It's been a windy and cold start to the summer here in the southern parts of Australia. Last night, I snuggled up with a hot water bottle. I imagine many of you in the Northern Hemisphere are steeling yourself for the long cold and dark winter ahead! However, I've been thinking a lot about the darkness and how we perceive it. We often bow down in full praise of the light, longing for the sun to melt the snow, and turning our faces toward the sun in full salutes of the vitality it brings. Darkness is often a place to be feared, or something to be merely endured.
Darkness too is something we shy away from in a meditative practice. When we are left alone with our silent minds, we can open doors to realms within that can be painful and difficult. It is why sometimes meditation is not a good prescription for those suffering extreme mental health problems - this is certainly a criteria for anyone signed up for Vipassana. But damn, darkness is good for us.
All you need to do is understand this: a seed needs darkness to grow. A life begins, down there in the dark, with the worms and the bugs and the cold soil. The painful crack of the seed casing is a necessary part of what needs to happen - if we spend all our time in the light, we neglect this potential within us.
Thus, when we shy away from the hard parts of a meditative practice - the suppressed memories, feelings of ennui, anxiety, depression, anger and any of the other sensations that may arise within us - we don't water the seeds within us that are just waiting to burst through the soil.
Darkness is the new light.
Mindful Musings From the Steemiverse
@raj808, @porters, @plantstoplanks, @riverflows, @artemislives and a few others are deep in Deepak Chopra's 21 Day Abundance Challenge at the moment. The first day is all about connections with all that is - So Ham.
@raj808 is beginning to document his journey and writes:
For me, this is the joy and wonder of meditation! It is a seemingly small thing, but separating from identifying with 'self' is actually one of the greatest things a human being can do. After all it is the ego that creates division. That division can come internally with one's self, with imbalances between emotional and physical expression, or it can be created by direct comparison with others through differences in ideologies, social/racial background or wealth. From this perceived separation comes conflict, and as egos feed on egos a negative feedback loop is generated. What meditation does is slowly allow the mind to see that these separations are illusion. Fundamentally they are born out of ego and are only concrete if you believe that the ego (the self), and your perception of the world is all there is. Meditation allows you to see beyond that voice (ego), allows you to see that there is another part of you observing the patter of your thoughts. This other self is the universal. It is the part of a greater whole that is exactly the same as that person half way across the world that you see as other.
@tryskele expands on this idea with a discussion on humility. She writes:
When we take on the mindset of we are not better than another and no one is better than we are it changes how one views the things around us. We can appreciate things in a different light. It gives us an appreciation of others. It allows us to see humanity.
@porters asks us how we spend our time - these are some of the themes that are coming up in the Abundance Challenge.
There are certain realities of our time which will determine what we can do or what experiences we have but ultimately you determine the experience within yourself and there is so much possibility, possibility to be manifested! Life has an openness, how will you respond? Will you remain open and pick up on inspirations, motivations, will you pick up skills that have utility? What of humanity, will you develop a sense of love and compassion for your fellow human beings? Will you realize what you, as a human being, are capable of - really it is quite open ended (without limits). Living and acting more consciously gives a chance for more possibilities to open up!
@nainatengra suggests that we all should tap into the power of meditation:
Meditation is one of the solutions to raising Consciousness. A daily Meditation practice will allow one to reach to a state of awareness and higher consciousness.If this practice is inculcated in every school right from the time the child is small, by the time the child grows up, he or she will be in full acceptance of life and also in a high state of awareness.
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