Chanting In The Dark

Chanting In The DarkI don’t know what it was that woke me early today, maybe it was the rocking of the boat, or maybe the sun shining in through the cabin window. Whatever it was, I dressed quietly and left the others sleeping soundly.

The stillness of the morning air was quite magic. I walked down the towpath, away from the boat and towards the Whitehouse tunnel a few hundred yards away. There were birds singing in the trees and an earthy smell from the wet soil, it was all very calm.

As I entered the tunnel I started chanting, quietly at first, then louder and louder. The tunnel is about 200 yards long and I could see the sunlight shining in at the far end. But as I got deeper and deeper inside, I could not see the towpath, my feet, even my hand in front of my face, other than by silhouetting it against the half circle of light ahead.

The resonance of my chanting got louder and louder and it got darker and darker. I could not see where I was walking, so I trusted in my senses and in the engineering expertise of the people who built the tunnel all those many years ago.

It struck me that walking through that dark tunnel was a little like my faith in my practice and in Nichiren Daishonin who had laid the path before me. Like the light at the far end of the tunnel, we walk forward, trusting our steps will rest on solid ground, towards the enlightenment we seek. We are never disappointed, the way is solid and supports us in our quest.

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