by Atman Nityananda
Awakening is not an experience of trance, nor is it associated with experience of higher dimensions, higher vibrations and the like. It is the intuitive realization that we are the light of Consciousness, which is the ever-present silent background of all experience.
Although it takes preparation of the mind through disciplines and systematic practice, awakening is not achieved by some technique, but happens spontaneously at some point by the grace of God. In some few cases awakening occurred without prior practice, as in the case of Ramana Maharshi but as far as we know he had attained a high level through practice in his previous incarnation.
We are unaware that we are Consciousness because of non-purity of mind, extroversion of mind, identification with ego, body, thoughts and emotions, inadvertence and lack of discrimination.
As through practice and meditation you will grow in your ability to be more and more firmly aware of the inner silent presence and not identify with thoughts, emotions, feelings and impulses, you will eventually realize that you are not the body, thoughts, the ego or whatever you thought you were, but the inner silent presence of Consciousness (the light of Consciousness) which is the constant silent background of thoughts, emotions, impulses and sensory perceptions. The realization that the inner silent presence of Consciousness is who we really are is the true awakening.
Awakening is not the final state called liberation, enlightenment, theosis or self-realization. Through awakening we enter into the essence of spiritual life and our path to liberation and full identification with the universal Spirit of life (God, Brahman, ultimate Consciousness).