Candle Meditation – Your Coping Mechanism in Environmental Pressure

Compared to other meditation techniques where you keep your eyes closed, candle meditation or trataka is a different meditation type. You keep your eyes open and focus on a small point or object. One of the best things is a candle to practice tratak, as your attention is focused on the flame.

Tratak is incredibly underrated but could potentially be used to take you to an entire spiritual path. Just like the word “OM” makes you calm and at peace, you can also develop spiritual powers after practising candlelight meditation.

And most importantly, you can realize The Ultimate – the True Nature of Existence with tratak.

What Is Candle Meditation?

Candle meditation originated from Hatha Yoga where it is known as Trataka. It serves as one of the six techniques which are used for purification. Trataka is a Sanskrit word meaning “to gaze” or “to look.” Trataka clearly explains the basis of candle meditation or candle gazing. A Hatha Yoga handbook describes trataka meditation as focusing your vision or sight on a small point or an object until your eyes shed tears.

As Candle meditation originates from Hatha Yoga, to have a full experience of magic and the richness of science and art, one should do candle grazing too. The secret of trataka meditation lies in the object that attracts your attention and how long you gaze at it. Possibly, you have had the experience of being absorbed, and it can be by the magnificent sunset you saw at the beach or stopped the car when something of exquisite beauty held your interest. In that sweet moment, you entered the timeless bliss, catching a glimpse of eternity.

How our eyes send signals to our brain for processing works on our focus on Candle gazing. Fun fact: We can see only because our eyes keep sending the brain signals that we are processing thoughts, and our brain has to decode them. So, constant focus on the candle’s flame means that any new information is not being passed on. Thus, the story flows to the brain very slowly, and all the other distractions fade away, which in turn heightens our focus and awareness on the candle.

Eventually, you will see that you become fully absorbed into the flame and get total relaxation, which lets you meditate effectively. Being in this state allows you to examine and look at the past, present, and future with great clarity.

A candle is used for trataka because the flame of a candle has some mystery in it. It flickers,  makes a halo, changes shapes and colours. All these stunts fascinate the mind, attract attention, and puts the mind in a relaxed mood. In such a situation, amidst all the chatter and jumbled thoughts, it is easier for our minds to focus and experience inner peace.

How to Practice Tratak?

  • Firstly, choose a quiet and darkroom or any space where you will not be disturbed.
  • If it is daytime, shut the curtains and dim the light as it is best for candle gazing.
  • Keep aside all your distractions like phones or simply turn them off.
  • Now, select a level surface for your candle.
  • The surface needs to be made of incombustible materials and near eye level when you are sitting.
  • Position the candle about 2 feet away from you and light it
  • Check that you’re wearing comfortable clothing and the room is at a comfortable temperature.
  • Make sure to sit in a comfortable posture with the spine upright, back straight, and the arms and shoulders relaxed.
  • Take a few slow deep breaths.
  • Before starting, relax your body and ease any tension in it.
  • Take a few deep breaths.
  • Close your eyes for a few minutes and observe your breath as you inhale and exhale; this will allow the breath to settle down and bring you into the present moment.
  • Now focus your attention on the candle and allow it to be the main focus of your mind.
  • Look at the flame as it flickers and changes shape and colour.
  • Even if you feel distracted or bored, hold your eyes steady.
  • When your eyes start watering, you should close them and hold your hands over them.
  • When you close your eyes, you may be able to visualize an after-image of the flame.
  • The depth and level of your concentration will determine how clear the after-image is
  • Not all of us are visual people, but practising this technique will improve that sense.
  • If you cannot visualize the after-image of the flame with closed eyes, or it wavers constantly or loses clarity, then re-apply your concentration to restore the after-image position.
  • After a while, the image will fail.
  • Now open your eyes and just return your attention to the flame.
  • As you gaze at the candle, breathe.
  • Focus on the sensation of the light flowing into you with each inhalation
  • With time, the room around you will fade until your only awareness is the flame.
  • When your meditation is done, lay down and close your eyes for five to seven minutes.
  • This will allow your mind and body to come back to full awareness before you continue your day.
  • If you are doing this before bed, your body will relax and fall into a deep slumber.

Is Candle Gazing Good for Eyes?

Candle gazing has many benefits, not only for your eyes but overall too. Tratak improves your eyesight, vision, focus, improve memory, and much more! People of all age groups can feel the stress fading away and other benefits too. Students can enhance their concentration before studying.

It is also believed that the practice of candle meditation will enable one to open their third eye (pineal gland), also known as Ajna chakra, which allows one to develop better intuition and gain wisdom.

The still candle flames still your breath and mind too. A few of the other benefits of candle gazing are;

  • Improves concentration and intelligence
  • Enhances self-confidence, patience, and willpower
  • Develops greater work efficiency and productivity
  • It calms the mind and provides inner peace and silence
  • Offers psychic abilities and distractions dissolve away
  • Better reflection
  • It brings greater clarity to the mind and improves decision-making ability
  • It helps to overcome mental, behavioural, and emotional ailments
  • Provides stress relief and deep relaxation
  • It deepens sleep and cures sleep-related disorders such as headache, insomnia, nightmares, etc.
  • Candle meditation promotes clairvoyance or perception of subtle manifestations

Is Tratak Dangerous?

Anything in excess is harmful; in the same way, if Tratak is done forcefully or in a tense manner, you can damage your eyes. You will find that candle meditation is much easier if the room is not too bright and has a comfortable temperature. This will not strain your eyes.

No matter if you do tratak on a candle, a dot, an idol, or an image, fire, sun, moon, star, or even body of water. No matter what object you take but if done inconsiderately, you’ll damage your eyes.

It is advised not to strain your eyes while gazing at the flame. Our eyes adjust naturally, and it becomes easier to concentrate and gaze on the flame for a longer duration. When the eyes are not moving and fixed, the mind also becomes the same. With this, the thinking process automatically comes to an end as the focus increases and deepens.

If candlelight meditation is practised in a calm, relaxed, and sensibly progressive manner, you can gain excellent results.

Conclusion

While practising tratak, you will probably notice despite trying so hard to focus on the flame, your eyes and mind would drift away repeatedly. Various thoughts will try to distract you, grab your attention, disturb your focus, and make you forget to gaze at the flame. Relax as it is entirely natural. With time and regular practice, your guide will improve, and it will be easier to ignore distractions and disturbances.