Glossary: Self

This is one of those words you think you understand, but really never give it much thought. Self can mean many different things depending on the context. When you refer to your ‘self’, you tend to mean something along the lines of the dictionary definition of the word:

a person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others, especially considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action.

The self is considered to be the source of your actions and thoughts, and to provide you with a specific personality or individuality. But none of that quite holds up to scrutiny. Just try to find your ‘self’ as an “object of introspection” and you’ll understand the problem.

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Glossary: Satori

Satori is the Japanese term used in Zen Buddhism to refer to awakening and the realisation of the true nature of the self, or Buddha nature. It’s also sometimes called Kensho, where ken means ‘seeing’ and sho means ‘nature’ or ‘essence.’

Kensho is generally understood to be your first experience of realisation and is often a tiny glimpse of Buddha nature. It doesn’t last and has no deep roots in the personality built through spiritual practice and meditation. Kensho may be enough to encourage you along your path, but it’s not the goal. Satori, on the other hand, is considered to be a deeper spiritual experience and will have longer lasting consequences.

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