All this talk of roads, or a journey of meditation, implies distance and time. However abiding in the awareness of 'I am' is only ever here and now. The idea of 'I am' there and then is exactly that, an idea, which is in fact a distraction from the reality of 'I am' here and now. Better stick with 'I am' here and now.
Within that 'I am' here and now however, there also seems to be a gradual deepening, intensifying and refining process which goes on gradually over the course of time. This is the paradox of the co-existence of opposites.
Carrying on from the last posting 'down the road a bit' :
So either way (enquiry into 'I' or meditation upon 'I'), one may begin having these momentary experiences of singularity which will increase in frequency, duration and clarity as progress is made. This experience is given many names such as Transcendental Consciousness, Pure Awareness, the Self, Turiya and any number of others.
Turiya is a sanskrit word which means 'the fourth' indicating that it is a fourth state of consciousness as distinct from the normal three of waking, sleeping and dreaming. It is said to be like the blank cinema screen upon which all the other three states are projected (deep sleep being like a dark blank screen).
It is called Transcendental Consciousness because as the substratum, it is beyond the other three states. It is called Pure Awareness because it is said to be the origin of our normal ability to be aware. Also because in this state, Awareness stands alone, aware of itself, with no object of awareness.
It is called the Self because it is said to be the original True Self of which even the pure feeling-sense of 'I am', embodied beingness, is but a reflection. The capital 'S' distinguishing it from the individual self we usually take ourselves to be.
When awareness of this state of Transcendental Consciousness becomes firmly established in us, such that it becomes the central, conscious and unshakable fact of our existence then Self-Realisation is said to have occured. It is not something which is created, but it is something already existing which becomes apparent once the obscurations have been removed.
For that reason, all of this meditation is actually a process of purification where the human nervous system gradually acclimatises itself to sustaining this type of awareness. Therefore don't be surprised when all the rubbish we have accumulated in body and mind starts to come out; better out than in as they say. It is actually a process of becoming more normal and more natural with ourselves.
Self-Realisation may not be the end of the story but really just the start of the true adventure into the mystery which is this existance. At any rate, getting rid of all the neurotic rubbish and coming to the stage of naturally abiding in the peaceful awareness of 'I amness', as a harmonious and whole human being, is something which most people could relate too and see the intrinsic benefit of.
I will say at this point that in talking of Self Realisation I am borrowing from the teachings of the Sages and cannot speak upon my own authority of direct experience. But that in doing so I have a reasonable degree of confidence through having practised some meditation and some self-enquiry giving a reasonable degree of experience and confirmation in the preceding stages. It is up to each one to do so for themselves as they feel drawn.
To close, here is an abridged quotation from the foreword to the famous book 'I Am That - Talks with Nisargadatta Maharaj', a well renowned 20th century Sage.
"In spite of its primevality the sense of 'I am' is not the highest. It arises with the body (and) when Pure Awareness is attained, no need exists anymore, not even for 'I am', which is but a direction indicator towards the Absolute. What prevails (then) is that which cannot be described, that which is beyond words. It is this state which is most real, a state of pure potentiality, which is prior to everything. The 'I am' (is a) mere reflection of it. Return again and again to 'I am' until it is your only abode; until the ego as a limitation of 'I am' has disappeared. It is then that the Realisation will happen effortlessly."