The western world is becoming more and more interested in meditation and while this is something that has been practiced in places around the world for many thousands of years, many people still find that they are unfamiliar with how they should practice meditation.
While there are certain things that you should think about when meditating, there is no right or wrong way to do it. Your meditation session is something personal to you and how you experience it has a lot to do with what you want to get out of it and how you feel. That being said, there are some things to think about before deciding on what is best.
In this article, we are going to be looking at how the two experiences of meditating in the dark and in the light compare, giving you a clear definition of which one is going to be best for you.
Should You Meditate In Dark Or Light?
People are very aware of the many positive benefits and effects that meditation can bring and more and more research is being done on the healing benefits of the practice. These effects are of the body, mind and our spirituality, so there is no denying that this one of the most diverse and advantageous practices known to man. But the fact remains that different people will need to experience meditation in different ways.
One of the key parts of meditating is that you should always get a sense of relaxation, this applies regardless of the type of meditation session that you are doing. Getting into a meditative state can feel a little more challenging for some people, especially if there are a lot of distractions. For this reason, many people decide to meditate in a dark room.
If you tend to do your meditation sessions during the day, it can be difficult to access a dark room, unless you install blackout curtains or some other accessory, such as a blindfold for blocking out light. But this might be a worthy investment because it is thought that meditating in the light can be particularly distracting.
This is because, even with the eyes closed, light can penetrate through the eyelids and this can be very off-putting when you are trying to focus the mind on meditating. There are also some people that find that when they practice meditation in the light, they feel a lot more agitated.
This kind of activity is designed to help us become relaxed and focus the mind and this is not possible when we experience feelings of irritation or discomfort.
However, doing meditation in the light can be a lot more soothing for a lot of meditation practitioners. A light environment can often feel like a much safer experience than doing a meditation practice in a dark room. While a fear of the dark is often associated with children, there are many adults that still suffer with this crippling fear and that is OK.
There are some advantages to meditating in the light and you will still experience many of the benefits that meditation has to offer. There are posts all over the internet about these positive effects and as more research is done, they are becoming ever more clear.
One of the main benefits of meditating in the light over darkness is that you may learn to focus the mind more quickly and easily. You will often find that your head in swimming in thoughts and while meditation is not about removing thoughts from the head entirely, you will want to learn to let the thoughts pass and reach a meditative state.
Meditating in the light will allow your body to become accustomed to meditation in any situation and this will mean that wherever you are, your body will be able to get into a relaxed state and meditate. Researchers from the Columbia University Medical Center have done various pieces of research to show how vastly meditation can improve your focus and this solidifies that.
Is It Okay To Meditate In The Dark?
While everything we have discussed about meditation in the light is correct and you will likely have very positive experiences from meditating this way, it is believed that doing this practice in darkness can have an ever greater effect.
If we look back through history, we will see that the Buddhist monks in ancient times would always favour meditation in the dark. It is believed that this is because everything was quiet and there would be nothing to distract these people from their meditation. The monks would often do their meditation in the dark of night after everyone else was sleeping.
But there was another important reason that the monks believed that meditating in the dark would produce the best results. They thought that, whilst in the dark, they would be able to gain much more clarity and wisdom from their practice without any distractions.
One of the best parts about meditation in the dark is that this practice is known to have some very positive benefits on the body. Primarily, you will begin to notice, by incorporating regular dark meditation sessions into your life, is that this is a very healing practice.
You may notice that you suffer from fewer headaches and pain as well as a significant release of physical tension. This is attributed to the activation of both the pineal and pituitary glands during the practice and the release of certain hormones.
With all of this in mind, it would be easy to assume that turning down the lighting and meditating in the dark is the only way to meditate. However, much like anything, there are some downsides to meditating in a dark room.
Some people believe that when we meditate in darkness, this is an opportunity for dark spirits to reveal themselves. This can be a frightening experience but what you should remember is that this part of meditation in typically all inside the mind. People who experience this usually do so because of images that are formed in their own head.
