Candles Gazing and Meditating
The practice of candle gazing has a number of amazing benefits, including opening up your 3rd eye (pineal gland), improved eyesight, focus, concentration and much more!
This simple technique is an excellent introduction to the Art and science of meditation. People of all ages and stress levels can immediately feel the benefits.
Its secret lies in that you gaze at an object that captures your attention. Perhaps you have had the experience of being totally absorbed , taken outside yourself as it were by a magnificent sunset or a full moon, stopped and held in the moment by something of exquisite beauty and in a that moment you enter the timeless, catching a glimpse of eternity. This Candle Gazing technique if practiced regularly can hone and develop your concentration to the ‘tenth’ degree. As it brings the mind to a place of stillness, distractions dissolve away, mind becomes focused on the flame. The candle gazing Meditation also improves memory bringing the mind to supreme awareness.
Sit with a straight spine; position the candle close to you. (If you are teaching in a class sit students in a circle around the candle level with their gaze. People with contact lenses need to close their eyes after about 20 seconds. So a s not to burn the retina through the lens.)
As the candle flame stills so will your breath and mind. Gaze for a few minutes at the flame, at the golden glow above the wick.Rest your eyes on the golden white light, now blow out the flame, close your eyes and await the image that will appear on the inside of your eyelids. do not worry if nothing appears, sit with the no – image, the blank screen of your mind.
We are not all visual people, but practicing this technique will improve that sense. After a while the image will fail.
To lift this technique to another level.
Take your mind back to the time when the candle was newly lit. See it again in your mind’s eye. The candle, the black wick, the brilliant golden white light 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 until it fades. Slowly come back into the room. Calm and Blessed. Peace.
Candle gazing is a gentle and loving form of meditation. Combined with your favorite incense, Moon cycle, music or stones, Candle Gazing can be an important technique for grounding, channeling or just to relax and be at Peace. In a quiet, darkened room, light your candle or candles of choice. Breathe deeply, ground and center, and gaze quietly at your candle flame. Let yourself feel warmed by the Light. Let the candles peaceful radiance fill you completely. As thoughts surface in your mind and Heart, experience them as if they came from within you, radiating outward. Do not let the flame split into a double image-keep your eyes and attention focused but relaxed. Remain doing this for at least five to ten minutes and for longer with practice.
Relax, Open Your Heart and Feel the Love.
Find a quiet place, free of disturbances, people, phones, pets, fans, air conditioners that might disturb the flame.
You may use soft background music.
Some people enjoy using incense.
Make clothing comfortable, remove eyeglasses or contacts.
Make the room dark, the only light being the flame of a candle used. I prefer spiral candles or large thick candles that last for hours.
Sit in a relatively comfortable chair with the candle approximately an arm’s length distance in front of you, perhaps at a kitchen table.
You could also place the candle on a coffee table then sit on the floor, as many people are comfortable in the lotus position.
This can be a method of self-hypnosis. In this case send you’re a message that you are to return to consciousness after your messages / messages have been given.
You can state your intention before you begin focusing on the flame of the candle, such as, “I want to see myself in a past life that links to this one.”
Now gaze at the flame. Look at the flame. Breathe deeply and evenly, in through the nose and slowly out through your mouth.
As you look at the flame, you can see that it is actually made of the colors of the rainbow. Subtle shades of red glow at the very tip of the flame. Your passion, your physical body is being left behind, as a faint reminder of who you are.
The orange that follows spans a short time on the flame. Your anchor on this earth, also reminds you that there is a life on this plane.
Then, the yellow, the most prevalent, the most powerful part of the flame draws your attention. It burns as your creativity, yearning to burst free and shower you with its inspirations.
Your eyes follow down and see the tiny segment of green, your center, your growth. This is where the bountiful harvest of your life lies.
Feel the growth and abundance everywhere in the universe before you fall into the blue at the base of the flame. The blue, the higher emotion of your secret self-burns brightly if only you look at it.
Below it, barely perceptible, is the violet of your spirit. This is the same spirit that resides within you, but it is barely perceptible day to day. You must catch it unawares to know it. As you watch your flame/spirit, Let the violet flame enlarge and envelop the blue, green, yellow, orange and red of the fire. Let your spirit enlarge to fill you in the same way.
