"Once you have been spiritually cooked you will discover that sacred books can be read while cold or hot. The former leads to the trap of entangled interpretation, while the latter converts the word into holy bread that feeds the fire of your soul's desire. In this heartwarming encounter with a sacred book you receive a dose of that which brings you close to mystery.
"It is time for you to get out your mystery matchbox and light a fire. To get ready for this task, arrange a time to perform some special preparatory action that aims to warm you up. Sing a children's song in a sacred manner, chant a prayer with an unusual foreign accent, take a vow to bow before the next breeze, jump up while feeling down about your troubles, or whistle a tune to the moon.
"Now proceed to this prescription for mystical action. Open a sacred book of your choice and select one sentence at random. Perhaps you choose from the Torah, Bible, Quran, Vedas, Tao Te Ching, Upanishads, The Papyrus of Ani, Bhagavad Gita, or Buddhist sutras. Once you find the sentence, immediately take the match out of your matchbox and strike it, allowing the flame to come near the sentence. Look through the flame and burn the words into your mind. Then blow out the match and write down the sentence on a piece of paper. Immediately rub the charcoal from the tip of the burned match over these words to remind you that it is possible to receive a life sentence that brings you closer to divine fire.
"Go through the next twenty-four hours partnered with these specially heated words. Carry them with you. Sing the words as a new lyric to either a song you know or in a free-form melodic improvisation. Remember that words must hop on board a rhythm if they are to help bring you closer to the heat. Feed your belief that this performance both empowers and is empowered by a mysterious spiritual fire. Choose the hottest word in the sentence. Repeat this word as often as you can to yourself throughout the day. Know that after the sun goes down you will set the whole sentence on fire by burning the piece of paper. Recognize that you are learning to mysteriously handle spiritual fire. Repeat this exercise several times a week. Don't forget to provide a new match for your matchbox, keeping it ready for the next round of spiritual cooking.
"Close your eyes, trigger your felt longing for mystery, and imagine jumping into the spiritual fire that can ecstatically cook you. As Rumi advises, be a 'well-baked loaf' that is 'served to your brothers [and sisters].' Later he asks, 'Isn't it time to turn yourself into a temple of fire?' Recall how God spoke to Moses through a burning bush while the Buddha taught, 'Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, [people] cannot live without a spiritual life.' Jesus announced, 'I have come to bring fire on the earth.' Centuries later, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin made the prophecy, 'Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.' At the end of the day, Hafiz summarizes what it's all about: 'Our progress on this Journey can be measured only by the intensity of our love, the living flame that illumines all life.' Rumi echoes back to help keep you on track: 'Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.' Light that match, set your soul on fire, and get spiritually cooked!"