Everybody wants instant enlightenment. That is the one that comes with a fireworks show and a few months of elation. Gradual enlightenment is living in suffering until the point of suffering is lost. Either way, everybody is as enlightened as they will be when they realize that they are enlightened. If enlightenment occurs to you through a gradual build up of logic, through hours of focused meditation, or from hearing a stone strike a stalk of bamboo, it is the same enlightenment. It is the same enlightenment that is happening in the midst of your ordinary, everyday life.
One sign of enlightenment is not noticing that you are enlightened. If you don’t think that you are enlightened, how can you be sure that you are not. Enlightenment is nothing to strive for, nothing at all.