I'm inclined to think that presence is the key to the Kingdom, so to speak. At this point I'm thinking enlightenment, at least as it is presented, is a pipe dream, an ever out-of-reach pipe dream that keeps one in a state of desire for the unattainable. Further, life after death, reincarnation, etc... are equally pipe dreams because no one has gone there and come back to tell all the rest of us what it is like. All such associated ideas are concepts and concepts are unattainable because, well, they are only conceptual. But presence is available now, right now. And the more one practices it the easier it becomes to acknowledge it and abide. For me, the more I practice presence the deeper the experience of presence becomes, to the point that it is possible to see all of life in a different light.
None of this is revolutionary. Yet the direct experience of the depth of being aware of being aware is truly profound. It has opened up the possibility of a much simpler and organic life experience for me. And while I still maintain an interest in some of the practices I have utilized over the years, I no longer see them as essential to waking up or anything else for that matter. They are no more profound or supermundane than riding a bicycle or taking a nap. Mentally separating anything we do from the rest of life is a large mistake. In fact it can't really be done except in your mind, and all that does is cause more confusion or what the Buddhists call dukha.
In short, we can live life to the fullest right now, today. We don't need to go to a monastery, on retreat, learn yoga, or sit at the feet of the next silk-pajama-guru. All we need do is be present to being present and let all the small stuff go. And as they say, it's all small stuff.