Sitting, singing, and sharing stories around a bonfire is how humans connect with each other for millenniums. In this winter, build a fire in your yard or a camp ground. Invite your friends and neighbors over to join you in taking in the warmth and light.
To begin the practice:
Take in the gratitude into our heart. The warmth of friendship.
Let’s first close our eyes and tune into our senses.
Can we hear the fire? The crackle of sparks.
Can we smell the fire? The burning wood, the smoke.
Can we feel the fire? Can you put your hands or feet near the fire? The warmth, the flickering flame that goes here and there.
After a few minutes, when you are ready, you can open your eyes. Notice how bright the fire is. How ephemeral are the flames, how the smoke swirled. Notice the bright red wood coming through the blackness, shimmering.
Contemplate that what we think of being burned and destruction of the wood, is actually the release of the sun’s energy from the wood. It’s part of a process, a change of state, that is no different than snow melt into the river. It’s the sun giving us warmth and energy in a different form. In nature, we see that death and life are intimately linked. There is no separation.
Consider that we are made of this element. We have the fire in our belly. We convert the sun’s energy into our own warmth through the food we eat – plants that we grow. The sun is within us, sustaining us. See if we can take the warmth of fire and sun into our body and feel it in our cells. Remember that in the long, dark winter nights, we still have the sun to give us warmth and sustaining us. It’s still giving us light through the fire.
Fire is an element of transformation. You can use something that symbolizes what you would like to let go of, and throw that into the fire. Alternatively, you can also generate a list of your dreams. Call in your ancestors and spiritual guides, visualize your dreams and feel into your body what it’s like bring those dreams to life. Ask the element of fire to light the path that would lead to your dreams, then place that list into the fire physically or symbolically.
In the final moments of this meditation, let’s take in the warmth and light of the fire, take in the gratitude that in the cold winter nights, even when the sun is not present as long during the day, we always have the sun within us, and remember that the universe is life giving and life sustaining.