Movement and Meditation

Focus on the Flame

The hours of daylight are shrinking in the Northern Hemisphere, and the sunshine that does reach us comes in at a cooler, weakened slant; the temperatures are sinking; the holidays across faith traditions are marking the season with lights: If you wish, now is a perfect time to practice flame-gazing meditation. Whether you choose to sit a few feet away from a lit candle at eye level or settle yourself into comfortable seating at a safe distance from burning logs in the fireplace, whether you choose to focus for five minutes or thirty or more, settle into the stillness of staring at the flames, so fascinating in their turbulent flow. Bask in the warmth of the yellow and orange light, of its heat. Allow tensions or worries in your body and your thoughts to be swallowed up in the fire, just for now, maybe for always. Wonder at the connections between the simple needs right now of the flame and your own—oxygen, breath.