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The Glow

Turn off the lights in your room

and light a candle.

Place it a few feet away from you.


Now focus on the flame:

sometimes it dances

and you observe its smallest movements,

sometimes it seems motionless and steady.

You may find it more restful to close your eyes

and see the flame in fantasy.


As you look at the flame

think of what it symbolizes for you.

It may be a symbol of many things.


Allow memories of the past

connected with the candle flame

to come to your awareness.


Then conduct a dialogue with the flame

— on life and death, the flame’s and yours,

or life and death in general.


Finally put all words and thoughts and memories aside

and contemplate the flame in silence,

thus allowing the flame to give your heart a message,

a wisdom that escapes the grasp of conscious thought.


At the end take leave of the flame

by joining your hands and bowing down to it.

Then respectfully put it out

with the grateful awareness

that it has kindled something in your heart

that you will carry with you through the day.


by Anthony deMello, Wellsprings, A Book of Spiritual Exercises



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