Darkness is an inseparable part of life. Yet instead of resisting it or trying to eradicate it, as society would often have us do, how can we use darkness as fodder for our growth and evolution? In this podcast, Tami Simon speaks with poet, Zen Buddhist priest, and artist Zenju Earthlyn Manuel about her new book, Opening to Darkness: Eight Gateways for Being with the Absence of Light in Unsettling Times, and how we can begin to change the way we relate to darkness and blackness.
We invite you to turn off the lights and close your eyes (assuming you’re not driving), as you listen to this insightful and provocative conversation exploring “zenju,” or complete tenderness; our longing for light and the call to “enter our caves”; the connection between the bias toward light and the oppression of Black-bodied people; the evolutionary force of blackness; creativity and darkness; the notion of “the absence of light”; the price we pay by avoiding darkness at all costs; how we can’t really know but can only experience light or darkness; the teacher of darkness called death, and the willingness to look at something beyond our control; the inner capacities to stay with darkness; recognizing the spiritual component to darkness; building an intuition and going beyond what is taught and learned about darkness and blackness; being with suffering; silence and darkness; and more.
Note: This episode originally aired on Sounds True One, where these special episodes of Insights at the Edge are available to watch live on video and with exclusive access to Q&As with our guests. Learn more at join.soundstrue.com.