Let The Light In

Mediation is a mindfulness practice in which you train your attention capacity and awareness to achieve mental clarity and emotional stability. The most common method of meditation is to sit straight with legs crossed (Indian style), back straight but not too arched, eyes closed to remove distractions, then inhale and exhale, controlling breath to control thoughts. It's much easier said than done! People frequently lose interest after the first 5 minutes of meditation. There are many reasons for this, such as having too many thoughts, being unable to focus with your eyes closed, mind chatter, a desire to move, a fear of being unaware, and so on. Eventually, the person who is attempting meditation gives up before reaping the benefits. Some people go a step further and enroll with well-known yoga gurus and spiritual leaders, which is perfectly fine. On a spiritual journey, you often need a guide - a teacher, someone who is familiar with the world and knows what to do and what not to do. This could be the best or worst decision you've ever made for your mindful and spiritual journey. Everything is dependent on the teacher's honesty and integrity.

What is Candle Meditation?

Imagine that! You decide to meditate one day but have no idea how to do so. You search the internet for instructions, read various yoga blogs, and watch YouTube videos to educate yourself, but things change the moment you try to meditate. There are far too many thoughts, and the mind is unable to focus. What if we told you there is a simpler way to meditate, a simpler way to begin your mindful journey and achieve inner peace? All you need is a candle. Candle Meditation, also known as Trataka, is a Yogic focusing practice that improves concentration and memory. This is a fantastic technique for calming your mind and increasing your inner peace and awareness.

How to go about it?

You'll need a dimly lit or dark room that's free of breeze. Once you have prepared the room, sit in a comfortable position – this can be on the floor in a traditional meditation pose or on a chair. Keep the candle 30 cm to 50 cm away from you, either on the floor or on a table – not too close, not too far – just close enough to see the flame without straining your eyes. After getting comfortably seated with candle in front of you, light the candle and take a deep breath in and slowly exhale before you start gazing at the flame. As you start candle gazing look at how the flame moves or how still it is, and pay attention to the yellow and a little blue at the origin of the flame. You should try not to blink while candle gazing, but if you must, you can. You will have many thoughts and mind chatter while doing this; try to bring your focus back to the flame of the candle; if it helps, imagine the flame destroying all your unnecessary thoughts. There will be many distractions at first, with unwanted random thoughts creeping in and seeking for your attention. While this is happening, keep your eyes on the flame and they will fade away.

What are the benefits of Candle Meditation?

After a few sessions, you will notice that your mind chatters and random thoughts have decreased and will eventually disappear, but this will take time and practice. You can begin by gazing at candles for 10 to 15 minutes and gradually increase your time as you gain experience. Some other benefits of candle meditation are physical and mental relaxation, calmer mind, increased focus and concentration. Hope you are able to reap its benefits and take a step closer to mindful living. Happy Journey!