Updated: Jun 14, 2022
On a dark night, find a quiet place, either inside or out. Center yourself by taking some deep breaths. Read the pieces of John O’Donohue’s poem, For Light (below), slowly and meditatively a few times. Is there a word or phrase that catches your attention? Make a note of the word or phrase that “popped” for you. Go outside and see if you can find the moon or a star upon which to focus. While maintaining that focus, repeat the word or phrase slowly. Notice what comes up for you. What feelings are present? What wisdom is revealed? Note: this is not an intellectual exercise. Try not to think about this as you are doing it, but rather experience this practice.
As John O'Donohue reminds us, in his haunting poem, For Light:
In the glare of neon times, Let our eyes not be worn By surfaces that shine With hunger made attractive.
Instead, we acknowledge that: Light cannot see inside things. This is what the dark is for: Minding the interior. And just as the baby turtles wait inside their sandy nests, we trust that: When we are confined inside The dark house of suffering That moonlight might find a window. And, finally, we move out into the darkness with faith that: Through places where death Into its own way turns into life.
Other spiritual practices can be found in our e-book, Inside Out: Practices for Going Deeper In Nature.