This morning when I woke, my first thought was that I thought it had rained in the night. My second thought was that I felt well-rested for having slept through the night — not having had my sleep disrupted by thunder or the earthquake, as was the case for recent nights — perhaps I had just dreamed about the sound of rain..
The yoga teachings say that there are four states of consciousness: waking, dreaming, deep (dreamless) sleep, and the fourth or turya state. The fourth state is both beyond the other states and also encompasses the others. It is where we find in meditation the merger of the individual consciousness with universal consciousness. The better we are able to access the fourth state, the more the other three states, and how we think and act in them, are illuminated by the very light of being.
The more I meditate, the more aware I am of what is going on around me while I am in a non-waking state. I am also finding that waking and dreaming are more luminous.
My awareness of the rain without knowing whether the awareness came while I was awake or asleep show both that I am finding more awareness in the different states and that I have a long way to go and much to discover.