It is only when you come to a situation where you are face to face with sorrow that you stop and look at that which is beyond. If you are always happy, if you always get a lollipop to suck – which is what the pleasures of the world are all about – then nobody will look deeper or look for the mysteries of life or how to be free of sorrow.
We will never find lasting stability and happiness in the relative. The very nature of things in this world is constant change. Stability and fulfillment can be found only beyond this world, deep within ourselves the place we find in meditation.
The ancient Vedantists had a name for this place: turiya, which means literally ‘the fourth state.’ The state which lies beyond our common three states of consciousness – waking, sleeping and dreaming. Transcendent of everything we generally think of as ‘me. When we contact this fourth state through meditation, again and again, twice each day, we can begin to depend upon it. We can become grounded in this place of no change. It is the place of Truth, the place of true stability; and its very essence is the experience of fulfillment.
Finding this place of fulfillment within does not in any way free us from the sorrows and losses of life; however, to know this place and connect with it every day allows us to pass through these sorrows without being defined by them. This is the experience of true freedom.
Today I will meditate twice, allowing myself to settle down into that place that is beyond thought, beyond feeling, beyond sorrow; and once again back in the world, I will remind myself that whatever is happening, no matter what it is, I will be able to walk through it.
Moon Over Great Salt Pond, Block Island, Rhode Island