The Hard Way or the Easy Way

“If you think education is expensive-try ignorance.” – Derek Bok

In Buddhism, there are two types of enlightenment, known as Satori and Kensho. These forms of insight happen in different ways, largely based on the time spent achieving awakening.

Satori occurs almost instantaneously, creating an immediate shift in perception of a personal reality. When someone becomes aware of a truth, they can see things clearly without any interference from their emotions or opinions, often for the first time. This is referred to as an ‘ah-ha’ moment.

Kensho is a slower process, and enlightenment is achieved by growing spiritually over time. This evolution of personal growth is made possible by personal suffering, emotional pain, and mindful reflection. After enough experience, enlightenment is achieved by behavioral modification.

We can learn the hard way or the easy way. We can learn from making mistakes, or we can learn from the mistakes of others. We can spend time and money learning without direction, or we can take a short cut by seeking help from others who have found success.

In addition to external sources of education and inspiration, we should depend on our own patience, understanding, and insight. Our mistakes may educate us the hard way, but listening, watching the actions of others, and continuing to learn, will guide us towards our own enlightenment.