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Enlightenment

The word used to translate the Sanskrit term bodhi (lit., “awakened”) and the Japanese satori or kenshō. A person awakens to a nowness of emptiness, which he or she is—even as the entire universe is emptiness—and which alone en­ables him or her to comprehend the true nature of things. Since enlightenment is repeatedly mis­understood as an experience of light and experi­ences of light wrongly understood as enlighten­ment, the term awakening is preferable, since it more accurately conveys the experience. The emptiness experienced here is no nihilistic emp­tiness; rather it is something unperceivable, unthinkable, unfeelable, and endless beyond existence and nonexistence. Emptiness is no object that could be experienced by a subject, since the subject itself is dissolved in the emptiness.