Have you ever spent time looking deep into a burning fire? If this question sounds strange to you, then you’ve probably never tried it. It’s one thing to sit around a campfire, bonfire or fireplace, and quite another to devote your attention to the flames. The latter can be a deeply meditative, inspiring and awakening experience.
If you’re not convinced, here are five reasons to stare into a fire next time you get one going:
Fire sparks the imagination
Since ancient times, fire has been a symbol of creativity, passion and destruction in various cultures around the globe. There is a reason for that: fire has the power both to create and to destroy. It is these opposing but intertwined forces that make fire incredibly inspiring. Fire has been a major inspiration to artists, writers and musicians for centuries.
The next time you’re around a fire, have a pen and paper handy, a sketchbook or your musical instrument of choice. Staring meditatively into the fire can literally “spark” some amazing ideas. Remember to jot them down after you meditate!
Fire can help you get your mind in the present
There something about the off-rhythm crackle of flames that, if you watch them intently, focuses your mind. Additionally, when in the presence of a fire, you instinctively become more alert (it can be dangerous, after all). You can use this state of alertness and attunement to accentuate a wonderful meditation session.
Simply sit back and focus on the flames. Relax your breath and consider both your breath and the flicker of the flames around you. Embrace the moment with your body and your mind.
Fire inspires you to consider the elemental forces within yourself
Watching a fire snap, sizzle, wax and wane can be an excellent vehicle for introspection. A controlled fire can be warming and bring order to an environment (such as a hot meal, a place to gather, etc.). When a fire is out of control, chaos, destruction and pain can ensue.
It is the same with us — we all have these forces. When we keep things in perspective and keep our forces unified and ordered, that means growth, passion, creativity and forward movement can occur. When our inner elements are scattered and out of control, a great deal of damage can be done. Some food for thought as you watch the flames…
The wood smoke can bring you closer to nature
While you shouldn’t sit right in the way of the smoke blowing from a fire, being immersed in its scent can be very soothing. The smell of wood burning is sharp and earthy. Meditating near a fire, breathing deeply in the presence of this scent (again, not too close) can make you feel closer to nature. When you go to bed that night, you’ll smell the smoke in your hair. If you’re like me, you’ll find that it’s wonderfully zen.
Being near a fire is relaxing
Fire is the the most primal, natural heat source we have. Where there is warmth, there is relaxation, and relaxing near this primal heat source is the ultimate. Sitting near a fire can help you attune your mind and relax your body as you unwind in the glow. For meditation, relaxation is essential. Consciously relaxing each muscle in your body can help you get into a deeper meditative state and a heightened awareness of the present moment.
Suffice it to say that if you needed another reason to go camping this summer, or just to spark up the fireplace in your home or backyard that you’ve been neglecting, you now know that it’s a perfect accompaniment to your meditation.
— Meditation Daily