I have heard from a lot of people that they are afraid of the dark, they are afraid of being alone in the dark. Why should one be afraid of the dark? Darkness occurs when the sun sets and it is time for the physical body to rest, so it is as natural as daylight – even then people are afraid of the dark! This fear is most likely carried over from some past birth incident and you have no clue from where this fear arises. This fear when it becomes extreme gives rise to symptoms of depression and anxiety. When taken to extreme levels and if it remains persistent it becomes a phobia.
When we sit down to meditate, we shut our eyes, the moment we shut our eyes darkness engulfs us – if at this point, we are afraid we will never be able to enter into meditation. Now, this is a serious problem. It is necessary to first work around this problem and then try and go to its root and then get rid of it. Darkness can be avoided by putting on a night lamp, and then you could sit down for meditation facing a burning lamp – one is electrical the other is fire. The burning lamp purifies the atmosphere around you – you need to believe that and accept it deep in your subconscious mind – only then will you be able to get rid of this fear. Work on yourself with the lamp lit up and then shut your eyes for meditation. Once you shut your eyes chant any mantra of your choice and keep your mind focused on the mantra and not on the darkness.
The darkness I have experienced in meditation is like a never-ending tunnel, but the darkness is friendly, not at all scary, and it gives me the expectation of finding the light at the end of the tunnel. We are all on our own individual spiritual journey, this last leg of the journey has to be traversed alone, there will be nobody with us – except our fears, if any – just remember that fear is a thought too. Clear your mind and embrace the darkness, all the while chanting your favourite mantra, and soon you will notice that you were not afraid. Once you lose this fear while meditating, extend it to the practical aspect of your life, soon you will have completely got rid of this fear. Now, you will love to embrace it and become one with it – because within us, with eyes closed – Aakash is nothingness – just empty space. Enjoy it, love it and merge in it – that is the bliss we are all heading for. Accept it!