Bowing its feathered head
Before the roaring flames
The phoenix utters
Its ancient prayer:

Homage to the great fire!
The time has come,
The moment has arrived.

I shall leave behind
This old beak
That pecks constantly
At what no longer nourishes,
This old voice
That croaks the same stale song,
These old wings
That have forgotten
How to soar,
Flapping feebly
Back and forth
Over familiar territory.

I approach this fire
With a mind of faith.
I embrace this fire
With a fearless heart.
I endure this fire
With a patient spirit.

Through this death
I shall find new life.
Through this heat
I shall cool my mind.
Through this suffering
I shall find great bliss.
In this fire
I shall forge my freedom.

– a poem by Vessantara, a practicing Buddhist, 2006


May your presence always deepen
May your exploration never cease
May not a speck of God’s creation elude your heart’s embrace

May you live as you die–awake, ablaze
May you live as you dream–garbed in miracles

May you explode with loving light, in the mirror of your beloveds
And may the sparks rain down forever toward an undivided world

– benediction from Setting Your Heart on Fire: Seven Invitations to Liberate Your Life by Raphael Cushnir.