Well, 2023 is upon us, and we trust it will bring you the best of what you can imagine. 🙂
Back in the late 1990s we were privileged to be given a candle along with the following story:
The Peace Candle
Several years ago in London, a young man named Chris was diagnosed with Leukemia. His doctor informed him that his death was imminent and he could not expect to live longer than 3-6 months. He was advised to go home and make his arrangements.
Chris went home and completely fell apart for three weeks. When all of his anger was spent and he had no more tears to cry, he began to feel an urgency about making the very best of the little time he had left. He thought about what Earth needed most and decided, as most people would, that it had to be “World Peace.” So he resolved to set about devoting himself wholeheartedly to this end.
Possessions no longer were a priority in Chris’ life seeing as he would not be needing them in a couple of months, so he sold what few he had and used the money to print leaflets aimed at raising people’s awareness of the need for “World Peace.” These he handed out to anyone who would take them on street corners all over London.
As the medical profession was unable to offer Chris any hope of recovery, he decided to take the matter into his own hands and at least aim for the highest possible quality of whatever life he had left. He saw an advertisement for Reiki and was attuned to level one and two. This brought him an awareness of his spirituality, which he keenly pursued.
Three months passed by, six months passed by and he was still handing out leaflets. Unfortunately though, his money was running out so he used the last of his funds to start a small business for himself, making candles and painting T-shirts with a “World Peace” logo on them, selling them on street corners to finance the printing of the leaflets and to pay for his food and rent.
One year passed by, two years passed by, three years passed by and Chris was still handing out leaflets and selling candles and T-shirts. He was at a social event one evening where he met the doctor who had diagnosed his illness three years earlier. The doctor was astounded to see Chris not only alive, but apparently quite well. He convinced Chris to be admitted into the hospital for tests, and everyone was amazed to find that all traces of the leukemia had disappeared.
Some time passed and the Dalai Lama was visiting London on a lecture tour. Chris went along to hear him speak and afterwards went backstage, explained his story to the helpers of the Dalai Lama, and requested an audience with him the following day. He agreed, so Chris arrived at his appointment with one of his handmade candles. He asked the Dalai Lama to light his candle and dedicate it to “World Peace” with the idea that all candles lit from that one, and the flames passed on to others, would carry with them his blessing and dedication. At midnight on the first of January in the year 2000, Chris asks that all these candles be relighted in the name of “World Peace.” By January of 1997, thousands of candles had been known to be lit from the original and had reached at least five countries. If this story, and its accompanying flame are rippled out by all those who come in contact with it, by January in the year 2000 millions of people all over the world will be lighting their candles and directing their thoughts and energies to the concept of “World Peace.”
Imagine if you will the awesome power generated by such an act and the potential positive impact this could have on humankind. Perhaps you have said to yourself, “I am only one person . . . how can my meager efforts possibly make a difference in the scheme of things?”
Here is your answer: Positive change on a global scale need only require a small effort by individuals and this is your opportunity to participate and create your own small ripple.
The essential truth behind the story appealed to us, and we have lit our Peace Candles every New Year’s Eve since we received the first one. When they burn down we ensure we light the new ones from the old stubs to continue the tradition of flame shining out peace. We have no idea how many people around the world have been connected in this way; we can say that we’ve passed candles on to friends and family and on New Year’s Eve 2000 we were down at the lakeshore in Toronto, along with our Peace Candles and a box of 100 more. These we handed out to others we encountered that night. We trust they have carried the tradition forward in their own way.
On New Year’s Eve 2022, as has been our tradition for the past decade and more, at 11:30 we brought our Peace Candles with us down to the ocean. There were few people this year. The night was clear, giving us a bounty of stars over our heads and at our feet, in the darkness was the endless rolling whisper of the waves. At 11:55 we lit our candles, lit two new ones from the stubs of the old, and after a few minutes of quiet meditation we blew them out and began to make our way home.
As we were walking up our street we saw flames in the night: eight beacons coming toward us. On closer approach we could see four women, each carrying two torches made from dried mullein stalks with the seed heads dipped in wax. One young woman offered one of her torches to us, so we lit and exchanged our two new Peace Candles for two mullein torches with two of the women, realizing that when the peace candle tradition started this first young woman would not yet have been born. It was a wondrous experience, an exchange of light and a spontaneous act of kindness.
Wherever you are, we wish you Peace. 🕯
P.S. There is very little online (that we could find) about this tradition, but we did find this site, dedicated to keeping it going: http://www.bridgingworlds.com/universal-light/peace-candle.html