Enlightenment what is it?: one view on enlightenment
"...The Shambhala Dictionary of Buddhism and Zen - gives the following definition. "The word Enlightenment is used to translate the Sanskrit term bodhi (literally awakened) and the Japanese satori. A person awakens to the nowness of emptiness which he himself is - even as the entire universe is emptiness - and which alone enables him to comprehend the true nature of things. Since enlightenment is repeatedly misunderstood as an experience of light and experiences of light wrongly understood as enlightenment, the term awakening is preferable, since it more accurately conveys the experience. The emptiness experienced here is no nihilistic emptiness, rather it is something unpreceivable, unthinkable, unfeelable, and endless beyond existence and nonexistence. Emptiness is no object that could be experienced by a subject, since the subject itself is dissolved in the emptiness."
The Shambhala Dictionary goes on to say, "The perfect enlightenment of Buddha is the beginning of the buddhadharma, i.e., that which is known as Buddhism. Buddhism is basically a religion of enlightenment, without this experience there would be no Buddhism....." from The Dyad Way page at