Tuesday, December 20, 2011


There is something about the lighting of a candle in a conscious and wakeful way that expands my heart and enlivens my Soul. To light a candle as a sacred act of devotion and dedication touches something deep within me. It connects me to the millions of other spiritual aspirants who have lit candles around the globe in so many places and for a plethora of different intentions. The act itself is transcendent of words and engages the senses in a way that no other sacrament really does. It is a simple act, and perhaps its profundity is in its simplicity. It is a highly personal act when it is done heartfully, even when it is done in a crowd of other people. To stop and to connect to the depths of my inner Being before actively lighting the candle that is before me in many ways reminds me of how I want to live in this world. I intend to live a conscious and wakeful life. I intend to live a life that is permeated with devotion and guided by a dedication to living in the Light of Truth. I intend to live in such a way that brings Light to every situation in which I am involved and engaged. I intend to live in such a vibratory state of reverence that my Presence, like a candle, brings the Light of Love wherever I go. I intend to bring the Light of higher awareness into the darkness of human unconsciousness and unskillfulness. I intend to be an instrument of Light within this world. I intend to shine brightly with the Light of the One Source.

I was not born or reared in a tradition that had much to do with candle lighting. It was not until I was an adult that this sacred practice took on meaning for me. Perhaps that is part of what makes it so special to me now. It is not something that I ever did by rote. I chose to begin to use candle lighting as a meaningful ritual as a representation of the Light that I was finding at the core of my own Inner Being. I never lit a candle in an effort to get an outer Light to do something for me. I was and am lighting candles today to celebrate the Light that is already shining within me. I Light candles to acknowledge the brilliance that is already within others. I light candles to honor a person or occasion or holiday that I feel a call to more artfully bless. I light candles in times of sadness and grief and in times of joy and triumph. I light candles when I am praying, when I am writing, and when I am working with others. The candle light is a representation of the Source Light that is forever burning in the realm of the unseen.

And so in this beautiful season of multiple Lights I prayerfully light my Advent candles in the morning and at sundown my Hanukkah lamps. Between the candle lightings I live in the awareness that I am an instrument of Source Light that is choosing to shine within this world of so much pain, forgetfulness and darkness. I devote my days to staying awake to the ever-present Light that is always available and instantly accessible. I ask not that I be delivered from situations of darkness; rather I ask that when darkness enshrouds or surrounds me that I remember to rely on the only Source of all Light and Life. I ask that I remain open to be a space for the miraculous on this earth. I ask that my heart be used as a portal in service of the Light, and that my Presence be a comfort to those who are temporarily forgetful of the Light. Let me be a candle to light their way. Let my compassion and mercy remind them of how light shines in and through apparent darkness. Let my reverent way of Being be an embrace to all who enter my sphere. Let me truly be a candle in the darkness. Not just in this holiday season, but in each and every day of my incarnation. Let me Be Light. Let me Be Light.