When we speak of "enlightenment," what may come to mind is the image of a light bulb within us suddenly switching on, illuminating the darkness of our delusions with the all-pervading light of wisdom. This experience happens suddenly and with a sense of great surprise and wonder. But does enlightenment always occur suddenly? Or is there a gradual process of spiritual unfolding that comes about as a result of cultivating a path of training that takes a long time and possibly many lifetimes? 2014.