Today’s practice is two tales set to a video recording of three candles. I will confess that this was done in my living room and, well, the candles are not as flickery on the video as they were in my living room. I would suggest getting a candle and looking at it instead of the video screen! Or simply closing your eyes and listening.

Candle gazing is a contemplative meditation technique. In this manner, instead of closing your eyes, you let your eyes rest on the flame of a candle. Let your gaze rest softly, neither focusing too hard or letting the candle leave your gaze. Stay with the candle as it dances and let your mind be free.

This video is about 4 1/2 minutes long. There are a couple of brief moments of silence. Stay with the silence and get through to the other side.

The stories are from one of my favorite books, “Peace Tales: World Folktales to Talk About” by Margaret Read MacDonald. This book found us when my kids were in elementary school. (My youngest is graduating this year! Yikes!!)

Sit back. Relax. Get comfortable. Become grounded. Now listen with your heart.


Namaste, salām, shalom.


© 2013, post and video, Terri Stewart, All rights reserved

Terri StewartTERRI STEWART is Into the Bardo’s  Sunday evening chaplain. You can expect a special post from her each week. She comes from an eclectic background and considers herself to be grounded in contemplation and justice. She is the Director and Founder of the Youth Chaplaincy Coalition that serves youth affected by the justice system. As a recent graduate of Seattle University’s School of Theology and Ministry, she earned her Master’s of Divinity and a Post-Master’s Certificate in Spiritual Direction with honors and is a rare United Methodist student in the Jesuit Honor Society, Alpha Sigma Nu. She is a contributing author to the Abingdon Worship Annual.

Her online presence is “Cloaked Monk.” This speaks to her grounding in contemplative arts (photography, mandala, poetry) and the need to live it out in the world. The cloak is the disguise of normalcy as she advocates for justice and peace. You can find her at,, and  To reach her for conversation, send a note to

5 thoughts on “Candle Gazing and a Contemplative Tale

  1. Wonderful post, Terri! Margie MacDonald is a good friend of mine, and I’m sure she would be pleased to know you have found meaning in her book, and are passing it along. You and your son might want to attend an AMAZING storytelling at Powellswood in Federal Way next July. You could hear some of the finest tellers in the country, and meet Margie MacDonald there.


  2. Thank you, Terri!
    “I am the one” who is constantly amazed and delighted by what you have to offer us and the suprising synchronicities of our vision.
    The Christ in me salutes the Christ in you.


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