Using a candle for meditation – practicing Trataka
Did you know that you can use a candle for meditation? And I don’t mean burning a candle to help your room smell lovely (although that is an added bonus!), but the ancient yogic practice of trataka.
Simply put, trataka involves “looking intently with an unwavering gaze at a small point until tears are shed.” This technique is commonly done using a candle, focusing your gaze onto the flame, although other items can be used as well.
Trataka purifies the mind and improves memory and concentration, allowing you to sink into a deeper, more focused meditation. As one of the six shat kriyas (cleansing actions), trataka also cleanses and restores the eyes and is said to balance the nervous system.
Have a go at following these simple steps and observe how this practice calms and focuses the mind.
How to practice trataka
- Light your candle in a dark, draught-free room.
- Situate yourself about 50 cm away from the candle, ensuring your shoulders are relaxed and gaze is straight ahead, directed towards the candle flame.
- Close your eyes and bring awareness to your breath, remaining here until it becomes calm and regular.
- Open your eyes and focus on the centre of the flame above the wick, opening them wide and holding your gaze for as long as you can without blinking. As with any meditation, observe your thoughts as they come and go without entertaining them.
- Once your eyes are beginning to water and feel strained, close them and find the afterimage of the flame in your mind’s eye. Focus on it and try to keep the image centred, until the image disappears.
- Wipe any tears gently with a tissue, as these are carrying away impurities.
Looking for something more? Combine your trataka practice with essential oil diffusion to promote internal peace, reduce tension and increase your energy levels. You can read my blog about using essential oils to boost your practice here.
To shop my candle and essential oils range, visit this link.