There is a general understanding, perhaps in the East anyway, that monks are back in the monastery by night fall. That certainly makes sense for safety reasons alone. My mind can run riot on the possible dangers of being out after dark. Tigers, holes in the road, robbers, run away ox carts! Even with relatively safe streets and good lighting I tend not to be out walking at night. Of course there are times when I’ll be driving late into the night but that’s a different thing.
What’s that? I started. Seeing in the gathering gloom something sticking up on the side of the road. No worries Rev. Mugo, it’s just a telephone pole. My female walking companion responded. As we walked and talked the moon, possibly a full one, rose ponderously from behind the hillside like a giant balloon. But we had to turn around and head home, regretfully turning our backs on the moons yellow glow. It illuminated our way as we chatted on. When people ask to talk informally I like to walk and talk with them. If they are up for that. Four walks and talks today has left me a tad achy.
We carried our own yellow glow in the form of yellow reflective vests and arm bands. There are generally few cars on the lane below the monastery. Then out of the blue a car zoomed up, coming to an abrupt halt in front of us. Uh Oh! Out after dark, not a good thing. I thought. But it was nothing just a couple of chaps, seeing our reflective gear, asking if we were Marshals for the car rally! Later in meditation we heard a few cars zooming by.
A monastery or place of practice such as a small temple or as we call them priories are representative of going within, sitting meditation. There we are gathered together or alone at home, sitting within the velvety darkness of meditation after the light of day is done. The light of activity gives way to reflective night. So the dark of night is calling us home. To our sitting place.
Of course one would not be out after dark! Lurking lions and tigers or no.