A Meditation for Light in Darkness

a woman meditating with candles
This meditation begins with an invitation to close your eyes.  The invitation is to welcome and see darkness and to see light.
Welcome. Close your eyes.
Feel your body supported by your seat. You are safe. The lights may be out and you are completely safe. I am going to guide you with my voice, but if at any time you want to open your eyes, this is fine.
With your eyes closed, what do you see? Do you see light? Darkness? Are there any shapes? How do you feel? See if you can notice the edges of your inner vision. Are there some dark spaces inside? This is completely safe darkness.
Notice your breath. You may not have noticed, but you’ve been breathing all day. As you inhale, let your inner eye follow the breath, down your throat, into your lungs, pushing down your diaphragm. Imagine that your breath fills your belly. Follow your breath even further down to your feet. Inhale. Exhale.
In Hebrew, the word for breath is ‘nishimah.’ It is much like the word for soul, ‘neshamah.‘ As you inhale, your neshimah, feel your neshamah expanding. [pause]
I’m going to share a quote from Proverbs, part of our Sacred text.
The first word, Ner, like l’hadleek ner shel hanukkah. Ner means candle.  Ner Adonai. The candle of God.
Ner Adonai, the candle of God, Nishmat Adam, is the soul of the human. The candle of God is the Soul of the human.
Now imagine, in that inner chamber into which you’ve been breathing, a candle. Imagine a candle with a wick in tact.
Ner Yah, Nishmat Adam.
Don’t light it yet. Just a candle. Are you anticipating light? This inner flame will not burn you. It will not hurt. This inner flame is here to bring light– to bring light to your inside. With no worry for fire, if you’re able, visualize this inner candle being illuminated. See that light inside.  What do you see? How does it feel? Can you see into the darkness?
Ner Adonai, Nishmat Adam.
Imagine this inner flame growing. Imagine the radiance coming out of you. Spread your light to fill this room. Spread this light beyond the walls, out to people you love. Spread this light across the country, even across the world. With your eyes closed, how far can you see the light?
Does this light have a message for you? [pause]
Ner HaShem, Nishmat Adam. Don’t forget to keep breathing. In a moment, I will be lighting a match. I invite you keep your eyes closed and listen to the match and the flame.
When I strike the match, I may be lighting a Shabbat candle, or a havdalah candle. It may be a Hanukkah candle, or a birthday candle. When I strike the match, I will transfer flame to the candle wick. For a moment, the flames will share light.
Once the candle is lit, I can use it to share light. Sometimes, when we share something we have less– this is not the case with light. When we share our light, we have more light.
I invite you to sit with this light and darkness. No judgement. Just light and dark. You can sit for as long as you like. Let any messages come and wash over you. May this experience bring enlightenment, and may you share your light in the world.
נֵ֣ר יְ֭הֹוָה נִשְׁמַ֣ת אָדָ֑ם חֹ֝פֵ֗שׂ כׇּל־חַדְרֵי־בָֽטֶן׃
The candle of YHVH is the lifebreath of a person, go illuminate all your inner chambers.
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