In Yoga, candle light meditation is referred as Trataka. As a first step in the practice of candle light meditation, the eyes need to be washed with clean water. This meditation can be practised in a group. The group of practitioners sit around a lit candle, preferably when the natural light is dim (evening time). The distance between the candle and the practitioner should be about two metres. It should be ensured that the candle is at the same level as the eye.
As a part of practice, try and focus on the flame of the candle. Instead of looking directly at the flame, start from the base of the candle and slowly move up. Concentrate on the flame, all the while trying to do this without blinking the eyes. Do this for about 30 seconds. Now, gently close the eyes and cover them with your palms. Relax. After a few seconds, gently open the eyes. Repeat this two more times. Let your breathing be normal and rhythmic. As you become comfortable with the practice, you may increase the duration.
Let Us Look At The Benefits Of Candle Light Meditation:
Improved Eye Sight:
As the eyes stay focussed on the candle flame and do not blink, tears rush from the eyes. These clean the eyes and remove any kind of dirt and blockage on the eye’s surface. The tear glands are cleansed. Also, this kind of practice strengthens the nerves and muscles of the eye. The optic nerves become stronger. Errors of refraction get rectified. The strain caused to the eyes due to constant exposure to computer screens is removed by performing this meditation, regularly.
Many people suffer from insomnia or sleeplessness. Regular practice of candle light meditation, before retiring to bed, for a few minutes, can help them in resolving this problem. Not only the eyes but the entire nervous system gets relaxed by this practice. This, in turn, relaxes the performer and enables good and restful sleep. Perform this meditation one hour before retiring to bed.
Initially, a practitioner of candle light meditation may find it difficult to concentrate on the flame of the candle. Some distracting thoughts may dissuade him from continuous practice. However, bringing back the mind, gently, to concentrate on the flame is the easiest way to conquer distraction. As one tends to do this regularly, the power of concentration and mental alertness improve.
Improves Memory And Willpower:
Regular practice of this meditation makes the brain alert and balanced. The mind learns to become calm and unperturbed. This helps in improved levels of memory. Similarly, sticking to this practice regularly, day after day, enhances one’s will power.
One of the best benefits of candle light meditation is that it helps in erasing feelings of depression, anxiety, nervousness etc. This is because of the fact that the meditation soothes the mind and improves the supply of oxygen to the minute recesses of the brain.
Develops Clairvoyance And Intuition:
Sincere practitioners of candle light meditation develop the ability to perceive and see things which are otherwise not perceivable to the five senses. They develop a keen sixth sense, an ability to foresee things and events, which in turn, can act to forewarn and take precautions against unpleasant future happenings.
It is best to perform this meditation, in a group, under the supervision of a teacher. Epileptics should not do this meditation. Persons who are prone to tension headaches should not try hard to focus on the candle light as this may aggravate the pain.