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Guest Post: Seeking Light

By Kellie Purcill

The gleaming, golden orb pulsates with energy. I cradle this bright globe in the space between my outstretched hands. Eyes closed, I effortlessly roll and recede, left and right; I am a clear, sparkling wave on a peaceful shore. I raise my orb overhead; it radiates in purity. I focus on my cool, cupped palms, stretching them open with patient care, as my orb softens and expands until it surrounds me as a lustrous dome. Breathing deeply, my open hands raise overhead, signaling prayer to heaven. My quiet mind drifts closer to that realm of glory. Heavenly Parents wait with perfect hearts to bestow added love, joy, and light upon me, Their child. “That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light…”¹

Years ago when my mind began unraveling, pressed under the weight of Law School exams, followed by Bar Exam study, I sought out an easygoing, barefoot man in my small town. He taught me the principles of Taiji (Tai Chi) and guided my smooth, external movements while I guided my frazzled, internal thoughts. The slow dance of higher forms played out several times a week while I practiced this graceful martial art. Today my mind is not just frazzled, but pocked with a tumor hole, so I return to my Taiji training. The cancer hospital in Connecticut, where my Neuro-Oncologist has just given me mixed news, offers Qigong for cancer patients.

Though peaceful and lyrical, meditation in motion, Taiji and Qigong are undoubtedly fighters’ arts; sleepy, though measured and deliberate, Kung Fu. Appropriate for one who is a survivor; a survivor of a battle she never asked for; a survivor of an ongoing battle she may ultimately lose. Should she not seek the ability to find calm during the war? To feel Godliness while defending her honor, her life?

I stand in a dim hospital conference room full of strangers, but with my eyes closed and my attention elsewhere, only Divinity and I remain. I repose in simple, repetitive motion, and my mind carries me inside the walls of the Holy Temple. In my cloudy past, I suffered through the simple, repetitive motions of sacred temple ceremonies. But now, it is exactly these simple, repetitive motions that reveal the brightness of my golden orb. Meditation can launch from positions sitting, standing, kneeling, or otherwise. Whether in the temple or in Qigong, I can rush through the motions without bearing fruit, or I can strip the zest and relish the nectar of the fruit I intentionally nourish with my earnest will.

A zoomed-in portion of a mixed media art project Lindsey created, featuring the face mask she wore during radiation
A zoomed-in portion of a mixed media art project Lindsey created, featuring the face mask she wore during radiation

Meditation is a relatively new part of my worship, and it has quickly become integral to my Celestial communication. Unconventional for a Latter-day Saint, perhaps, but intentionally trying to link my spirit with heaven continues to unlock brilliant light and warmth from above. I love to spend quiet Sabbath moments, seated on the floor, eliminating the worldliness and the clamor and the envy and the anger from my mind. I then like to kneel prostrated, with hands pressed in prayer over my head, pleading aloud for the calming, refining presence of the Holy Spirit. “What lack I yet?”² proves to be an effective mantra for inspiration.

I present this and other questions to Deity as I flow past mental turbulence, practicing Qigong, Taiji, and Yoga – each forms of moving mediation, prayer without words – ritualistic motions of the body to help our minds escape this realm, in favor of one higher. Putting temple worship into this same category places the symbolic meanings of my rote, covenanting motions onto the same plane as the symbolic, submissive form of Child’s Pose – an infant, dwarfed next to her Holy, Omnipotent Creator. Qigong teaches me that movement can generate light, and that the movements I make in the temple are beautiful symbols of my lustrous inner divinity. Moving arms and legs in intentional patterns now moves my mind to explore the intentional patterns of creation, the intentional patterns of mortal life, and beyond.

Back at the hospital, in a room of silent survivors practicing Qigong, I concentrate my sparks of divinity into one glowing sphere. Eyes closed, palms facing one another, I pray with gratitude for the light of Christ, glowing in each of us, guiding us Home. The Spirit is present, purifying and illuminating. “[W]hatsover is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ.”³ Warm, watchful, Heavenly Parents fulfill Their promise, “…seek [Us] diligently and ye shall find [Us]…”4

1. Doctrine and Covenants 50:24
2. Larry R. Lawrence, “What lack I yet?” Ensign, Nov. 2015.
3. Doctrine and Covenants 84:45
4. Doctrine and Covenants 88:63

About Kellie Purcill

lives way on the other side of the planet in her native Australia and gives thanks for the internet regularly. She loves books, her boys, panna cotta, collecting words, being a redhead and not putting things in order of importance when listing items. She credits writing as a major contributing factor to surviving her life with sanity mostly intact, though her (in)sanity level is subject to change without warning.

13 thoughts on “Guest Post: Seeking Light”

  1. Thank you so much for this. I just attended the temple this past week (it's a two hour drive for us, so it's an occasion whenever we do), and while I always feel peace there, I wish I understood more. I don't know that I rush through the motions necessarily, but I often wish I knew more how to cultivate that fruit. Your perspective is exactly what I needed, and I'll be pondering the connection between physical and spiritual movement for some time.

  2. I'm trying to be more mindful, and find calm in motion. I find I'm often closest to the feeling you write so strongly of when I'm washing dishes. I'm not sure if it's the repetitive movements, or the "zoning" of my mind, but I like the brief escape to higher planes while still elbow deep in the mundane. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  3. Yes! I practice yoga and meditation, too, and I love the temple, but had never considered the correlation between those holy moves and those we make in the temple. What a beautiful, rich essay. Love and light to you, Lindsey, on your journey to health and to God.

  4. Lindsey: Thank you for sharing your perspective on how movement can facilitate spirit. I read a post on Humans of New York recently where the person interviewed believes that we are all dancing through life; we just don't know it. And since then, I've been a little more focused on movement. But your post extends that idea into a more spiritual realm. Now I will add your view to the dance enthusiast's view in thought and in practice. All my best to you.


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