Enlightenment happens unexpectedly, in the same way that we are often struck with wonder when we see whales jumping from the surface of the ocean. They take our breath away. Throughout the ages these kinds of experiences have often been experienced by meditators. This is frequently noted in the Buddhist tradition. The beauty of this is that it doesn’t require any special methodology or any special training. It often happens when we are least expecting it. Inner rest is the sacred ground on which we meet the light of enlightenment. This knowledge is inherent in all of us. That fact is indicated by the beautiful Buddhist metaphor of a hopeless, exhausted traveler who has suddenly and unexpectedly found soothing shade beneath a beautiful tree in the middle of a vast desert. The tree and shade symbolize the Dharma, or the path to enlightenment. In that sense, the path to enlightenment is utterly simple, although it may not always be easy. So there are no true excuses for us not to be ready to experience this mind. Every excuse is totally invalid and simply an example of the ego’s resistance. Actually, we all know how to awaken because we all know how to rest.
—adapted from No Self, No Problem by Anam Thubten