Kensho and Satori Experiences

On the Enlightenment Path I have experienced various glimpses of the Truth. At the age of 23 (I am now 34) I had the following glimpse:

“I am in my living room. It is 1:00 am. It is quiet. I am walking toward the front door. I hear the clock above the door ticking. I hear nothing but the ticking. I look at the clock, puzzled. Something is different. Reality has changed! What is it? It is too quiet. It is often quiet at night but not this quiet. Then I realize what is different. My busy chattering mind has stopped. I mean completely stopped. There is no internal voice. It seems like I am floating out of time. It is right now. It is intensely the present moment. Every experience that arises within me is richly alive. I touch the walls and floor. It is as if the textures I feel are emotions. Thick incredible depth exists both inside and outside of me. There is no separation between myself and my experience. I walk down to the lake. I stare out across the water. I am utterly amazed with existence. Hours pass. I finally return home and fall asleep.”

This kensho or satori experience was particularly powerful, perhaps because it lasted so long, approximately 5 hours. It was also the first time that my mind stopped without any direct effort on my part. It was at this time that I added ‘statue’ meditation to my practice. I would get up before the sunrise every day, stand on the shore and stare out across the lake. I would stand in one place without moving until after noon. (Hence the name ‘statue’ meditation.) (Apparently there are health concerns involved with this kind of practice, so be careful.)

Other satori experiences have followed since that time. (Wow that was 11 years ago!) I would like to share those other experiences with you in future posts.

I am also interested in your kensho or satori experiences or trans-experiences. Would anyone like to share such an experience on his or her blog? I would love to hear more on this topic from the community. (Let me know - leave a comment here directing me to your blog.)




  1. Your perceptions of our Universe are

    Thanks for supporting my writing.


  2. Hi Tallis,

    Kensho? Hmmm
    Satori? Hmmm

    For me, a bird singing is a bird singing.

    Sitting that seems to become effortless is sitting that seems to become effortless.

    Waking up to a misconception, or to a bad habit, is waking up.

    Why would the Japanese word "satori" be preferable to the good old English words "waking up"?

    All the best,


  3. Mike,

    I am going to read your blog before I respond. Hold on.

  4. Mike,

    I have read your blog(s).

    The English words 'waking up'
    are just fine. lol

  5. One thing that has struck me about Ashvaghosha is that he uses loads of metaphors from everyday experience, but he doesn't use jargon. When the word for awakening appears it doesn't stand out on its own in capital letters, but it appears in the kind of context in which we would talk in normal English about waking up to a fact,like suffering, or waking up in the morning.

    Wishing you well, Tallis, on the road of real awakening.

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  7. Mike,

    When I was 12 years old my uncle and I sat down one day in the garage to eat lunch together. He pulled up a couple of wooden crates for us to sit on. I said, “Great, they’re like chairs, but without backs.” To which he replied, “No, they’re a couple of wooden crates.”

    Thanks for the reminder.

  8. Tallis,

    I read your post and I appreciate it. I remember sharing some of my experiences with a few of my teachers and all of them told me to 'throw them in the garbage.' What they meant was that if we attach to our past experiences they become a hindrance to living our lives in this present moment.

    Sharing this with others is fine, and you have had a taste of what living in this moment is. So how do you use this moment to live in this moment? I am looking at the picture at the bottom of you blog while looking at your 2 year old. This seems to be the mind that knows the intimacy of the experience you discuss.

    But having an idea of englightenment is not being enlightened. I hope you and your family are blessed with a long and loving life.

  9. dochong, jdpsn,

    Thank you for your comment. You see well. One of my favourite books is The Compass of Zen by Seung Sahn. I remember carrying that book around with me everywhere. I now keep it in my library.

    I love reading your blog. Wishing you good health.


  10. Dear Tallis,

    Thanks for this interesting post. One of my Dharma friends had such kind of experience,that I think it also might be a kind of satoris.

    His experience was awareness of the void, for a very short moment.His extrapolation was that if this awareness was sustained to be prolonged, this might be a kind of Nighawda,the nirvana jana (supereme stance of mind).

    Perhaps, his experience might be just still an illusion; or merely his sleepiness and a sudden wake. Go forth and probably by understanding our more and more errors in awareness, we might get closer to truth.


