The Dark Light: Depression and the Spiritual Journey

June 17th, 2015Elizabeth Rabia Roberts Ed.D. University professor, Pres. Boulder institute for Nature and Human SpiritHost: Barry Erdman

About The Presentation

As a therapist, coach or spiritual teacher it is likely you have worked with people with at least a mild experience of “the Dark Night of the Soul”. Perhaps they or you have been troubled by serious grief, loss, deep sadness or loss of confidence about the direction of one’s life.

As painful as these moments are, they are part of the great rhythms of the Earth. They are necessary for the renewal of life. There is a lineage of both religious and secular literature reminding us that times of darkness are a natural part of the human condition. To descend, submit and die ‘the openess to being acted upon’ the essence of the human experience when we come face-to-face with the transpersonal. It is a defining part of the spiritual life.

We will explore some of the ancient myths and current ideas about the meaning of depression as it effects our experience of the divine. Our descent to the “underworld” is a transformative experience where our old identity is stripped away. We move from our thinking capacities to our deeper knowings — those laid down in the right brain before the gifts of the left rational side were even recognizable. We will talk about the patterns to be found in the dark light that is hidden in most depression and how to awaken to these patterns with a client or friend.

About the Presenter

Rabia is a spiritual teacher in the Sufi and Buddhist traditions, university professor and long time international peace and justice activist living and working in over a dozen countries from Burma to Brazil. She is cofounder of the Environmental Leadership M.A. program at the Naorpa university and founder of its ecopsychology certificate program.

In every country in which she as worked she has arranged spiritual retreats, empowerment projects and leadership training in the ‘New Story’. She has led Wilderness Quests and pan cultural Rites-of-passage, for the past 25 years and now is working in rites of passage work for elders. She has taught at Harvard University, Marquette University and Naropa University.

Through her work she has listened to thousands of women and men from different cultrues share their most intimate stories. Recently while in Afghanistan, Rabia was called one of our ‘global grandmothers’ a title she cherishes about all others.

She currently works as personal mentor in Boulder Colorado and at Westlight, her Sufi spiritual center in Crestone, CO.  She is co-editor of the well known anthologies, Earth Prayers and Prayers for a Thousand Years.

Additional Resources

Rabia’s teachings are available on her website:

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