In Zen Buddhism there is a famous parable called the "ten bulls", which defines the stages of spiritual development roughly as follows:


1) The seeker looks for the "bull" (a symbol of "essence," "soul," "ultimate meaning")

This is the beginning of the "path". In Buddhism, they express it as follows:
"One cannot have an interest in ‘Waking Up’ until one has been sincerely disappointed."
Prior to that, there is no motivation – which is often why younger people (though not always) lack motivation for spiritual development, simply because they are still absorbed in the lesser forms of "salvation" offered by this world.

2) The footprints of the bull are spotted.
This is the point when the seeker first gets the notion that maybe there actually is a way out of all this madness – that it's not just a mythic or fictitious notion.

3) The bull is spotted!
The "bull" appears far away, perhaps even hiding behind a bush, but now there is no doubt that it is real. Visual confirmation has happened. This is symbolic of intellectual conviction that salvation is real.

4) The chase begins!
Here, the seeker begins chasing the bull. Sometimes the bull is closer, sometimes farther, but if persisted in, eventually the distance begins to be closed. This represents the genuine efforts undertaken to come "closer" to Enlightenment or Salvation. And, the more sincere the efforts, the closer we get to the bull. (The whole notion of personal "effort" is later contradicted in the more advanced stages, but at this point self-will is still very real.)

5) We catch the bull and touch it.
First contact with one's soul, first taste of the ecstasy, energy, and love of our deeper spiritual nature. However, this is only (usually) a brief experience, but is enough to experience (much deeper than intellectually) convince us that this whole business is indeed REAL.

6) Taming the bull.
In some ways, this is the most difficult stage, and where many falter. To "tame" the bull is challenging because this bull is wild! It is our life-force, our primal, essential energy, and the physical vehicle for the expression of Divine Energy (Sambhogakaya, or Holy Spirit.) As such, it roots out all the "stuff" sitting in our unconscious mind, making us aware of all kinds of personal tendencies that we never knew we had. Psychologically, these are our blind spots, sometimes referred to as our "chief ego features", and what we are most likely to project on others, and the world. Those who are overwhelmed here by what they are dealing with give up, let the bull go, and end up with their spiritual experiences existing only as memories – what Shakespeare perhaps bitingly referred to as "A tale....full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

7) Riding the bull!
The fun part. We have actually succeeded in taming the bull, which symbolizes embracing and accepting our full nature, warts and all. Now, we live life minus the annoying habit of believing that we have to constantly justify our existence for everything and everyone. This is a deep and profound acceptance. And, accordingly, there is much less of a tendency to judge others as well. But when we do, we are quick to forgive and let go.

8) Letting go of the bull.
At this point, the need to "ride" anything is seen through as well. This is the beginning of the deeper realization of the illusion of personal will. For one who has not experienced this yet the notion of "no personal will" is difficult if not impossible to relate to. At this stage, one's innate connection with the “Whole/All That Is” is becoming increasingly clear and even obvious. The expression "Let Go and Let God" begins to be lived here, not just voiced or considered.

9) Nothing.
In Zen, they symbolize this stage with a large 0 (black ink circle, in Japanese brush-stroke calligraphy.) It means the cessation of identification with thought, and full Realization of non-separation will All Things, and No Things. This is not intellectual at all, but purely immediate, tacit, and all-embracing. The reason Zen refers to it as "Zero" or "Emptiness" is because is it empty of all self-will, self-concept, definition, or comprehension within the limitations of space or time.
This 9th stage is what is conventionally recognized as full Enlightenment in the Eastern traditions. What one is left to live is an endless arising of this Moment, in endless consideration of its beauty and perfection – regardless of how imperfect it all seems! And, a full merging with the primal energy of the universe – Love and Awareness – is stabilized and dwelt in, with no, or very little, sense of a separate self witnessing the whole thing. This is a child-like state, but with full use of intellect and memory as well (but without the interference of these mental functions with one's spiritual condition).

10) Going into the market place with a bottle of wine.
The 10th stage is a light-heart-ed representation of the importance of sharing oneself with the world once one's rebirth/resurrection/enlightenment/awakening has been stabilized and fully entered into. At this point, one function as a "Bodhisattva", existing primarily to help others, though the learning and discovery of the infinite depths of the Awakened condition are inexhaustible.