Satori (Chinese, wu) is a term used principally in the Chan school to designate momentary episodes of transforming disclosure or insight that prompt further progress on the path. A practitioner may experience multiple satori, which may be of greater or lesser intensity. One's first satori, sometimes defined as "seeing one's [buddha] nature" (Chinese, jianxing; Japanese, kenshō), is typically regarded as especially important. Popular conceptions of Zen tend to portray satori as a sudden breakthrough in which intuition solves an otherwise intractable problem or dilemma. In Japanese Buddhist contexts, satori and its verb form satoru (to discern, to comprehend) frequently translate the Chinese terms jue (to become aware), wu (to comprehend), and zheng (to authenticate). Although satori is commonly translated as "awakening" or "enlightenment," it is to be distinguished from the related term bodhi (awakening).
See also:Zen, Popular Conceptions of
Robert M. Gimello