Spiritual Practice During the Pandemic
Dyanne Marlok was a student in last fall’s Spiritual Practice learning circle. We asked her if that circle has proven useful in the past few months.
In October 2019 I was part of a learning circle on Christian spiritual practices. I enjoyed being introduced to the history and diversity of practices, private devotion and communal spirituality, discipleship and companioning. For our final assignment, I needed to choose a spiritual practice and commit to it for 30 days.
I decided to spend 15 to 30 minutes each day contemplating a candle flame while listening to contemporary religious or southern gospel music. Sometimes I watched a music video on my laptop. On stressful days I simply watched the candle flame.
Now, I have a candle sitting on my desk at home and often have it lit while doing work on my laptop. Late in the evening I will sit for a few minutes and watch the candle flame dance. I use a variety of candles to enhance the spiritual experience such as aromatic candles or ones in a glass container with 3 wicks. Sometimes, I carefully put the lid on and watch each flame slowly flicker out. I release the lid just as the fragrant smoke has begun to collect and I feel joy.
I have discovered that having a spiritual practice I can do routinely and consistently in a specific space is comforting during the challenging, uncertain, and stressful times of Covid-19. Sitting alone in a quiet, dimly lit room watching a flame dance reminds me that Christ is the light in the world. Some evenings I can feel a wave of peace and contentment wash over me.