  11. Not to be provocative, but "waking up" has no cultural context in western culture. Therefore foreign words seem, at some point, unavoidable, but just for the sake of convenience. Although I agree "waking up" is just fine, maybe even preferable, for those who know.

    My sense is that there's the Zen approach to squashing the "stink" of enlightenment here (ego). Just remember that this is also a part of Japanese culture where "The nail that sticks out gets hammered!". Which is not just about awakening. My sense is that a more subtle balance of dealing with ego issues is needed now that east and west have initially merged. Ego never dies... we just aren't it. It has a function of social interface, let it be, and let it be vibrant and strong.

  12. Hi Tallis,

    I have no blog, so cant re-direct you, but thought i'd just share a recent experience with you and everyone.

    So, for the past few months i've been on this soul searching, spiritual journey, and it's pretty much taken me everywhere! I became a Christian, i've followed some buddist meditation, i've sang and chanted to Krishna, all in aid of finding 'the truth'. What i quickly realised was, every peaceful, love-filled experience i had, all related to ME! NOT Jesus! NOT Buddha! NOT Krishna! IT WAS ME! This is when i knew that something within us all is where the divine truth exists. Anyway, the last few weeks i've been meditating on my own, no singing, no chanting, no mantra's,no Jesus or Buddha or any religious, god-like figure, just stillness and silence, from within. So, about two weeks ago, i remember waking in the night, and what followed was what i can now call....a satori! (having scrolled the internet for hours to find a name for my experience). Anyway, i cant even begin to find words that even come close to explaining what happened, but i'll try. All i KNOW for sure is that, it WAS THE TRUTH OF OUR EXISTENCE. The first thing i did was laugh! I instantly remembered feeling that this could never be explained, i also remember feeling like it would be absolutely impossible not to love everyone and everything, like there was no opposite, it just didn't even exist! The most amazing part of the experience was 'the feeling of a thought being present, but not being attached to it in a any shape or form', like it was just floating past my head, but just there, not even apart of me! The thought (in fact, it was a song, which is probably completely irrelevant, but just incase anyone wants to know, it was the last few lines of 'leader of the pack' haha hilarious, i know! But true! Then, it was like the thought came, then went..then complete and utter COMPLETE SILENCE! I didnt even feel as though i had a body, it was like this energy sort of feeling. It lasted maybe two hours i think, but time was completely of no importance so maybe it was longer, or shorter, i really couldnt say for sure. The last thing i remember was, i'd felt this before, as a child, but the memory had disappeared until that very moment! All i know, like i've said, is that, it was the absolute truth of the universe, or god, or whatever you wanna call it. The only problem now is, i'm trying to hard to get back there, now i've had a glimpse of enlightenment, i want it back!
    Hope this makes sense, its kinda difficult to explain!
    Look forward to reading your future posts, Tallis :)

    Emma (From UK, living in Sydney)

  13. Emma from UK living in Sydney... Now you know "it" the way back is through the eyes... Focus on something small - a single spot with intensive concentration through the eyes but with no thought "just be"...

    as you focus hard on the single point (for at least 30 seconds) acknowledge to yourself that your existence is the concentrated awareness in the "now" - that your are only what you see and feel 'now'....

    After you've focussed your attention not only on the small thing but on the now itself you can begin to expand your awareness to yourself and what exists around you in the now... Just be careful not to start 'thinking' again and just 'be' throughout this process...

    Goodluck and if u want more feedback email me at


  14. i had a satori experience packing shelves at 17.Why I'm talking about it i don't know?But it came across as a infinite dimension of all that is and truly ever can be.I can honestly say though it scared the hell out of me in it was so abrupt and out of the blue.My ego or whatever was probably wounded as to the reason it being so scary.It was like I remembered something.I cant even explain coherently and its to hard to describe but it was like the end of dualism.But it was a scary moment and I feel a constant invite but not ready to come back??????My experience lasted what seemed a split second.Anyway its not really worth mentioning and I'm probably gonna get a lot of criticism.Just wanted to get it out there to see if anyone was as shocked and scared as I was?

  15. Thank you everyone for your comments. Very interesting experiences!