In some circles, there are debates about whether awakening is gradual or sudden – or whether both are possible. In public there are some celebrity spiritual teachers who claim to have had a sudden awakening in their twenties and immediately set out teaching to turn a buck from the experience. I wasn’t there for their awakening, so I don’t know what really happened, but honesty compels me to admit that I am skeptical – especially given that none of these people claiming sudden awakening that I have heard about were ever guided by a well-known spiritual teacher. It seems to me that if someone could pass gas in your general direction and cause you to awaken, the word would get out pretty quickly. Instead, the only word that seems to get out is about these newly awakening twenty something “teachers.” While I don’t deny that sudden awakening is theoretically possible, I don’t believe it’s something most of us will experience or that is worth pursuing. Just do your practice, and one day several years down the road you will realize you have changed without really realizing it. That won’t be the end of the journey, but it will be encouragement to continue.