'Waking up' means: no more mistaking 'existence' as 'crappy'. Whatever you may think life is, is wrong. It's all beyond the painful confines of apparent thoughts and rational judgements. Boundless and clear.
People assume they are thinking, even thinking logically, but in fact they are being 'thought'. Does one control thoughts or is it the other way around? Obviously thoughts go where they will, to heaven and to hell, according to circumstance and conditioned interpretation, and folks helplessly follow those thoughts when they identify with thought as their own doing and their own self-ness.
But if one were the real thinker of his own thoughts, how could he ever be displeased? How could he be sad or angry or fearful or full of pains? Thoughts nag. Thoughts circle. Thoughts attack.
Proper meditation allows seeing thoughts as thoughts, and feelings as feelings, mere mental phantoms of no substance, and not by any means any 'reality' of importance or dreads. This is detachment-mindfulness.
Non meditators can't see thoughts and feelings as such, but they unconsciously obey them as commands supposedly arising from their own self-ness. They are helplessly and painfully reactive and out of control. Victims of circumstance. They don't know what they're doing, or where they're going, racing along heedlessly 'thoughtful'.
If you think meditation seems hard or painful, that is thought not truth. Don't believe what you think you think. Bathed in thought, submerged in thought, enchanted by thought one dreams up a 'life' of heavens and hells that truly do not exist.
Reality is here and now. There's not a problem in the world.
-Anonymous, from Usenet posting on religions.buddhism-