Most people see enlightenment as a noun, as a thing, as a steady state, as something to be reached, or achieved - and always, always somewhere in the distant futureI see enlightenment as a verb, as a process of ripening, ripening, ripening until one day the fruit falls from the tree. No amount of effort on the apple tree's part can speed the ripening of the apples. It takes the right conditions, however - sun and rain.
The great thing is: unlike apples, the right conditions are always already present to ripen your soul. Just this present moment. Just this being present to whatever is unfolding, opens your soul to the ultimate sun and rain. Over and over and over again: "Just this, right now, just this." Until one day, your soul becomes so ripe that it just lets go of the limb and falls gently ever so gently back to the warm ground of Being.