I continue to contemplate light and my inner light. I hold the image of light in my awareness throughout each day.
I began contemplating light after darkness crept into my inner landscape. In the darkness I felt an “I give up feeling” and the scary thought “what’s the point?” began to form in my mind. Fortunately I found a spark of hope and was able to rekindle the light within. The images of gathering wood for an inner fire came to me as darkness permeated my inner landscape; I was able to rekindle my flame of hope as I gathered this wood, kindling, from my depths. From that spark of insight, the idea of rekindling the flame within, contemplation of my inner light emerged. The notion of my inner fire became the inspiration for my last blog post, “Discovering Light in the Dark.”
As part of my contemplation on light, I began a new ritual: I light a candle every night. For a minute or so after I light each candle I study the flame, I become curious. I look into the flame and marvel at its color – the gold, the blue, the purple “hallow” at the tip of the thread. I notice the shape of the flame – its soft edges, its height, its crest. I watch the steady flame or if there is movement in the air that disturbs the flame, I watch the flame flicker and dance, swaying side to side, bouncing in all directions.
I stay with the dancing flame until it becomes steady and still again. I note to myself that the light always seeks to steady itself, to come back to the center, to find a place of tranquility. I contemplate how this tranquil light is a great metaphor. The light models a state of being I can cultivate in my life: tranquility, inner stillness, free from agitation of mind or spirit.
I put my hands over the flame and feel its warmth and its heat. With my inner sense, my heart sense, I feel gratitude for this radiating light, for this glowing and shining light. I feel gratitude that because of this light I can see in the dark, both literally and figuratively. I feel gratitude for all that this light is teaching me. I feel grateful that the light is shining on my path of discovery.
Sometimes my practice and ritual of lighting a candle is a symbolic gesture. I place an intention on the light, an intention I want to manifest in my life, such as tranquility. The light represents that intention, it radiates the intention, it sends out the light of that intention.
Sometimes lighting the candle is a hopeful gesture. The light becomes the flame of a hope, wish, or desire I have in my life. The intent behind this action is to keep the fire burning around this hope, wish, or desire instead of letting the fire die out.
Other times my practice of lighting the candle serves as a reminder of my inner light. I hold the light in my hands with reverence, holding this light as if it is a delicate flower or a newborn baby. This light, my light, is precious and sacred. In these reverent moments I recite Pantajali’s Yoga Sutra I.36 “visoka va jyotishmati,” which translates into English as “the light within is free from all sorrow and suffering.”
I leave you with this ray of light:
“Be a light unto yourself . . . Hold fast to the Truth.”
– The Buddha’s final words
I want to say a special thank you to my friend Katy who is a source of inspiration in my life. Katy is steady like the light, unwavering in her friendship to me. In times of my sorrow or grief or when my hope is fading, Katy lights a candle for me and sends light and healing and hopeful vibrations out into the Universe. Love and light to you!! <3