“How can you tell when you're enlightened?...Enlightenment means the total dissolution of the self in the white light of eternity. It doesn't simply mean that you can sit and go into samadhi and have a very high meditation. It means that there is no longer a personal self....
"Enlightenment is difficult to discuss because there are different types of enlightenment…. There are satori illuminations when we have a very high meditation, and classically, when you have a satori illumination, for about 40 days afterwards you will be in a very high state of awareness. You experience satori, you go into a type of enlightened state, but then after that time has passed, gradually your consciousness will return to the world.
"Enlightenment, from my point of view, does not involve going into samadhi a few times or having a few satori experiences. Over a period of years of going into samadhi day after day, night after night, for hundreds and thousands of hours, enlightenment takes place. The way I define it is self-realization. That is to say, enlightenment doesn't simply mean that you've gone up a few times and seen the white light of eternity and merged with the all. I would say that's a basic level of samadhi. Enlightenment has to do with the erasure of the samskaras -- the past life tendencies -- after you've gone into samadhi for hundreds and thousands of hours ... many, many times over a period of years ... as is described, let's say, in the biography of Ramakrishna.” Rama - Dr. Frederick Lenz
Talk 3 of 13 in Insights: Talks on the Nature of Existence.