No, these are not Samurai warriors. But there is real strength to be found in understanding these Japanese concepts originating from the Zen tradition.

What exactly then is Kensho and Satori?

Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith, the founder of the Agape International Spiritual Centre in Los Angeles, talks about two different paths to life growth.

Kensho is growth by pain. Ultimately, it is the universe giving you tough love. Bottom line: you go through some kind of pain or difficulty which you learn different ways to feel, think, and be. It is like a tectonic shift, you can feel it happening, and mapped over time, it’s clear that your world has changed. In retrospect, you might even view these events as positive forces that pushed you to challenge beliefs and systems that were holding you back in ways you hadn’t realized. Dr. Beckwith suggests that Kensho is our souls’ way of calling on us to grow.

Satori is growth by awakening. They are insights that happen suddenly and change you forever. They can happen anywhere – while you’re in nature, listening to music, looking at art, or in a conversation. Once you’ve had a Satori moment (think of that “ah-ha!” we’ve all felt when something just clicks), the stuff that holds you back is left in the dust. You’ve levelled up and can operate on a whole new plane.

If you were to plot your growth over time, Satori moments would look like slight bursts upward, while Kensho moments would start with a deep dip then trajectory upwards as you recover and then assimilate new learnings.

Did you know that there is a school of thought that suggests certain people are chosen to parent children with disabilities?

Some would say the universe came calling and gave you your marching orders. Whether it was to foster and adopt. You were literally chosen for this particular quest. And while it may seem all messed up right now, just the fact that you have taken steps to help your child heal (and yourself in the process) is evidence alone that you are on an upward trajectory. And that you are in the best position to receive inspiration (those “ah-ha!” moments).

(c) Felicia Stewart, 2019