Message from Henry: Kensho

There are three ways we could look at it, especially at how veridical it is.

  1. Kensho is an intense experience a human being can undergo which radically adjusts their way of experiencing themselves and their environment. In particular it undercuts their allegiance to their ordinary separate sense of self. It often has lasting positive effects on psychology and personality.
  2. Kensho is the above, but also offers veridical insights into the nature of consciousness. It reveals consciousness to be boundless, dimensionless and all-pervasive, and allows us to migrate our sense of identity to that consciousness.
  3. Kensho does all the above and also reveals the nature of all experience – of reality itself – to be empty, boundless and single. It’s not merely that consciousness is those things. The actual fabric of the world of things and phenomena also is. 

These are different claims. The first accepts that kensho can be a highly beneficial insight into self. The second adds that we discover the actual nature of consciousness to be vastly greater than something contained within the skull. And the third is both those and a discovery about the nature of all matter and phenomena.

The question is: do these three claims reflect differing doctrinal positions, or do they reflect different depths of kensho? In other words, are they differences in interpretation, or differences in actual experience… something to consider….

Message from Henry is from our June 28, 2021 Newsletter
Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

2 Responses to Message from Henry: Kensho

  1. Mark Legan July 3, 2021 at 2:00 pm #

    I have spent my entire adult life fascinated by the idea of samadhi, nirvana or enlightenment. They seem to name the same experience which holds out hope for deep psychological freedom. I have read many accounts of such experiences, most recently as kensho in Henry’s book “One Blade of Grass”. Is it fair to say these are names for similar experiences?I have been a meditator throughout my life with some long lapses during a now near 40 year career in medicine. I am still hoping for such a liberating experience but have mostly lost faith that this is something which I can reach. Reading Henry’s book has reignited my interest and hope. I am just not sure how to proceed.

  2. Eric Unzicker July 13, 2021 at 11:48 pm #

    Depth implies a hierarchical distinction between the three. Can it, or rather, is it important that it be so?

    Would a person having experiencing kensho be able to meaningfully communicate a distinction between these three to another person?

    Thanks for the message and for your work.

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