You’ll know you’re making progress on the spiritual path when you begin to experience powerful and liberating breakthroughs in the time-honored domains of meditation and contemplation:
- In meditation, the breakthrough I’m referring to is the exhilarating experience of freedom from time, history, and personality. This feels like peace. But not an ordinary kind of peace. It is a peace in which you are simultaneously awake to the mysterious presence of a depth without end and mesmerized by an overwhelming sense of awe.
- In contemplation, a breakthrough occurs as the result of focused and intense philosophical inquiry. It is the emergence of a profound and shocking clarity of mind and thought. Suddenly, you are able to see not only more clearly than ever before, but with more depth and perspective than you have ever known. Your mind becomes vast like the sky and crystal clear like a highly polished diamond.
Achieving these kinds of breakthroughs on a regular basis is, I believe, a prerequisite to living a sane, meaningful, and directed life in this often confusing, increasingly chaotic, and sometimes frightening world we share.