Contemplative Light

Inspiration and Guidance on the Journey to Awakening

A Dark Secret To Happiness?

I recently spent the weekend with an old friend who was going through a series of losses on several fronts. His grandmother, his mother, and his dog had died within a year, and he separated from his wife and was undergoing divorce proceedings.Meanwhile, there are two small children to take care of on a tight budget as he wraps up an advanced degree program. On the surface, the challenges seem overwhelming.

A Simple Practice To Grow Lovingkindness

As a child growing up in an Evangelical context, Catholic depictions of Jesus fascinated me. One especially striking image was that of the Sacred Heart in which Christ touches his chest with his heart aglow.Maybe it seemed archaic or too formal or stoic on the one hand or too simplistic or too melodramatic. Maybe it seemed too obviously metaphorical and therefore a little bit dangerous. But maybe the most striking aspect of it was it seemed too vulnerable.

What Exactly Is The Dark Night of the Soul?

In contemplative circles, whether spiritual formation, spiritual direction, or contemporary spirituality, one often comes across the phrase The Dark Night of the Soul. The phrase calls to mind a certain image and is fairly accessible to a modern mind on the surface.But all too often it seems interchangeably used with terms like depression or suffering. We hear the phrase and automatically call to mind the worst time in our lives. Maybe we had to face a harsh reality, suffered deep and prolonged depression, or lost a loved one. But is that what this phrase refers to?