As you inhale, feel your spirit fill you with the light of the candle.
Breathe the flame. Become one with it and the essence of the source of creation.
Close your eyes.
Breathe your spirit. Find your Light.
Visualize your descent down a long and beautiful spiral staircase and when you reach the bottom of the staircase you will see three doors. Remember that consciousness spirals into reality. Three=manifestation in the physical.
Light all candles with a lighter or another candle. Never use matches, as the sulphur will disrupt magical workings.
To extinguish a candle, use a candle snuffer, or wave your hand over the top of the candle to create enough draft to extinguish it.
If you plan to use it again, store it carefully. If the spell calls for a virgin candle, bury it off of your property for spells involving the movement of things away from you and on the property if you wish to draw something toward you.
Keep candle drippings from all rituals, except those where you are repelling. You can add drippings to healing pouches (if the spell was for healing). Re melt them on a talisman consecrated and empowered during the same ritual, or keep them simply in the bottom of a purse or coat pocket for good luck, fertility, romance and fortune.
Best technique for Glassing Candle is: Trataka technique
Light a candle and place it on a small table around 3 to 4 feet in front of you.
Sit in a comfortable posture with the spine upright and the arms and shoulders relaxed. You can assume any meditative posture which you can maintain without any movement for the duration of the Trataka practice.
Make sure that the flame is at the level of your eyes. Also, make sure that you are facing the candle directly without having to turn the neck even slightly.
It is important that the flame remains steady during the concentration routine. So, make sure that there no breeze around of any kind to disturb the flame. If needed, turn off any fans or air conditioner in the room.
Take a few deep breaths to relax. Close the eyes and watch your breath as you inhale and exhale for about five to seven breaths. This will allow the breath to settle down and bring you into the present moment.
Now, gaze at the flame intently and keep your gaze 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.
Keep your gaze anchored on some part of the flame, rather than the candle or wick. If thoughts come up in the mind, just become aware of them and then ignore them. Try to maintain your awareness and focus on the flame.
Continue to gaze at the flame until you cannot keep your eyes open and tears start flowing. Once this happens, close your eyes.
When you close the eyes, you may be able to visualize an after-image of the flame with closed eyes. Try to bring this image at the point between the 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, or it wavers constantly or loses clarity, then re-apply your concentration to restore the position of the after-image.
When the image begins to fade out completely, bring your awareness back to your breathing and begin to watch the flow of breath at the tip of the nose for about 7 to 8 breaths.
You can open your eyes at this point and repeat the full gazing routine as given above one more time.
Benefits of Trataka
“Trataka eradicates all eye diseases, fatigue and sloth and closes the doorway to these problems”. Some of the benefits associated with Trataka are:
Improves eyesight and vision.
Improves concentration, intelligence and memory.
Excellent method as preparation for mantra meditation.
Enhances self-confidence, patience and willpower.
Develops greater work efficiency and productivity.
Calms the mind and provides inner peace and silence.
Brings greater clarity in mind and improves decision-making ability.
Helps to overcome mental, behavioral and emotional ailments.
Provides stress relief and deep relaxation.
Deepens the sleep and cures sleep related disorders such as headache, insomnia, nightmares, etc.
According to Gherand Samhita (shloka 5.54), Trataka promotes clairvoyance or perception of subtle manifestations.
Tips for Trataka Concentration
Trataka is best practiced on an empty stomach during early-morning hours or late evening hours just before going to bed. If you practice it during the daytime, make sure that the room is dark so that focusing on the flame is easier.
Try getting a decent sized flame by adjusting the size of the wick. It will help in achieving a better after-image of the flame and it will be easier to visualize it with improved concentration.
Do not strain your eyes while gazing on the flame. The eyes adjust naturally in due course of time and it becomes easier to concentrate and gaze on the flame for longer periods of time.
As I mentioned earlier, because Trataka develops deep focus and concentration, it is used as a very effective pre-meditation stage. At the end of the Trataka routine, you may continue with your own mantra meditation.