Dark Night of the Soul Meditation
While every experience of the Dark Night of the Soul is different, the one common thread is that it is a path of initiation. You are in the dark so that you can understand what Light is.
You are disconnected so that you can know what connection is. You are lost so that you can find your way back home. If these explanations of the Dark Night don’t resonate with you, please go ahead and discard of them. I’m not here to tell you what the Dark Night of the Soul should mean because ultimately you must figure that out for yourself. You need to be the one to make meaning out of your experience. I can only offer my own understanding.
If you have read up until this point you are probably looking for additional help, and that is completely understandable. However, the Dark Night of the Soul is a complex and profound experience and it cannot be solved by reading a “six-step” formula or bullet list. What I can offer you, however, is a simple meditation which may provide you with some level of relief.
When you can dredge up enough energy (I know how exhausting and depleting the Dark Night can be), try experimenting with the following Dark Night of the Soul meditation:
Find a quiet and undisturbed place. If you like, play some celestial or ethereal music in the background to set the mood. Lie down and close your eyes. For a minute or two focus on your breath. Feel your chest rise and fall.
Once you feel connected with your body, shift your focus to creating an image of yourself walking through a dark forest.
Imagine that you are looking above to see the dark tangled branches of the forest obscure the sky. What does the forest feel like? Is it cold, hot, balmy, humid, or icy? Can you smell, feel or taste anything?
As you keep walking through the dark forest, the path in front of you seems endless. The atmosphere feels deathly and melancholic. Suddenly, a white wolf emerges from the trees. It looks at you with intelligent and kind eyes and begins to accompany you as you walk. Your feeling of loneliness lifts slightly as you enjoy the company of your animal friend. Suddenly, the wolf beside you stops and stares intensely into the dark trees ahead of you. You peer ahead but cannot see anything but dark shadows. Suddenly, your wolf companion lifts up his head and lets out a loud and haunting wolf call.
The hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Just after the wolf stops howling, a white light slowly emerges from deep within the forest. At first, the light is tiny and like a pinprick. But as you walk towards it, the light becomes bigger and brighter. A feeling of hope begins to fill you. Tentatively, you start jogging towards the light. You notice that the faster you run, the bigger the light gets. The closer you move to the light, the more open and expansive you feel. You pick up your pace. The feeling is exhilarating! Far behind you, the white wolf howls again. A feeling of wildness and freedom starts to warm you from the inside out.
As you continue running, the light begins to consume your vision. The dark forest begins to quickly fade. As you look down, you notice that your legs are the legs of a wolf – without knowing it, you have experienced a total transformation – and it is liberating! Picking up your pace, you keep running and you let out a loud howl. The piercing sound of the howl dissolves all hopelessness, sadness, and darkness left within you. The howl has completely purified you. All that remains is pure light, love, hope, power, and peace. You feel spacious and open. You are free!
Enjoy the feeling of freedom for as long as you wish. When you are ready, wiggle your fingers and toes and return back to the room. You may like to journal about your experience.
Feel free to record this visualization, get someone to read it out to you gently, or change the meditation to your own liking. It has been created to ultimately benefit you.
To end this article, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite Dark Night of the Soul quotes by David Whyte – a man who understood the value of making peace with the darkness:
…Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.
There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.
The dark will be your womb
The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.
You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in
Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.
Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive
is too small for you.
– “Sweet Darkness” by David Whyte
What has your experience been like with the Dark Night of the Soul? Please share below to help others not feel so alone.