Breathe, move, be

A mantra for the darkness.

This is an equal breathing meditation that I discovered while sitting on my mat in the dark one night trying to make sense of some brow-wrinkling confusion. You know the feeling! 

Mantra for the darkness

Inhale: I breathe darkness into the light.

Exhale: I breathe light into the darkness.

Begin by finding a quiet space (a dark room with a lit candle, if you’d like!) and sitting comfortably on your mat, a pillow on the floor, or a supportive chair. Place the backs of your hands on your lap or knees, with palms facing up. Take a few natural breaths, lengthening through your spine as you inhale and feeling your inside cavities shift with your breath. Close your eyes and commit for a few moments to clearing your mind from other distractions. Inhale slowly and evenly until your lungs fill to capacity, while mentally reciting the first line of the mantra. Exhale smoothly and slowly, at an equal pace, reciting the second line of the mantra.

Continue for as long as you feel you need. Some people like to set a timer and end their meditation when it goes off. You can do this – or simply listen to your body.

Once you have finished your mantra, take a few moments to come back to the room. You might want to lie flat on your back on the floor in corpse pose, or take a few moments in child’s pose.

It’s a simple technique that allows you to feel a sense of calmness and steadiness wash over you.

This mantra is about bringing to light the darker reality of our human existence: despite how much we may seek and search and pine for clarity, the reality is that confusion, uncertainty, and “the great unknown” will always be present – and in the best possible way. The great mysteries allow us so much freedom to surrender to whatever it is that needs to happen.

It’s okay to sit with your darkness – to bring it into the light rather than shadow it in fear, anxiety, or depression. Once we accept some of the magic of the unknown, it may happen that we begin to flow more easily with life. We may begin to listen to the tiny cues that move us in certain happy directions, rather than spending energy straining for answers.

This mantra helps me remember that fixating too much on “figuring it all out” will get me feeling bogged down and grumpy rather than free and happy and alive.


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