Ways to work with the dark night

I am no expert on how to work with or relate to the dark nights, but here are some things that seem helpful to me….

First, all of the usual practices can be helpful, whatever they may be. Ethics. Work in the world. Relationships. Inquire into beliefs. (Including those about the dark night.) Allowing experience as it is, as if it would never change. Be with experience, in a wholehearted and heartfelt way, with kindness. Be with emotions, with heart and kindness, allowing them to unfold and change as they want. Tong len. Rejoicing in others happiness. Jesus prayer. And so on.

And one that is especially helpful for me now is to explore how the dark night appears in each sense field. How does it appear, whatever it may be? (Despair, aridity, grief etc.) Is it content of experience, as any other experience? And then also notice the doer and observer of this inquiry. How does the doer + observer appear in each sense field? Are they content of experience as any other content of experience?

The dark night is here used in the classic sense, as the dark night of the senses and soul. The first one wearing off identifications as a me, revealing oneness. The second one wearing off identifications as a separate I, revealing selflessness. (And if we use dark night in a more lose sense, we can work with that in the same way as well.)


Initial outline…

  • dark night
    • ways to work with, relate to
      • usual ways
        • ethics, work in the world (including for others)
        • inquire into beliefs (shouldn’t be this way)
        • tong len, rejoicing in others happiness, jesus prayer, etc.
      • also, sense fields
        • explore how appears in each sense field (despair, aridity, grief etc.)
        • notice, content of experience as all other content of experience
        • also notice the doer + observer, as gestalts, content of experience too

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