In the phases of awakening there are three stages.
The first stage is sleep, that is to say, the deep stillness of meditation. It seems to be a stage of doing nothing. Here the mind may continue or the world moves by, they have become the dream, helping reveal one-self. The pre-disposition, the drive, the focus, the state. Not seeking the still for itself, but the annihilation of ignorance of self.
The second stage is action, the deep stillness of karma, the mundane. It seems to be a stage of the driven action. Those who are asleep and ignorant drive themselves through this phase. It is the washing of a dish, the sweeping of a floor, the exercise of running. Thus the eyes look but do not see, the stream flows but the ears do not hear, hot water flows in strings about the hands; they do not feel. This stillness is equally a training, not of the mind within time and stillness (meditation within the stream of life) which is best done when the mind is active with planning and achievement. It is training the habit of the body, to see with relaxed eyes when running, so that running becomes healing for the eyes. Karma holds many strings, in ignorance they bind, in union they uplift.
The third stage is deep sleep, the dream state. Here the body is ephemeral, it can fade into the deep flux of life. I can only briefly touch upon this, for I have experienced it purely only twice. It is beyond the meditative vibratory fluctuation, which is readily available in things such as drugs/bi-neural beats/meditation. Here, the container of awareness acts in communion with the interlinking awareness, in the body and beyond it. There are many things to be revealed as the depth of the interlink shifts and reveals deluges of once pent-up information. However, the service is for the essential still, core to the interlink yet created by it. This third stage is once more a training, ones resilience/challenge and care maintain the synchronicity.
I can speak of the first phase of training with integrity, enact the second phase of training at will, but third remains beyond my full immersion, thus all three are clouded.
Ignorance/action and awakening, there are different ways to approach these. At the gross is a control structure which defines classes of self-created slavery. At the pinnacle is liberty and union, for the creation of slavery is either whole, or it it to release the slave.
Judge these words for yourself, only be willing, to allow your mental solidity to be shattered, while remaining resilient in the presence of your own experience. Whenever your satori comes to you, be prepared in that instant for the gold to be purified. For every spiritual practice is a training, not to progress along the line, but for now.
And then, now. The depth of your integral extension into now is the web and lattice of your gold.
Our modern insight to refine alchemy, within the solidity is space. Free from the form, the infinite awareness intertwines.