Minding the Light
“Light is the symbol of truth.”
~James Russell Lowell
The other day I had a mentoring session with Linda, a Spiritual Director in training. We were talking about the state of her inner life and her current spiritual practices. “Well,” she said. “I spend a lot of time standing in front of the windows in my house and looking out.”
To the casual listener, it might sound like she wasn’t doing much to keep her mind and heart attuned to the Divine. It could seem that she was wasting time by zoning out; more mind-less than mind-full. But I know her well, and I also know this is not the case.
What Linda does by gazing out the window is actually a profound spiritual practice held to by traditional Quakers called “Minding the Light.” And though she is not a Quaker, she has found great value in allowing this practice to enrich her inner life.
When you think of “the Light,” what do you think of? Do you think of actual light, the emanation of the sun’s power? Or do you think of Light (capital “L”) as a form of Truth, Power, Love or God? Some outpouring of the Sacred?
As I understand it, the Quaker practice of Minding the Light is this: “Noticing, listening for and paying heed to the voice of our Teacher.” As I interpret it, Teacher could be any thing that brings you back to your sacred center and what matters most—a vibrant connection with Source. I love that the Quakers believe that the Light can be one such pathway.
Linda shared with me how she Minds the Light. “I often just sit and focus my attention on where a light beam enters the room. I watch the light travel, shift and change. I watch how it creates shadows and more light. I sit and sit and just watch. I can do this for many minutes (for hours!) and allow it to take me where I need to go. Deeper.”
She also explained how she naturally finds herself standing at a window, observing the light in nature. She watches it interplay play with the world through trees and leaves. With blue sky and clouds. Shadow-casting and light-filling the world moment by moment. As I listened to her explain this beautiful practice, I could feel Light and her love of the practice fill me. The vibration of peace was palpable.
I thought to myself, how simply beautiful. The Quakers, deeply peaceful people themselves, have bequeathed a powerful practice to us to come back to our true selves—deep peace and divine connection—with something so simple and often taken for granted ... the Light.
As a young girl, a pensive one at that, I loved to sit on the floor and plant myself right in the middle of a sunbeam. I’d stay there as long as I could, feeling the warmth of the sun pour through the window. I noticed, even at a very young age, how nourishing this felt and how it aligned me with something greater than myself. Perhaps, as an adult, you might like to try sitting in a sunbeam too!
Minding the Light is an act of nourishing your spirit and your relationship with the Sacred. This week, consider all of the ways you could Mind the Light.
1. Stand at a window and watch the movement of light in the natural world and stay present to it as long as you can. What does the Light illuminate and bring to your attention that you might not have noticed otherwise?
2. Sit and watch the movement of light within the four walls of your home. What does the Light reveal about its very nature?
After Minding the Light in any of these ways, consider these reflection questions:
• How did I recognize the Light?
• How did I receive it?
• What did it stir in me?
• How did it connect me more deeply to the Sacred?
Today, may the Light enfold you and warm you with its grace. May Minding the Light become a new point of awareness for you and may it guide you well.
This week's sacred "Spiritual Healing Affirmation."
Repeat 4 times: Aloud in a strong voice, softer, in a whisper, then silently.
Allow yourself to sink into the silence afterwards.
"Today, I look to the Light.
I acknowledge the Light all around me
and the Light within me.
Wherever there is Light
there I AM."
(Close the Affirmation with the words that resonate with you. "May it be so." "Amen." "Om Shanti." Etc.)
Download the audio version here. Enjoy! (7.5 min.)
©2020, Janice Lynne Lundy. All Rights Reserved.
"Pure awareness transcends thinking. .. It allows you to look at the world once again with open eyes. And when you do so, a sense of wonder and quiet contentment begins to reappear in your life."