What is a Satori?
The word Satori originated in Japan and describes that moment of illumination that is a direct experience of profound truth that accompanied certain Zen practices. The Satori Retreat has evolved from techniques of the East combined with Western methods to support each person to have the maximum opportunity to have a Satori experience. Once a person experiences Satori it can often mean that their life fundamentally changes. The experience of Satori can vary from person to person but the essence of the state is similar – a profound feeling of peace, a knowing of truth without doubt. For some people the experience may only be a momentary glimpse, for others it may be an extended period. A common aspect, however, is that the knowledge of the experience is lasting and life changing. Often there is the experience of empowerment, an inner foundation creating a more relaxed outlook on life, choices, and future potential.
What exactly is the structure of the Satori Retreat and what benefit can I gain?
'Satori' as we are discussing it here refers to a retreat of six days duration that has been carefully designed to support an individual to open into experiencing truth. Each participant is given a Zen Koan to answer. A Zen Koan is a question that is designed not to have an intellectual answer, yet opens the person to directly experience the answer beyond all words, thoughts and dualities. The first Zen Koan is the powerful question "Who am I?".
While the focus of attaining Satori is to have a peak experience – a “Satori” – the journey involved frequently provides a microcosmic look at your basic attitudes towards life. It lets you see your behaviours, the way you think, what you think, how your mind works – many of the aspects to which you may have been previously blind. This gift of seeing yourself empowers your future choices and the potential that can unfold in your life. Within the Satori Retreat you can directly experience the simplicity of your own humanness and the humanity of other people. The structure offers the space to be real, unprotected, and honest – with yourself and with others. We can quite honestly and truthfully say that you will find something there as you uncover yourself. And if there are tears, laughter, fears and emotions, these are allowed space in the safe environment.
A Satori allows you to experience your whole self, inclusive of your humanness, your spirit – you. For many, the experienced depth of acceptance is profoundly freeing. With the acceptance comes the ability to watch the process of the mind without becoming involved, without believing it. This gives back to you the sense of power and the realisation that YOU can – and do – have conscious choice in each situation, that you are not a victim of circumstance but the creator of your life. The more you see the natural flow of life, the clearer it is to see your interaction in the relationships in your life from a more neutral perspective. This supports you to participate more deeply in life with less reaction, generating understanding in your day-to-day interrelationships. Experiencing the freedom of Satori also gives you the possibility to experience a life without tension, or at the very least, to realise that when you are in a state of tension you can relieve this tension by being gentle and caring with yourself.
It matters not if you have any knowledge of Zen, as the entire structure of the Satori Retreat is simple and fully explained. The facilitator will offer personal guidance to deepen your journey. A Satori does not depend on any belief, thought, feeling or context. The result is that whatever it is that you experience within these days, and is entirely and absolutely yours.
The next Satori will be Saturday 4.30pm 2nd and completes Friday noon 8th December 2023 At 'Sangsurya Retreat Centre' in Byron Bay, Australia