Since the beginning of December, I have been drawn to meditate in complete silence for a full hour as the sky is lightening just before dawn. I usually meditate in the early morning each day, but recently, the timing has become very precise. Some inner guidance awakens me while it’s still dark. Sleepily, I walk to the chilly living room and wrap myself in a blanket before sitting in my favorite chair to meditate. The guidance seems very clear that nothing less than an hour will do (sometimes more), and thus I am present for the complete experience of sunrise: darkness to first light to full radiant sun shining. It takes that amount of time for my physical body to settle into the depth of meditation required of me. This is not the one-breath-and-you’re-there process that sometimes is my experience. I am going much, much deeper now, and commitment and patience are necessary.
As I sit through the restlessness of my mind and body, I bring myself repeatedly back to the breath and gradually sink down into the inner stillness and peace of the soul, which always awaits me. It takes a full hour to get there, but “there” is deeper and more expansive than ever before. The breath, slow and steady, carries me to a place where infinite space without boundaries opens up all around me. In fact, there is no “me” really. Instead, there is consciousness, being without form, which has no beginning or end. Separation does not exist. I am aware of my physical body as a transitory container for that infinite beingness. The body is temporary, but consciousness is eternal. I experience this rather than think it.
I open my eyes at this point because I can feel the sun’s rays on my face. As the sun becomes fully visible over the tops of the trees, light fills the sky and illuminates everything. Each tree branch, each drop of water, sparkles and radiates light. Multiple suns are reflected in the window glass; dream-catchers and hanging crystals shimmer and dance. Ordinary objects are magically transformed in the light. I am transformed. Or perhaps the more accurate word is revealed. The soul of all things is revealed, and my eyes, filled with light, see the true nature of everything, which is radiant, sparkling divine light. I understand that we all are that. The details vary and morph into different forms, but our essence, the core essence of all things, is divine light.
As I continue to sit in the silence, an all-encompassing love fills my heart with gratitude and my eyes with tears. Dawn—the sacred hour when divinity and infinity reveal themselves as one in the light, and the soul silently witnesses it all. This is the amazing power and grace of the dawn hour, an unexpected gift of warmth, light, and renewal in the midst of this cold New England winter.