There were days when I know I spent more than twenty hours in meditation. There were periods of time that lapsed beyond two or three weeks where I know I was well beyond the human endurance when it comes to meditation. And I found out so much about myself and about the people around me, and about my husband and family. And also I found out that whatever questions I might have had in my mind concerning whatever events in the future or past were answered. Meditation brought me face to face with God. Hand in hand, heart to heart, and almost to the point where he was me and I was him. Or we were just us. I don’t know how to phrase it… it was just a closeness… it’s just impossible to be that close to a human. I think that gave me my freedom. I think it gave me my true independence. No matter where I go in the world, no matter what I do or whatever my environment, I’m free. The Earth, the world cannot claim me anymore. Like I said, there were demands made, definite demands, which took me away from the world. At one point almost away from everything, music, family, because the sacrifice had to be within an inch of my life, almost literally. And I feel that because it was such a high price paid… I can’t say it was as high a price as Buddha or Christ, because that was life. Or Martin Luther King. That was life. But I’ve been very close to the end of my life. And I feel that I’ve been given my freedom now, that I can act, I can be, I can live as I want to and nothing can… there’s no claim, no one can buy me. There’s no action I have to pay, I have no karmas to pay. I think all of it has been given back to me. That I’m free.
— Alice Coltrane