EXERCISE 12: The Practice – 1: The candle
Now we enter a set of exercises focussing on the tools of the Practice. While a spiritual practice can be performed anywhere, there are some ‘props’ that help, especially in the early stages of developing a regular practice. The quiet space you set aside for this practice is one such ‘prop.’ others include the chair you sit on (straight-back, or a meditation cushion, or meditation stool…). Most practitioners suggest a candle as well.
- Put a candle before you.
- Light it.
- Look at it; feel its light, its warmth. Centre and become still.
- Imagine life without light or warmth.
- Imagine life without the light and warmth of love.
- Imagine, then, this candle as the presence of Someone who loves you dearly as you are; of Someone who wants to be with you; to be close to you; who wants to bathe you in light and warmth and love.
- Every time you do an Exercise, light a candle to remind you that God loves you, that God calls you, that God showers you with gifts.
- The candle can remind you of God’s gift, and of your desire to respond to this gift with freedom, openness, and authenticity.
If you are taking this God-quest seriously, you will want to develop a daily Practice. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but it has to be regular. Like with any athlete, it is practice that makes perfect. So you’ll need to develop a little routine. Design one that you are comfortable with, and that stands a chance at becoming a regular habit.