This event will be held at the Kleinert/James Center for the Arts at 36 Tinker Street.
In the tradition of Thomas Merton’s spiritual classic The Seven Storey Mountain or Thomas Moore’s Care of the Soul, Waking Up to the Dark is a deeply resonant and personal project—a modern gospel that is an investigation of the relationship between darkness and the soul. The darkness Clark Strand is talking about here is literal: the darkness of the nighttime, of a world before electricity, when there was a rhythm to life that followed the sun’s rising and setting. Ninety-nine percent of Americans live in areas that are officially “light polluted,” which means that the night is at least ten times brighter than it should be. Are we facing an epidemic of artificial light? And what can be reclaimed in the dark? Strand, a former Zen Buddhist monk, grew up in darkness: He spent his childhood in rural Alabama, where the night sky was visible and expansive, and where he would often take walks in the dark, becoming acquainted with owls and bats, and with the night sounds of the natural world that most of us have never heard. Here he offers penetrating insight on the spiritual enrichment that can be found when we pull the plug on our billion-watt culture. Why do we secretly crave the storm that knocks out the power and shuts down the city? Why are we more prone to consider our souls in the quiet of the night? Strand argues that the insomnia so many of us experience as “the Hour of the Wolf” is really “the Hour of God”—a wellspring of rest and renewal, and an ancient reservoir of ancestral wisdom and inspiration. Finally, in a powerful yet surprising turn, Strand shares with us an urgent message for the world, received through a mysterious young woman, about the changes we all know are coming. Waking Up to the Dark is a book for those of us who awaken in the night and don’t know why we can’t get back to sleep, and a book for those of us who have grown uncomfortable in real darkness—which we so rarely experience these days, since our first impulse is always to turn on the light. Most of all, it is a book for those of us who wonder about our souls: When the lights are always on, when there is always noise around us, do our souls have the nourishment they need in which to grow?
MORE: Clark Strand, a former senior editor at Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, has been studying the world’s spiritual traditions for more than thirty years. The author of Waking the Buddha, Meditation Without Gurus, How to Believe in God, and Seeds from a Birch Tree, Strand has written for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Washington Post/Newsweek On Faith blog. He is the founder of Way of the Rose, a growing nonsectarian rosary fellowship open to people of any spiritual background, with members around the world. He lives on a dark road with no streetlights in the southern Catskill Mountains.
Will Lytle grew up in the Catskill Mountains where, after years abroad as a hitchhiking, train-hopping vagabond, he returned to build a small house with wood from his family’s lumber mill. Lytle is the creator of the guerilla-style Thorneater Comics series.
“This book is small in size and mighty in spirit. It is at once a clarion call and a meditation. Sonorous, deep, soul-stirring, and profoundly comforting, Waking Up to the Dark is a rare book that will be pressed from one hand to the next with the urgent, whispered words: You must read this.”—Dani Shapiro, author of Devotion
“In this exhilaratingly original work, Clark Strand shows us that the key to enlightenment lies where we don’t want to look. It is hidden in plain sight, but we have to turn the lights off to find it.”—Mark Epstein, MD, author of Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart and The Trauma of Everyday Life “Breathtaking and revolutionary, a small masterpiece for a world that has grown uncomfortable with the darkness and a poignant plea to take back the dark as the Hour of God, as the great friend of faith, awakening, and soul nourishment.”—Gail Straub, co-founder of Empowerment Institute and author of Returning to My Mother’s House “The overuse of artificial light at night deserves our immediate attention, not only because of its many serious costs but because light is only half of life. In Waking Up to the Dark, Clark Strand explains the cost of all this light to our soul and spirit. Wonder, solitude, quiet, intimacy, the holy—darkness holds these treasures and more. If we want to connect with God, argues Strand in this wise and compassionate book, we will ‘awaken to the dark.’ ”—Paul Bogard, author of The End of Night “In a modern world flooded with artificial light, Clark Strand reminds us what we have left behind in the dark. This beautiful, haunting meditation is filled with surprises and lost knowledge. Read it by candlelight—you will never forget it.”—Mitch Horowitz, author of Occult America and One Simple Idea “A wonderfully reassuring antidote to the punishing electronic churn of the digital mega-machine,Waking Up to the Dark offers a brave, lyrical, and singular challenge to the techno-narcissism that rules the day.”—James Howard Kunstler, author of The Long Emergency and the World Made by Hand novels “This wondrous book reminds us of a forgotten place, a place obliterated by our screens and shining surfaces that catch the glancing light and hide the depths from us. Strand proposes a ‘Dark Revolt.’ Join him as you read this revolutionary book!”—Joan Halifax Roshi, abbot of Upaya Zen Center and author of Being with Dying
“Clark Strand has written a powerful book, an insightful testament that reminds us of what it means to be human. It enables us to revision and reclaim the dark as an ally in our need to rediscover wholeness for our world and for ourselves.”—David Spangler, author of Apprenticed to Spirit andIgniting Earth
Location: Street: Kleinert/James Center for the Arts Additional: 35 Tinker Street City: Woodstock, Province: New York Postal Code: 12498 Country: United States (added from IndieBound)