In the same way that an athlete develops certain muscles through specific exercises that are appropriate for his or her sport, consciousness also needs to be specifically exercised. The exercises for an athlete are usually designed by long-standing experts in the field. That is also true for meditation and in the gaining of understanding of that experience the mind and heart are developed to accommodate their more expanded values. There does need to be a desire and regular practice to achieve any lasting success. Fortunately it is much easier to naturally bend the mind than the body. The human mind can be conceived to have infinate flexibility, it would be impossible to imagine the body in the same way.
I use the words “Breaking Out in Enlightenment” to emphasize that permanent self-awareness arises simply and without fanfare. It kind of wells up from some unfathomable, limitless source and is then found to be occupying the whole heart and mind. And all the preliminary activities that I engaged in that lead up to the awakening experience all had their practical and necessary functions. But when the final moment came not any one activity, whether meditation, prayer, understanding or behavior seemed to be the specific cause, in fact the cause and the experience of self-awareness were discovered to be one and the same. I found that I had been living in, what I thought to be a temporary, very partially explored home. Until I wandered around and appreciated all the rooms I had no way of knowing the vast extent and what the ownership of my mansion actually meant or was.