In many circles, I harp on the point that awakening is not the goal. It is so important we not get stuck by concepts of being done. From his book Falling into Grace, Adyashanti puts it this way:
“Most of what I’d read in spiritual literature and heard in spiritual teachings reinforced this idea that once you get to enlightenment, it’s basically over. You’ve gone as far as the spiritual life can take you. What I discovered, however, was something quite different.”
He talked of how, after his first awakening, “For awhile, I felt totally complete… I experienced that freedom for quite a while. After a couple of years, however, I started to feel that there was something else moving, and it carried a feeling of “somethings not complete” – even though everything in my experience felt whole and undivided. …It was more like an intuition.”
“But then, bit by bit, it began to reveal itself. I began to realize that our spiritual unfolding doesn’t really have a goal… There’s not an end point. To spiritually awaken or become enlightened is actually something that allows ANOTHER movement to happen – and another and another and another.. Spiritual awakening is the ground from which a whole new movement of spirit starts to occur.”
The trick is, if we have a strong concept or experience of being done, we may not recognize or may ignore that stirring, creating an unnecessary barrier to what can unfold. What follows is much fuller and richer. It would be a shame to miss this for wont not knowing. Yet, as Adyashanti observes, there are whole teachings and groups of teachers who will speak of one awakening, one realization. So many have walked in the door but not yet turned on the light. 😉
UPDATE – see also Autonomy for a continuation of the movement theme.