Holding the Dark with the Light

Written by on October 23, 2018 in Conscious Living, Inspirational, Meditation with 0 Comments

One thing I’ve learned from life and from sages is that on the journey toward illumination, we must inevitably experience darkness, grief, and loss to some degree or other.

Joy Larger than Joy Happiness

Part of our understanding is to see the entire Universe, not only the parts which we translate as peachy. As we do so, we evolve from our naive understanding of God or the Universe as something which is only beneficent to the ability to hold the fact that to understand the whole picture means that we have to hold both of life’s pleasures and life’s losses, toward a joy that is larger than even happiness alone. That to truly fall in love with this life we must somehow embrace the darkness.

The true lesson, the one that ultimately teaches us to experience this joy beyond happiness, is the lesson of how to sing when you are in the midst of great loss and sorrow, when you feel the most abandoned. 

Eventually, we learn that the true definition of success is defined not by apparent “wins,” but by someone who can stand and speak to whatever place they find themselves, who can stand at the end of the battle, when your house is burned down, your life feels like it’s in ruins and stand with your integrity and honor and sing into the darkness. Or at least hum a little, even if it’s interrupted by tears.

Mirroring Life

Contemplative practices like yoga and meditation are mirrors for life —the vicissitudes of life’s ups and downs are encoded within.

So tonight, I’ll be the crazy person outside singing to my darkness around 1 am practicing moon salutations or Chandra Namaskar to a vanishing moon as I learn and celebrate what it means to be utterly in the dark.


The following is a beautiful poem by Celeste Keele. It’s a poem about this deeper understanding of life and loss. 


Poetry and Prayers 

I speak poetry and prayers to myself.

These are my nursery rhymes,

sung soft and low,

as I wash with a fresh mango

and the gauzy morning sun in the bathtub.


Clean and feed myself,

(yes, that is what you can do)

and then

come to rest

change the shape of my body, and

begin to pray . . .


Let the sweetness and the harshness

wash over me.



I prop my warm, clean chest open,

arms and legs wide on the wood floor,

and move out,

here and there,

beyond my thoughts,

into here,

into what surely must be bliss.


I taste the tender, sweet morsels

so easily now,

heart open to breeze and birdsong,

the life moving outside my window,

reminding me

how to breathe.


Though my heart has not forgotten last night,

on rough hands and knees

drilling into the wood planks

beneath me,

wet with tears and anguish,

the wild animal of my heart

moaning its tenderness and loss.


Yes, my body is a canvas

of both fevers and flavors,

and does not forget.

The shadow of last night still

hugs me in deep places,



Yet in the rebirth of morning,

I’ve enticed myself


into a quieter and softer shape,



So that joy and hope

sift quickly and easily

in and through, and effortlessly

take me



Scott Moore Yoga

Photo by Dallas Graham

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in New York City and when he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, he writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to trail run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats to places like Hawaii and Amalfi Coast , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program


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