Last night I dreamed that it snowed a couple of inches and then turned to rain, which melted the snow. As happens more and more often with my dreams, I was conscious that I was dreaming and knew that the snow still fell madly outside. As I practice more and more over a long period of time, I am experiencing a growing ability to discriminate between dreaming and waking. Yoga talks about the principle of viveka, the ability to discriminate between the real and the unreal. Being able to distinguish among the four states of being (waking, dreaming, unconsciousness, and turiya — the fourth state) is part of this practice.
As I practice more, I have experienced that when waking, with this type of discrimination, I am more subtly able to discern the difference between empty wishes or anxieties (so as better to release them) and what are possibilities (so to be able to expand my boundaries and awareness). Cultivating such discrimination can bring greater personal peace by allowing for a combination of fuller acceptance and growth.
Although I was disappointed the snow did not turn to rain, I will do my best to enjoy it. I’m not going to be able to melt it anywhere but in my dreams.