Leaving my sister’s hospital room I was consumed with despair. As she fought against the inexorable advance of leukemia, no medical treatment seemed to work. All I could offer her was guided meditation, but suddenly that seemed so futile and meaningless. How could a few minutes of rest and peace make any difference against a tsunami of illness?
From the beginning of her hospitalization, she had asked me to lead her in daily meditation. Using the image of golden light to invoke a sense of trust, safety and love, I invited her to imagine an angel pouring healing light into the top of her head, watching as the light flowed down her entire body penetrating every cell until she was floating in a sea of love and light.
Several times she told me how peaceful she felt during the meditations. Still, as I made my way to the parking lot, I couldn’t help feeling that these moments of respite seemed so small given the magnitude of what she was facing, like a drop of water spilled onto a desert of heartbreak.
Later that night as I slipped down into meditation the healing love of the Divine enfolded me. Sobs rose up from my belly and I silently called out for help. A message from the angelic realm pierced through my awareness.
“During the meditations you are helping her experience the exalted state, so that when it is her time she will recognize this expanded consciousness, lean towards it and follow it. Then she will be comforted by this sensation because it will be familiar to her.”
Blinking open my eyes, I stared at the ceiling and let out a deep sigh. I had never thought of this. Could it be that these meditations were in some small way preparing her for the moment when she would glimpse the “Grand Luminosity” and dive towards it?
“…The Grand Luminosity dawns at the moment of death. However, there still remains the uncertainty of whether we will recognize it or not. That is why it is so important to…recognize the Nature of Mind while we are still alive through practice (p. 250).”
By “practice,” Rinpoche refers to meditation. Sinking into stillness and relinquishing ordinary consciousness we float in the effervescent waters of Divine love. Like the dial on a radio, we can train our consciousness to tune in to this frequency, “scanning the airwaves” to locate and enter this exalted field.
Sitting meditation is not the only way to practice joining with the “Grand Luminosity.” While watching a gorgeous sunset, or cuddling a sleeping baby in our arms, or sitting silently in a boat on a river waiting for the fish to bite, we have access to this exalted state. Reaching past ordinary thinking we encounter a state of expansion and well-being, where a dawning awareness of the beauty and magic underlying every moment is born. Entering into this majestic landscape we glimpse the ocean of love from which we emerged and into which we will all ultimately return.