Settle yourself quietly, with eyes closed, in a space as dark as possible in which you still feel safe and comfortable. Once you are quieted, recall a time when your own life went “dark,” when you could not see your way forward and your usual coping style did not work. What brought on this dark time? When did it finally lift, and what caused it to lift? Did your life return to its same configuration after the period of darkness, or was it changed in some way? Were you the same after the period of darkness, or had you changed in some way?
Many are eagerly anticipating the upcoming eclipse, even going to great lengths to be able to watch it. Can you recall a time when you hoped for some sort of emotional or spiritual eclipse, a time for things to stop, to go dark, to shut down? Why did you long for an eclipse? Did you take steps to cause it to happen, or did you simply wait for circumstances to align so that an eclipse would be possible? Did anything change as a result of the eclipse?
Until humans had a full understanding of natural events, an eclipse was feared as the beginning of the end of existence. Some spiritual teachers envision a period often called “the dark night of the soul,” a time when an individual is no longer in control of life and all that had been counted on falls apart. This sort of spiritual eclipse is necessary in order for something new to enter one’s life, and also necessary so that one can learn the limits of control. Have you ever experienced a significant loss of control in your life? What caused you to lose control? When did control return to you (if it did), or how did you understand control differently after having lost control for a time?
We are urged to be cautious in observing the upcoming eclipse and to ensure we have adequate eye protection. Be gentle with yourself whenever a time of eclipse comes into your life, make good use of the supports available to you, and know that the light always returns.