Is awakening a gradual process?
It is not a process, it is an event. It is a revelation. And what is revealed in awakening is beyond time.
However, the personality as a whole and the ego, do undergo a process both before and after that event.
In fact, two different processes take place.
The first process is of accumulation, growth, control and effort. That is preparatory work performed mostly before awakening.
After awakening the process of elimination begins. As the mind becomes clearer of wrong beliefs, wrong ideas, and unfounded fears, and the various negative emotions fear spawns, the peace of Total Acceptance pervades more and more our daily lives.
Spiritual realization is when awareness gets stabilized, right?
What gets stable is the peace or tranquility pervading the personality and the ego because the root of suffering has lost its sustenance of false beliefs and false goals.