Perhaps you have had the experience of being totally absorbed, taken outside yourself, stopped and held in the moment by something of exquisite beauty and in that moment you entered a timeless zone. Candle gazing meditation, if practiced regularly, can hone and develop your concentration, as it brings the mind to a place of stillness. Distractions dissolve away and the mind becomes focused on the flame. Borrowed from ancient yoga rituals, flame gazing meditation or “Tratkama” translates as to “gaze” or “look”, the concentration technique of gazing at an object of your choice, is a favorite of many yoga practitioners. People of all ages and stress levels can immediately feel the benefits.
Candle Gazing Meditation Technique:
Light a candle and place it on a small table approximately 3 to 4 feet in front of you. Make sure that the flame is at the same level as your eyes. It is important that the flame remains steady during the concentration routine. There should be no breeze of any kind to disturb the flame. If needed, turn off any fans or air conditioner in the room.
Sit in a comfortable posture with the spine upright and the arms and shoulders relaxed, facing the candle directly without having to turn the neck. You can assume any meditative posture which you can maintain without any movement for the duration of the flame gazing practice. Take a few deep breaths to relax. Close the eyes and inhale and exhale for about five to seven breaths. This will allow the breathing to settle down and bring you into the present moment.
Now, gaze at the flame intently and keep your gaze fixed on it without getting distracted towards outer disturbances and thoughts. Keep your vision focused and steady on the flame without blinking, for as long as it is comfortable to you. Try to avoid any kind of body movement during the entire practice. If thoughts come to mind, just become aware of them and then ignore them. Pursue to maintain focus on the flame.
Continue to gaze at the flame until you cannot keep your eyes open. Once this happens, close your eyes. When you close your eyes, you may be able to visualize an after-image of the flame with closed eyes. Focus to bring this image reflection to the point between your eyebrows at the center of the forehead (the third eye location). The depth and level of your concentration will determine how clear the after-image is. If you cannot visualize the after-image of the flame with closed eyes, bring your awareness back to your breathing. Open your eyes and repeat the full gazing routine above one more time.T
o lift this technique to another level and use the technique any time you want to relax and center yourself: Take your mind back to the time when the candle was newly lit. See it again in your mind’s eye. The candle, the brilliant golden white flame surrounded by a subtle halo or aura. Picture this halo as expanding, your soft breathing is feeding the expansion so now your point of focus is the candle flame. Hold this image in your mind and slowly bring your body to relaxation and peace.
Candle gazing meditation has the wonderful effect of calming your mind and removing anxiety, so that a wondrous relaxation seeps over your whole body. Additional benefits associated with candle gazing are; Improving concentration, intelligence and memory. Enhancing self-confidence, patience and willpower. Developing greater work efficiency and productivity. Provide inner peace and silence. Bring greater clarity in mind and improve decision-making ability. Provide stress relief and deep relaxation. Helps to deepen sleep and resolve sleep related issues such as headache, insomnia, nightmares, etc. Some people say gazing at the flame burns the stress and thoughts away.
Excerpts courtesy of Holistic Life Hub.com
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