The Dance of Light and Dark

Let us meet
When the sun disappears
And darkness covers us
We can voyage into the depths
Search for the ghosts the haunt us
We can make friends with death
And see, with our inner eyes
into the shadows of our lives

And then let us meet
When the sun peeks its head
Above the horizon and brings the light
We can celebrate our joy
And allow the brilliance
To dissolve the shadows of that night
We can meet it all with clarity
And allow the warmth
To hold us in its deep embrace

Yes, we prefer the warmth and the sun
But, my friend, we cannot have one
Without the other
We are part of the dance
Of light and dark
Part of the duality
This constant movement
Between the poles

Know both
Be at home in the movement
And wisdom will be yours
This is harmony.

Image by Johannes Plenio from Pixabay

I Returned From the Darkness – It Wasn’t a Spiritual Journey, It Was a Human One

When most people meet me these days, in our events or even socially, they see someone who is bright, active, grounded and (hopefully) full of love. Many are quite shocked to know how dramatic my transformation has been, and how I haven’t been like this always but have wrestled with many demons and overcome a lot to get to this point.
But it is very true. And not a day goes by I don’t give thanks for the grace that allowed me to catch a glimpse of the light far away down the tunnel, and held me as I took a hundred thousand steps through the darkness to find it.

A hundred thousand steps, one at a time, sometimes falling, stumbling, and failing. Going backwards, defeated and lost. And then getting up, dusting myself down, and carrying on. Pulled by some unseen hand, not knowing what I was really aiming for, but knowing I could not stay where I was or who I was. There was an inner me calling to be freed, and I served that one.

Through addiction, through dysfunctional relating, through ten years of illness, through negativity and fear, through the wounds of childhood carried unconsciously like great sacks of sorrow into each intimate experience.

Through catharsis, body work, ceremony, prayer, through endless therapy, meditation, self inquiry, fasting, detoxification, through exercise, through hopelessness and acceptance of death, through meeting the deepest existential hole at the center of everything, on and on. Oh I have been in the darkness. I never stopped seeking what was true for me, what was deeper, what was real and honest. I never stopped until I arrived at love’s open door.

And then I walked in.

And when I walked in through that door, the door disappeared, the past disappeared, separation disappeared and everything that had been so hard, so divided, so troubled, became just one thing, one immense and beautiful dance of agony and ecstasy, of the appearance of duality and the illusion of the dream. There was this remarkable sense of arriving home, where I had always been, but had been so lost in pain and imagination I had not realized it.

And that did not mean that suddenly there was nothing more to do. No. There was the ongoing living of this remarkable awareness, in humility and truth. The darkness is still there, no longer as the dominant force it was, but as a whisper of a fragrance of a ghost. It comes sometimes, when I am at my most vulnerable or stressed, and it taps me on the shoulder and says,’ Remember me, I am your reminder to stay humble and open, to stay here as love’s tenderness.’

I stay with gratitude to the grace that allowed me to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Thank you for reading. It is possible, with grit and grace, to walk through the darkness and into the light. It’s not a spiritual journey, it’s a necessary human one. And everyone can do it.

Through the Forest of Shadows

Our healing, our freedom and our awakening
Are all found when we have journeyed
Through the dark forest of shadows
We must be willing to enter this forest
And place one foot in front of the other
Meeting demons and ghosts, sent from the past
We must face what Buddha faced,
The maras of deception, illusion and temptation
We must meet what we have not met
And, with great stealth and softness
With the steel of a samurai
And the tenderness of an innocent,
Walk on, and on,
Until we even meet our death
Our inevitable departure,
And we must keep on walking
Embracing all, denying nothing,
Until we come to the light at the edge of the forest
This is the cleansing of the mind and emotion
This is our ‘valley of the shadow of death,’
This is the transformation from wounded
To wounded healer
From broken adult to wise elder
This is our inner calling
And all our existential crises point to this.

Photo by Rosie Fraser on Unsplash

Silent Emptiness

Last night I fell in a hole
It just got deeper and deeper
There was no way out
And suddenly I was faced with a choice

Either keep on struggling
Or surrender the fight
What a dilemma…

If I struggled on
It would be pointless
But at least there was hope
Even if it was illusory
There was some reason to keep going
However desperate

If I surrendered maybe it was resignation
I would have to stop running
And face the horror
The pain, the sorrow, the truth
Who would I be if I gave up completely?
I would be entirely alone

Realizing the futility of struggling
I surrendered the fighter to the darkness
Oh did I fall!
As though into eternity
Seeing the ground disappear as I dropped
Deeper and deeper
I left myself behind
I left everything known
Somewhere up above

And I came upon emptiness
A profound silence overwhelmed me
And in that empty silence
There was something new and different
A presence of unconditional acceptance
That filled everything, including me
It seemed to touch the very fibers of me
And I came to know myself as that
Silent emptiness

By and by, the hole, the struggle
The fear, the doubt and confusion
Dissolved

I returned to the world
Subtly, profoundly, quietly changed
Filled with gratitude and awe
For all I do not know.

The Razor’s Edge

To walk through
The valley of darkness
With awareness
Placing one foot
Softly after the other
In tenderness and resolve
Holding fear lightly
Allowing the waves of emotion
To rise and fall
This is the razor’s edge

It is called the razor’s edge
Because it cuts through duality.

Let’s Build a Fire

Come my friend
Let us build a fire
Far away from everyone
In the wild somewhere
Somewhere we cannot be found
You can bring it all
Your sorrow, fear and pain
All that pent up anger
All the times you have turned away
And bitten your tongue
All the heartbreak and heartache
The shame and the guilt
Even the hope, the prayers and the blind faith

You can bring it all
And we can burn it
All night long
And watch it all turn to flickering ash
Rising up to the stars
Disappearing into the void

And as dawn arrives
We can sing a sweet song
Of love’s tender freedom
As we make our way
Back to the hubbub of the market place
There may even be
A lightness in our step
And a crafty smile
Upon our lips

They will be curious
And ask why we smell
Of woodsmoke
But I will not share our secret with them.