..this whole solid world arises but in the act of doing so it is completely substanceless… real nothing, without even a trace of a witness to it: all gone.
What actually happens in a moment of kensho? Experientially there are three phases – first the lightning strikes, in the suddenness known as “kachi ichige” in Japanese. The moment of surprise. Then there may be an impression formed of what was revealed: that all is one body; that all is empty spaciousness going on forever; that there is no “I” at all; that forms, appearances, things are utterly without substance even as they arise…
…in other words this whole solid world arises but in the act of doing so it is completely substanceless; or that there is nothing, true nothing, no appearances whatsoever, with or without substance, no boundless space, no viewer – real nothing, without even a trace of a witness to it: all gone.
No body, no ear, no eye, no tongue, no nose, and no mind – just as the Heart Sutra says. Then there follows a third phase, of great peace, of quiet, of transfigured experience, silence, joy.
In “true kensho” or “great enlightenment” or “deep awakening,” the personality is penetrated and shattered to its root. As a result, it is endless. Or another way of putting it: this kind of experience can’t be recovered from.
If we enter practice with the dualism of self and other, after “kensho” we tend to carry another dualism, of “enlightened and deluded.” After this deeper event, the second dualism vanishes too.