Facing Toward the Light

“By meditation upon light and upon radiance, knowledge of the spirit can be reached and thus peace can be achieved.”

If you spend your time in the dark, it is easy to forget the light. The dark emotions, like anger and fear have their attractions. People are fascinated by murder mysteries, war stories, soap operas, bad news, gossip and scandal. The media is full of these because we engage with it. The dangerous and the scandalous feed emotions. They draw our attention. They can fill up emptiness, distract us from our own more mundane problems and create some dark sense of being alive. When we get too wrapped up in the dark thoughts that these fascinations bring to us, we can get stuck in an emotional condition of the disagreeable kind.

Our minds are like water. If you throw dirt into the pool, the water becomes cloudy and foul. To keep the water pure, we can try to limit the amount of dirt that gets into the pool, and we can filter the water. In the same way, we can limit the amount of pollution we allow into our minds, perhaps by choosing not to engage in the shadier forms of entertainment or by directing our attention away from violence, gossip and scandal.

We can filter out the mental dirt by directing our consciousness away from the darker energies and toward the light. Many people get their re-orientation by going to religious services, praying, or reading scripture. Singing hymns or chanting may bring a shift as well. Meditation can also be a tool for turning up the light and cleaning out the mental and emotional gunk.

When you meditate, you may want to spend a few minutes just taking inventory of your thoughts and feelings. What sorts of thoughts have been occupying you? What comes up in the moment as you are reflecting on this? What is the state of your emotions? Can you label your feelings as a specific emotion, such as anger, happiness, fear, or boredom? Maybe your emotions are too complex or fuzzy to attach a label to. How else can you describe your feelings? Do they feel light or dark, heavy or buoyant? What color would you use to describe your feelings? Do they feel solid, liquid, gaseous? Hot or cold?

When you are ready, intentionally direct your attention to mental imagery of light. You might visualize yourself filled up with bright light. You might visualize light all around you. You could imagine that beautiful light shines down from above and energizes each of your chakras, perhaps entering through the crown of your head and shining downward filling each of your energy centers and each of your organs with beautiful crystalline light. Let light clean up the dark and the dirty pools of mental and emotional energy that linger in your consciousness. Wherever you seem attached to less than wholesome mental imagery let the light evaporate it, like hot sun dries up puddles of water. Where light is, darkness is not.

Imagine that the light represents love, kindness—all that is good. Invite it into your mind. Draw it into your heart. Rest there in the warm peace of contentment.

Before you finish, remember that light is energy. As you prepare to return to your activities, allow the light imagery to represent power. Allow your breath to draw in light as energy. Allow yourself to be empowered in your orientation toward the light.

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© 2005 Tom Barrett