Black Beauty is a famous children’s novel, and there can indeed be a primal beauty about darkness, when we sense nature at work in the earth, in rocks, rivers and oceans, and in the sky with its mysterious nocturnal activity.

Dark and light, as the Tao teaches, are an inseparable part of Nature. Perhaps, when it comes to the inner spiritual journey, rather than the image of darkness we should use phrases such as ‘the cloud of unknowing’, a fog, a mist that at times has the capacity to obscure all landmarks on our journey. We peer into the mist, seeking our way forward. Sitting in silent meditation we frequently have no idea where we are journeying to!

Often in life it can seem that we are trapped in a tunnel of darkness. It may be the blindness of grief at the failure of a relationship, or the death of someone close to us. The tunnel seems unending. But, rather than rail against the darkness, the secret is to learn what it has to teach us. Every setback is a challenge to advance. We can choose to go backwards, or to remain stuck, or to move forward, confident in the knowledge that in time the dawn will come.


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