The Concepts of Satori, Mu-shin, Jiyu and Shokokakkya in Zen Buddhism



These are some intrinsic concepts in Zen teachings. Satori is Zen’s spiritual goal, often likened to a brilliant flash, a moment of tremendous clarity that dawns upon the practitioner, revealing the Truth – that we are creatures of joyful spirit, at once human and one with all of creation.

The way to satori lies through Mu-shin (Mu = emptiness). Many Zen stories speak of emptying the mind; to be in a state of mu, you must learn to curtail the ego, that part of our mind which chatters constantly (and is often likened to a monkey!)

Jiyu is the sense of freedom (or self-reliance) that pervades your being when the ego has been tamed.

Shokokakkya is to shine the light, metaphorically speaking, into the ground under your feet, wherein the truth about you lies.

To arrive at these goals, Zen teaches essential Buddhist precepts like respect for living creatures, practicing kindness and honesty, regulating sexual passions and respecting one’s body by avoiding intoxicants and harmful foods. Other fundamental Buddhist teachings like the Eightfold Path and Four Noble Truths are also intrinsically woven into Zen wisdom.