The Last Candle

Gernikako arbola 
de bedeincatuba,
Euskaldunen artean 
guztiz maitatuba.
Eman ta zabalzazu 
mundun frutuba,
Adoratzen zaitugu 
arbola santuba.*

O symbol blessed by God 
O tree of our Guernica
Held dear by all euskaldunak
Ancient and holy symbol 
Let fall they fruit worldwide 
While in adoration gaze 
on thee our blessed tree.


Today marks a year since Angeles Arrien's death. 

Many of us have been lighting candles on the 24th of each month for the past year to honor her passage. 

Some indigenous traditions hold the belief that the soul of the departed journeys for twelve months, passing through the underworld then on to the stars, the home of the ancestors. Lighting a candle on the day of passing each month for a year helps light the way for the departed to the afterlife.

The candle lighting ceremony also marks our own rite of passage from the darkness of grief to the light of renewal.

In the past year I have been keenly aware and deeply touched by the profound impact Angeles' life and work has had on so many people. Lots of you offered personal remembrances of life-changing moments with Angeles over the years. Thank you.

There's an old saying and Angie used to quote it often: "The Great Spirit must have loved stories because She made so many people!" Angeles loved our stories too - the stories of fears overcome, challenges met, creativity expressed, and kindness extended. 

Angeles prepared us well for a time when we would no longer have her as a mortal guide. While a sense of loss still hangs over us like a mourning shawl, there is also the growing recognition of our own sufficiency and personal responsibility to carry on with the work in a world that urgently needs our dreams. Angie knew we would be well equipped to meet life's opportunities and challenges if we could do four simple things:

  • Show up - Choose to be present
  • Follow what has heart and meaning
  • Tell the truth without blame and judgment
  • Be open to outcome, not attached to outcome

Within these Four Directions are numerous tools and practices. Angeles shared them in her book, The Four-Fold Way ( and in countless classes, keynotes, and audio and video recordings. 

Angeles would encourage us to "practice, practice, practice." She recognized that lasting change and transformation comes only from disciplined application of the tools on a daily basis. She also recognized the power of community in helping us remember and apply the perennial truths she transmitted. 

Now it is time to light the last candle and remember our guide, mentor and friend Angeles Arrien. 

Always the Teacher, Angie journeyed on ahead of us, likely preparing her next 
lesson plan. 

Agur, Angeles! Ondo egindako! Maitasunez! The work continues on as 
The Four Directions.

Posted on April 30, 2015 .