Douglas Harding mentions this a few times in his books: When we build up a good deal of pressure, through the drama of only identifying with the small self or through forceful spiritual practice, there is a sense of release when we awaken to ourselves as the Absolute and Big Mind. If there is less pressure build-up, there is less sense of release.
When I remember back to my opening experience in my teens, there was indeed a sense of relief. I had blindly identified with Per, who was completely screwed up, and then released into Big Mind – into the vastness of all of Existence. Now, when there is a far gentler opening into Big Mind, there is a sense of ease – and of it being completely unremarkable. It is much more grounded and integrated, even as it happens.
This is at least partly because of the difference in preparation. Then, there was absolutely no preparation (other than this small self being so utterly screwed up that I gave up on it and released into Big Mind). Now, there has been some years of sitting practice, familiarizing myself with Buddhism and Zen terminology and the AQAL model, counseling and psychotherapy, yoga, Breema, relationship experience, being active in the world, and so on. The transition now seems much gentler and smoother.