behavior of the person. If we’re honest with ourselves, we see how our behavior constantly centers around our own needs. And we know what it’s like to be in the presence of someone who wants nothing for themselves, who only works for our own happiness. We sometimes cal these people “holy.”
Many traditions also have the same objective. In certain Christian traditions, there is an emphasis on attaining “Christ-consciousness.” In the Sufi tradition, practitioners seek to embrace the divine in this actual life.
People in all these traditions experience the transformation that Buddhists call enlightenment. Christ experienced this, for one. As a young man, he went into the desert for 40 days and struggled with the devil. Only after this experience, did he begin to teach.
Even those who have no spiritual roots can have this experience. Huineng was an illiterate woodcutter in 7th century China. He was walking along a road and heard a Buddhist monk chanting the Diamond Sutra and instantly attained enlightenment. Later, after he went to a Buddhist temple, he became a famous Zen master.
May this answer benefit you!
All paths, correctly followed lead to the top of the mountain as long as they do no harm to others nor to ones self and lead one to experience that which is for what it is rather than for a subjective view of the same.
Those who have reached a level of enlightenment might be understood as the “saints” of a particular system and there are Christian saints, Jewish mystics, yogis and HIndu holy men and women, the great thinkers of Islam, the many Buddhas and Bodhisattva’s, shinto spiritual masters and the like.
Satori is a moment of enlightenment and, as with all that exist, it has no permanence that leaves an impression upon ones true being.
Your English is fine.
May it be well with you.