One problem with seeking awakening and enlightenment is that those things begin to seem like an end goal in themselves. There is no end goal. These things are processes. We wake up everyday. If we take naps we wake up more than once a day. Then we go back to sleep. Then we awaken again. Spiritual awakening is no different.
When you decide you want to awaken spiritually, then you have recognized that you are feeling disconnected from your spirit. That recognition is an awakening. It is a recognition of the importance of your connection to your spirit. That doesn’t make everything automatically better just because you’re awakened, that’s just the beginning. You have to do that again and again and again.
When you notice somebody else suffering and feel compassion for them, you’ve awoken. When you notice yourself suffering and feel compassion for yourself, you’ve awoken again. When you feel the wind against your cheek and see that you’re alive, you’ve awoken. When you taste the food you’re eating, smell popcorn in a movie theater, laugh at a joke, take a deep, mindful breath, you’ve awoken again and again and again. There’s not much to awakening, it is constantly happening.
Enlightenment is your constant connection to your spirit, whether you are aware of it or not. It goes hand in hand with awakening. As you become familiar with the coming and going of your awakening, you practice awakening in suffering and in joy. Your suffering changes and you feel lighter. That is your enlightenment. It’s not the end. it’s not the beginning, it’s the path, the practice and the perception. Rise and shine.