My formal teaching has been in Japanese Zen Buddhism so most of the terms of 
which I am familiar are Japanese.

These are my understanding of some of the terms we've been using:

Kensho:  A brief and temporary glimpse of Buddha Nature.

Satori:  Essentially the same as kensho but a much more long-lasting and 
persistent awareness of Buddha Nature.

Shikantaza: 'Clear Mind', pure awareness.  I call this state 'Just THIS!'.  
Clear Mind with Awareness = Buddha Mind/Buddha Nature.  Wikipedia defines 
shikantaza as: .. (只管打坐?) ... a Japanese term for zazen introduced by Rujing 
and associated most with the Soto school of Zen Buddhism, but which also is 
"the base of all Zen disciplines."  According to Dōgen Zenji, shikantaza i.e. 
resting in a state of brightly alert attention that is free of thoughts, 
directed to no object, and attached to no particular content—is the highest or 
purest form of zazen, zazen as it was practiced by all the buddhas of the past. 

Samadhi:  I am familiar with this term only from reading.  It always seemed to 
me to be the same as shikantaza.  Wikipedia defines samadhi as:  "...a 
non-dualistic state of consciousness in which the consciousness of the 
experiencing subject becomes one with the experienced object, and in which the 
mind becomes still, one-pointed or concentrated though the person remains 
conscious. In Buddhism, it can also refer to an abiding in which mind becomes 
very still but does not merge with the object of attention, and is thus able to 
observe and gain insight into the changing flow of experience."

The Thai's use the term 'samadhi' to refer to Theravada Buddhist meditation.  
They have a different word 'glai-glia' to refer to other types of mediation.

>From my experience Clear Mind/shikantaza (samadhi?) and kensho/satori are 
>virtually the same.  The only difference is that kensho/satori denotes the 
>point that you become AWARE of Clear Mind (samadhi?).  So if you have to put 
>them in some kind of time sequence, first there is Clear Mind without 
>awareness, then Kensho/Satori which is the realization/awareness of Clear 
>Mind, and then Clear Mind continues with awareness.

Koans, in my experience, are used as a tool to stop the rational, 
discriminating mind's activities.  It is only in this state than kensho/satori 
can occur.  There are other ways to stop the discriminating mind such as just 
sitting (zazen).  Eventually you will reach the state of shikantaza (samadhi?) 
in which a pure awareness can arise.  This I call Buddha Mind/Buddha Nature. 

All of the above occurs IN THE ABSENCE of thinking/rationality/cognition.  Part 
of zen practice AFTER kensho is to re-integrate thinking/rationality/cognition 
WITHOUT forming attachments to the concepts generated by thinking.

Having said all this I have to add the following caveat which is a paraphrase 
of Genjo's caveat on the 5 subdivisions of koans: 'any number of subdivisions 
and terms describing zen practice and awareness states could be devised, and 
all are ultimately meaningless.  Zen is everyday life.  Zen is nothing special. 
 Zen is "Only Don't Know!".  Zen is Just THIS!'

This is my experience.


From: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com [mailto:zen_fo...@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of 
Sent: Monday, November 22, 2010 6:50 PM
To: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [Zen] Re: FW: Quote from St. Thomas Aquinas

Dr James Austin in his book 'Zen-Brain Reflection', labels the states that 
occur after the makyo states but prior to kensho-satori states as absorption or 
Samadhi states, and asserts that these are not kensho-satori states.
These Samadhi states as decribed by Dr Austin appear to be none other than the 
states labeled in Theravada buddhism  as Jhana states.
See article below on Jhana states.
Definitions of jhana in theravada on the Web: 
• Jhāna (Pāli: झन; Sanskrit: ध्यान Dhyāna) is a meditative 
state of profound stillness and concentration. It is sometimes taught as an 
abiding in which the mind becomes fully immersed and absorbed in the chosen 
object of attention,characterized by non-dual consciousness. ...
Excerpt from: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jhana_in_Theravada 
"Dhyāna in the early sutras
In the early texts, it is taught as a state of collected, full-body awareness 
in which mind becomes very powerful and still but not frozen, and is thus able 
to observe and gain insight into the changing flow of experience.[1][2] Later 
Theravada literature, in particular the Visuddhimagga, describes it as an 
abiding in which the mind becomes fully immersed and absorbed in the chosen 
object of attention,[3] characterized by non-dual consciousness.[4]
The Buddha himself entered jhāna, as described in the early texts, during his 
own quest for enlightenment, and is constantly seen in the suttas encouraging 
his disciples to develop jhāna as a way of achieving awakening and 
One key innovative teaching of the Buddha was that meditative absorption must 
be combined with liberating cognition.[8]
Just before his passing away, The Buddha entered the jhānas in direct and 
reverse order, and the passing away itself took place after rising from the 
fourth jhāna.[9]
The Buddha's most well-known instructions on attaining jhana are via 
mindfulness of breathing, found in the Ānāpānasati Sutta and elsewhere."
For definitions of Samadhi, see: 
 --- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, <billsm...@...> wrote:
> Siska,
> In your post below what you refer to as the “…un-enlightened mind…” 
> is what I usually call the ‘discriminating mind’ or ‘rational mind’ 
> or ‘dualistic mind’. And yes, koans cannot be resolved by using this 
> mind. They can only be resolved/responded to from Buddha Mind which is what 
> remains after the discriminating mind drops away.
> Conventionally you should say that it takes a really accomplished teacher and 
> a good student to properly use this technique; but a neither a teacher nor 
> koan study is absolutely necessary to realize Buddha Nature or experience 
> Samadhi (which are pretty much the same thing). All you really need to do is 
> sit (zazen) and quiet your mind (cease the workings of your discriminating 
> mind). A good teacher and koan study can certainly help do this, but as I 
> said are not absolutely necessary.
> …Bill!

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