However, this belief will largely come down to whether you believe in a spirit world. If you do, and this is something that causes you to have feelings of fear or dread then it is perfectly acceptable for you to meditate in the light until such a time that you can work through the problem. Meditation is meant to have a positive effect on your life, not make you feel scared or distressed.
Finally, meditating in a dark room could cause you to feel tired and in some cases, people will succumb to sleep and not manage to finish the meditation. But we will look at this in a little more detail later on.
What Is Darkness Meditation?
Darkness meditation is not a kind of meditation that can be accessed anywhere. In fact, there are only two darkness retreats in the USA at the moment. But when you learn that this journey of the heart is said to bring about incredible transformations and a massive number of healing advantages, it is tempting to learn more.
The Amaya Center is a retreat that offers just such a type of meditation and offers dark meditation of the heart. The founder of this retreat has spoken openly about the benefits that this journey of the heart can have and it’s pretty exciting.
In the most simple terms, dark meditation is the practice of spending extended periods of time in a dark room. These dark rooms have been found throughout the world and from various civilizations over time. They were noted in the Egyptian pyramids, in catacombs in Europe, caves in India and even in the Amazon rainforest.
In modern times, there is a Taoist school that offers dark meditation retreats where practitioners will spend an extended time in a dark room to access deeper parts of their spirituality.
In the ancient Indian practice of Ayurveda, spending time in the dark was thought to be very beneficial, particularly where Ayurvedic medicine was concerned. Therefore, many practitioners of dark meditation believe that this practice can have profound effects on the body as well as the mind.
It is thought that the body may benefit from better overall health which in turn can slow down the process of ageing.
Is It Bad To Meditate In Bed?
One of the problems of modern life is that we are always so busy; this makes it incredibly difficult to create a meditation routine without disrupting any of our other priorities. For this reason, lots of people decide to do their daily meditation in bed.
A great advantage of this is that you are putting yourself in an atmosphere that is undoubtedly conducive to relaxing which is what meditation is all about. However, sometimes, people can become so relaxed that they end up falling asleep.
This is one of the greatest issues with meditating in bed and while there is no right or wrong, it is worth considering whether you will benefit from your meditation if you are asleep.
The purpose of this article is to look at whether you should meditate in the dark so the best advice that we can offer is that if your preference is to meditate in bed, you could do it with the lights on to avoid becoming too sleepy.
Alternatively, if you wanted to meditate in total darkness, you could try meditating with the eyes open. Even if you begin to feel that the eyes are becoming heavy, you will have a degree of control over this before your body gives in an goes to sleep.
In some cases, it will be beneficial for you to fall asleep when you meditate as this is your body’s way of letting you know that it is tired and needs to rest. But if you fall asleep every time you meditate, this can mean that you do not reap all of the advantages associated with meditating.
Sometimes, opening a window and having a fresh breeze coming into the room can be enough to keep you awake. The idea with meditation is that you get into a very relaxed state but remain aware and this can take some time to get right, and that is OK.
A common question that is raised by those who do meditation is whether it should be practiced in a light or dark room. In truth, there is no right or wrong and it will largely depend on what you prefer; there are those that like to be in the dark whereas others find that the light helps them to meditate.
There are, of course, pros and cons to meditating in the light or to turning the light down entirely. Primarily, being in the dark allows to you be less distracted but in contrast, meditating in the light means that you can work on your focus more intensely.
Whether you choose to meditate in the light or in the dark, one of the key aspects of this type of practice is to become relaxed. You might use a meditation app or simply sit with your breath but you must be careful not to drift into so much of a relaxed state that you fall asleep.
Once you have made a decision on the best meditation environment for you, you will soon see the advantages of this incredible practice including lower tension and stress levels, reduced pain and better overall health as well as improved focus and a deeper connection to your spiritual side.