A meditation practice is a veritable treasure trove. The gifts of meditation have been likened to jewels, wish fulfilling gems, to the sun and its rays, to the ocean and its depths, to the sky, its vastness and unfettered freedom, as well as to a lotus. These similes are also said to represent the inner essence that one discovers through meditation practice, the resultant dignity and integrity that adorn one through the day, as well as the ever unfolding benefits to others and the world that can awaken in one. Luminous perception is one of these benefits and adornments. It is also one of the ways by which inner essence evinces itself.
Luminous perception is awareness. It is cognizance: the knowing that one is aware of being aware. In Sanskrit, this knowing is called prajna. Practitioners know that one of the first insights produced from a sitting or walking practice is how unaware one is through most of the day. Generally, we react. We emote in response, we jump to label or judge, and we dismiss most of the sensory and intuitive data input of the day. Each of these actions is a step removed from awareness itself; whereas, meditation cultivates being aware of the cognitive awakeness that is that moment.
Luminous perception – vipashyana – is a constancy of attention to awareness. Because it is a constant attention to awareness itself, vipashyana is ever perceptive of awareness, ever perceiving in an attentive, alert, vibrant way. Due to this vibrancy of awareness and attention, vipashyana reveals the luminous vibrational clarity and truth that is presenting in a moment through a person, event, circumstance, emotion or thought. Most important, however, is the intensity of awareness and the vibrational intensity of each moment. It is this vibrational intensity underlying all expressions (all phenomena) that human beings react to, respond to, dismiss, or turn away from. We don’t realize that we are ceaselessly running away from or running toward this intensity. Meditation comes to the rescue.
Meditation begins with shamatha practice and simply being present to whatever is occurring within the mind-emotion complex. This steadiness integrates into one’s mind-emotion being as one practices and integration creates a feeling of contentment and peace. Not all reactions are gone, not all judgments are erased, not all cravings are neutered but enough are so that a meditator flows with the intensity of life. Now intensity is recognized as indicating both awareness and what is presenting vibrationally in the moment. Karmic trails and patterns (beneficial and detrimental), resonance and quality, and the joyous, luminous intensity of awareness itself awaken – and do so repeatedly through each day. Now, the meditator is living luminous perception.