I met Kodo on the waterfront in Victoria BC 

The Night of Kensho

By Kodo Izan

The date…I don’t remember…but it happened in summer night, in Calgary.  That day, I got up early and I decided to build a patio set with leftovers of cedar wood boards from a fence that I built around our home.  I spent the whole day on the job and when I finished, it was already dark in our backyard…I was tired and very satisfied with my job.  I went inside the house, picked up a beer from the fridge, turned off the lights of the backyardand sat on one of the new patio chairs…

The sky was black and big, and full of shining starsthat nightOne could see some galaxies clouds of light far away in the cosmos.  I reclined on the chair, took a sip of the cold beer, and pulling my head back facing my eyes straight up to the sky, I could see up the myriads of worlds in the universe. Looking up there, I felt very small and at the same time at home.  The feeling of “Oneness” was there latent and conscious.  There was no thought in my mind at that moment, just the feeling of tiredness in my body.  I spentquite a few minutes looking up and feeling relaxed, tired and calm. A sense of peace overflowed my whole being and gradually, my field of view of the sky expanded my vision farther back on each side of my eyes, and suddenly!! BANG!!!,become a big super giant and bright light illuminating the whole universeand could see in all directions at the same time, all the stars and galaxies were not out there but they were me,myself…I was the light illuminating the whole universe. The feelings of contentment and compassion for everything I felt at that moment cannot be expressed with words.  It didn’t last long that vision.In a flash, I was back on my chair and find myself crying and sobbing like a baby.  The tears poured down on my face uncontrollable and I have difficulty breathing because of the incredible emotion I was feeling at that moment. 

I don’t remember how long that state of mind lasted, but for me it was an eternity.  I went in the house and when my wife saw me coming in the housein tears and sobbing without control, she was shocked and asked me, “What is wrong??”…  It took me a while to catch the rhythm of my breathing before I could answer back, and while still sobbing and drying the tears and my nose I said:  “If there is such a thing as seeing God, I have seen God.”…and putting my hands on my face started crying again with deep sentiment, feeling my chest full of emotions that have never experienced before in my life. 

After a while, when I calm down, I found myself totally relaxed and time seems to slow down, for all my movements were very slow; with no aim, yet doing what is to be done…. Wherever I looked; everything I saw; it looked as if was made out of crystal, transparent; the table; the plant; the dog; my wife, everything was shining.  I could see through them, and yet I wasn’t surprised by it.  I felt that “The Big Super Giant Light” I was up there, some where in the universe a few minutes ago, was still around illuminating everything in my life.

That night, I experienced my “Original Nature” and I understood who I am, where I come fromand where I am going.  I tried to explain to my wife what I experience, but I felt like a person with down syndrome that had a dream, but next morning has no way of expressing his feelings.  For the next three days, I went to work as usual and every way I looked; everything I saw, was alive and latent; shining with the universal light I experienced that night.

From that night on, the point of view of my life and the way of living changed drastically, and I become a new man, I experience my “original nature.” All my desires of gain and profit vanished and I understood how to live in this world; useful, contented and frugal.

Around thirty years has passed since that wonderful experience of my life and I still can remember my feelings at that moment…I hope that some day I will forget it all and be real free…some day…

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