Arjuna Ardagh book “Leap Before You Look: 72 Shortcuts for Getting Out of Your Mind and into the Moment” includes an article “Enter the Darkness”
following is an extract from Enter the Darkness. go here for full original article.
“Enter the Darkness.” Wow…did this excite me. Later today, I will be joining my dear friend for some shared time in the darkness. How powerful for my own peace of mind, and hopefully how wonderful for my dear friend. I fully expect this will be a practice I embrace for years to come.
Create a room that is perfectly dark.
You might need to tape black plastic over the windows,
And lay a towel at the bottom of the door.
Make it so dark that you can sit with your eyes open
And see not a single chink of light.
Now sit in that darkness, with your eyes open,
And drink in the blackness.
Make friends with darkness,
Reach out into it, and let it soak into you.
Stare with open eyes into the blackness.
Start with an hour.
You can build up to sitting in darkness for many hours,
or even days.
It is said that this meditation was taught by the Essenes, who some say were the teachers of Jesus. The great Russian mystic Georges Gurdjieff also used this with his students, and it is also found in Tibetan Buddhism. Darkness is the abode of mystery; it is from where we arise, and it is where we return every night. Every child starts his or her life in the womb, in nine months of darkness. Every seed germinates in the darkness of the soil. Every new dawn, every new meeting with the busyness of the world emerges out of the darkness of the night.
Most meditation places much more emphasis on light: we associate it with the upper chakras, and see it as our goal. Most people fear the dark. Hence, we have created an artificially illuminated world: in a city like New York or Los Angeles, it is never dark; it just shifts from natural light to artificial light.
When you become friendly and comfortable with darkness, something very deep in you can relax, and fear dissolves. Darkness initiates you into the world of the night, into the world of dreams and the unknown. In the beginning, all kinds of fears and freaky images will visit you. You may see snakes or monsters, or remember the most terrifying scenes from murder movies. But this will pass. It only comes because we have pushed darkness away so completely. Then another phase will come, where you will feel the darkness to be your mother, to be safe and nurturing and all around you.
read another article by Arjuna Ardagh on his website: Change Your Bedtime, Increase Your Brilliance