From earliest times thinkers must have perceived that on the one hand they could not think without words; on the other hand, words expressed only half the whole truth.
– Frederick Franck (Zen and Zen Classics)
Satori and Enlightenment
In our goal oriented modern-day world it is almost a given to get into something with the outcome at the fore. Zen is refreshingly and critically different in this regard. While the spiritual awakening of Satori is a well publicized aspect of Zen, to pursue it as one would a goal is to remain mired in attachment - namely attachment to satori as the purpose for practice. While attachment as a defining feature of the four noble truths needs further exploration, for the purpose of this discussion topic, the presence of attachment inherently eliminates the possibility of satori. If you are like me, I found this apparently paradoxical idea of doing without doing as fascinating as it was perplexing. So yes, Satori exists but not as the aim of Zen practice but a possible state of mind or experience that could come about as a result.
Here it may be useful to look back to the influence of Taoism on Zen practice particularly to the concept of Wu Wei or "non-doing". This is not to suggest that Zen involves inaction, quite the contrary, however working with the intention of Wu Wei can help take next steps forward.
Does that resonate with your experiences or aspects of your journey and practice?