Endarkenment: the beauty of the silent, full darkness


Jen and I went to our diksha group last Sunday, the one that started last fall and has met monthly since. Barry and Karen mentioned how it has shifted for them, and it is more an Enlovenment process now rather than Enlightenment. Enlovenment, centered in the heart, connected with the Christ energy/consciousness, and embracing the Enlightenment centered in the head and the Endarkenment centered in the belly.

Initial diksha: empty light

After my first diksha last July, there was a sense of empty light falling into my body, followed by a shift into the pure Witness consciousness, a strong and shifting headache for several days, and then a shift into realized selflessness, Ground awakening, which lasted for a couple of months. After this, and as part of the process with our monthly diksha group, there was several months of processing things coming up – mostly just witnessing, feeling into and allowing it to unfold. And then some months where everything was experienced as space, all dials went to zero, and everything went to neutral.

Enlovenment and phone session

During the Enlovenment gathering this weekend, a very similar headache came up, and came and went for a few days. There was also a sense of dark fullness in the chest area, a very unfamiliar sense while knowing it was part of the next phase for me.

This morning, I did a session with Barry over the phone, and it was amazing.

Dark night

I wanted to work with my dark night phase which has lasted for several years now. I had a spontaneous awakening in my teens, awakening into Witness consciousness for about a year when I was 15, and then into Big Mind when I was sixteen. This deepened and unfolded over many years, including when I lived at the Zen Center in Salt Lake City for three full years and then sporadically for the next couple of years.

Then, I got married, we moved to another state, and I moved to another state as well…! For a few years, I woke up with nightmares almost every morning, dreading a sense of the awakening and its clarity, insights, wisdom, passion and sense of guidance slipping away. And it did slip away. Everything that had given meaning to my life slipped away, and depression came up in its place. It was awful, and although I knew I could probably reverse it by moving back to the Zen Center, I couldn’t. There was a sense of being chained to the ground, and also of this being a hugely important part of my overall process, in spite of it nightmarishness.

Gradual shift out of dark night

After some years, we moved again to another state, and I shifted into another state again as well. There was a sense of everything opening up again, and of the moist earthiness of the Pacific Northwest being part of my next phase – one of deepening into earthiness and spirit simultaneously, as part of the same process. I found Breema and Waking Down in Mutuality, going fully into Breema and staying at the periphery of Waking Down.


And then I found the diksha, first going to John’s diksha gathering in the Bay Area in July of last year (after a Breema intensive), and then joining the monthly diksha group here in Oregon led by Barry and Karen. There was a deep knowing that this was a part of my next phase, the next deepening.

Phone session on the dark night

So this morning, working with Barry over the phone, we started working on what is left of my despair over the dark night phase, of losing just about everything that was important to me – the awakening, the clarity, the insights, the passion, the worldly education process and career.

A black, velvety, peaceful, silent fullness

I saw my early awakened life as golden light, and the fall from grace as darkness, so I went into the darkness, feeling into it. And it revealed itself as a black fullness. A velvety full silent alive darkness that held everything that come up – any experience, any emotion, any feeling, any thought, any memory. Holding it, allowing it all to unfold. It was there when I stayed with a sense of a dark point in my hear, a ball in my throat, a sense of fogginess in my head, allowing each of them to unfold.

Golden light streaming through

The dark fullness then fell into my body, into the lower body from my heart down, and the head was golden light. Then, they shifted and the golden light went down into my feet and the dark fullness into my head. Then, the darkness fell into the whole body – through, within, around, as a ground of the body and every cell. My right arm left as golden light, then darkness fell into the arm as well, with streams of golden light through it, and then streams of golden light through the whole body and the full darkness.

I realized that this must be full darkness the mystics talk about, and which I had never understood before.

The cards

I looked up, and saw a card my wife had put up on our altar in our bedroom. A card of blackness with streams of golden light through it, and one I had not paid much attention to before now. I realized how my whole fall from grace was about this, deepening into the full darkness, being embraced by it, embracing it, maturing within it (this is the card with the Rumi quote shown above: Though we seem to be sleeping, there is an inner wakefulness that directs the dream, and that will eventually take us back to the truth of who we are.)

I then saw another card she had put up on the altar, again darkness with streams of golden light going through it. This one from Bodha in Nepal, where the two of us met. And I also saw how, when we sat on that balcony at the Zen Center in Salt Lake City, wondering if we should get married or not, I saw a meteorite flashing through the black desert sky as a stream of golden light, the first meteorite I had seen that went at an angle upward. I took that as a sign, yes, and it was what brought the fall (by us moving), the dark night, and the now still very early awakening into the black fullness, the Endarkenment. The whole dark night was now revealed as the greatest gift, in spite of its horrors as it was happening.

Significant shift

Barry said that this shift is as significant as the initial awakening, and I see that as well. I also see how a dream I had a couple of years ago, where my physical flesh-and-blood body was deepening and maturing into a fuller and fuller awakening, was about this.

And I see how everything changes within this Endarkenment, within this full blackness. Everything changes – my life, my body, my identity, how I am in the world, my relationships, my focus, what I do, my posture, my voice. It all has to change within this. It all changes.

Throughout the session, I saw the shift between seeing something (visually) and feeling it, and how following the feelings, within Witness Consciousness, brought me into the full darkness.

I also noticed that empty light fell into my body during and after the initial diksha, and this time, full blackness fell into my body…! Both times, with headaches (brain reorganizing) and a sense of reorganization of all levels of being, including the physical body. The empty light stayed and is still there, and this black fullness seems to stay in the same way.

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