‘Our great masters of olden times have described the experience [of kensho] in various ways. One master said that kensho just like coming back to life again after having lost your hold on the edge of a precipice and fallen to your death. Another master has said that kensho is the moment when you die the Great Death. And another has spoken of it as the state in which Great Life clearly manifests itself.
Though there are many ways of describing this state of seeing into one’s own nature, all are merely something our old masters have said about it. The actual experience of true kensho can be attained only by yourself through your own self-awakening in your own body. There is no other way. In order to reach this state of seeing into our own nature, we Zen monks labor diligently and painstakingly day and night. A Zen monk without kensho is not worth a penny’ (The Zen Koan)
This book is fifty years old; I picked it up sometime at one of Zen Center’s book sales, and have looked at it once or twice. Ahead of my classes in August at City Center, I picked it up again, and read the bulk of it while I was at Wilbur. I appreciate that he refers to the body rather than the mind.