There can be no objective measure of success in meditation. There can be no milestones for mindfulness or prayer. The maps and ego-driven plans of the temporal mind have no reality in the eternal. But, if we insist on gauging our journey, let us choose perception of luminescence to be our measure and categorization.
There is a subtle light in all things. These inner and outer manifestations are all refracted light of the same underlying sea of consciousness. The essence of universal mind is love. That liquid essence gives out metaphorical and literal light that can be felt or seen.
When you first open your eyes after meditation, does not the world seem washed clean? Is there not a gleam of light in each blade of grass and stone? Have you witnessed the renewing, evaporating luminescence of all the world? Perhaps the measure of your meditation is how long you live in vivid color.
When you pray and the weight of your worries and concerns is lifted off you, do you not sense a warmth and light in that unburdening? Is there not a living God beside when you fly in the inner skies? Perhaps the measure of your prayer is not whether the worldly forms meet your requests, but instead how many pulses your prayer throbbed with beatific luminescence of heart?
When you are fully present in mindfulness, is there not a magical sparkle in the dish soap and water as you do the dishes? Is there not an entrancing, alluring rhythm to the swaying of light and shadows on the wall? Perhaps the measure of your mindfulness is not some general ratio of happiness and peace, but how many times you’ve disappeared into the inexpressible beauty that always surrounds you?
In our relationships, we may perceive the flickering altar candles of spirit in our brothers and sisters. In our courage against the fears of conditioning, we might uncover stars in the dark voids. We can discern the warmth and light of loving laughter from the coldness and anger of ridiculing laughter. We can know the passing of life as an incandescent orb rising upward. Because life is light, the world is a firestorm of love. The life lessons of spirit can be known as the burning away of all you are not.
Ultimately, your perception of the luminescence does not transform you or the luminescence. Like all things in time, perception arises and subsides. Your inner eye opens and closes while your mind expands and contracts. You are never progressing closer or moving away from your true essence. By choosing perception of luminescence as a measurement of spirituality, we are just persuading conditioned minds to see the dance of God.