The word ‘awakening’ is part of a verb. It is an activity, a waking- up process.
We can even reflect on the analogy of waking up in the morning: consciousness begins to become clearer, it tunes in to reality more and more, until you recognize that this is how it is.
The limitation of that analogy is that when we wake up in the morning, our self-consciousness usually wakes up too. Consciousness is not only waking up and seeing the sun shining or rain falling; there’s also a sense of ‘I’ coming into consciousness – ‘I am feeling good’, or ‘I’m feeling bad’.
But you could try waking up in the morning without your self-consciousness, giving it a holiday, giving yourself a break. Can you do that? Maybe you could come closer to it if you’ve developed the Seven Factors of Awakening.
This reflection by Ajahn Thiradhammo is from the book, Contemplations on the Seven Factors of Awakening, (pdf) p.133.