Praying in the dark...something new and unexpected. you get a lesson in being blind in more ways than one.
The past few months, in an effort to allow my significant other to sleep, I find myself getting up in the middle of the night and want to meditate and pray. It isn’t a problem, but for my wife to sleep, the house resembles more of a black out bomb shelter, with no light at all. You have the drapes, curtains and the exterior wooden shutters closed. That makes it really comfortably dark to sleep.
Then she unplugs and covers up all the clocks or LED lights inside the house.
For sleeping – you can’t ask for a better dark environment.
For waking up in the middle of the night, praying, or having to go to the bathroom - not really a bright idea - pun pun pun
There was a few days’ years ago, where I put on the blinder eye masks to understand what a blind person must deal with each day. It took some major adjustment in life not to get hurt or do something that could burn the house down while cooking.
When you deal with complete darkness in prayer, you find yourself alone; eyes wide open, and yet seeing nothing but darkness and the normal guide of prayer books and holy texts are only visible from the memory inside your mind. In a sense, it is a bit scary as you get the sensation of “this is the universe without god in it…just quiet, never-ending black space.”
If you have never had the experience of working inside sensory depravation tanks, I suggest you try it out as one of your bucket lists in life. Dr john Lilly – who is better known for the Janus project, started most of the research and work.
The first time you are in the tank – floating upon a layer of salt water so dense, that when my old roommate john and I thought about building tanks in our lab/house in Sausalito – I was shocked at how much salt we needed in the water to keep a human buoyant.
I digress, so you get in the tank, and then there is nothing. You swear 3,4,5 hours pass and then you are brought out into the reality of the world again.
“How long was I in there for?”
The same process happens meditating and praying with no light. Aside from the awareness that you are alone in silence – you also get to hear how cluttered your heart and mind are with thoughts and distractions of the world. You might think you have prayed for 3,4 5 hours. The reality is it might have only been 10 minutes.
Something does change over time, and I am not sure if it is recommended to pray and meditate in the dark? But that is what I have available to me in the quest to keep my wife happy and comfortable that I am in the dark room with her as she sleeps.
If I get up and go into the bathroom and pray, the slightest noise or distraction usually will wake her from a sound sleep.
Thus, it is simply easier to put my feet on the floor and try to navigate praying with the heart, in complete darkness.
It is hard. It is also fascinating – like going into a sensory depravation tank. There is so much more going on inside our minds and souls than we are aware of.
If anyone has any ideas of thought of how to make this process easier, please send a message along.