Talking about awakening
Talking about 'awakening' is almost impossible these days (on the Yahoo! lists in particular), thanks in part to Western neo-advaita and the notion that talking about awakening is egoic. A shallow culture based on instant gratification could only produce a shallow advaita, based on the same.
Everybody wants to be enlightened, but nobody wants to admit it. Few care to look deeply at themselves, begin peeling away the layers of the onion that make up 'me and my issues' and releasing those issues -- letting go of wants and needs, desires and dreams. When the 'me' dissolves, it is unmistakable -- there can be no doubts. This is because the 'me' is itself doubt, unsureness, a sense of lack, a sense of something missing. When this is gone, fear, desire and doubt goes with it.
Everyone wants to stick with this 'me', despite the fact that the life of the ego is dull, feeble and empty compared to its absence. It is comfortable, familiar, safe; people will do anything to stay with this. Awakening is simply the dissolution of the subconscious mind, that which we are not conscious of, that which we think and do mechanically. Awakening is completely active, living, supremely focused in the present. Ego is asleep, based on thought and desire, wishes and needs and fears.
Everybody wants one foot on each side of the fence, wants to keep their personal quirks and issues, feel safe and secure, while also being 'enlightened'. It is ridiculous. The 'me' has to be let go of, released, surrendered in order to be free of it. When it's gone, the sense of lack goes with it... it's not like something goes missing, but the sense of something missing actually vanishes. In a way, the 'me' is an absence rather than a presence. It is our absence from reality.
If we cannot talk about awakening, normalize it, it will remain a subject regarded as "egoic", something reserved for highly regarded spiritual masters. As long as this is so, folks will tend to continue denying that it's possible, or wanting to keep one foot in spiritual sleep and one foot in waking. Let's open things up wherever we happen to talk to people, discuss this subject together and see where it takes us.