There are so many methods of meditation and Trataka meditation is among them. Even though you might have an image in your mind of what meditation is, there are actually so many ways to meditate. You can try out all the different types to see what works best for you. Of course, everyone is different, and no two meditation practices will be completely the same. If you want more out of your meditation practice, here are a few things to know about Trataka meditation.
The practice of Trataka meditation involves focusing on one specific object or focus point rather than an internal idea. Many people use it as a purification or focus technique, especially in the context of yogic meditation. It’s mostly about connecting to the focus within you and working on the feeling of stillness. The translation of the word itself means to look or gaze, so you can take it fairly literally.
Trataka meditation is the practice of gazing at a fixed point or object, and usually, this involves a candle. It doesn’t need to be a candle, but this can work well for many. Trataka meditation isn’t simply just gazing at candles. Even though it is often referred to as candle-gazing meditation that is just a part of it. Even though you can stop there, Trataka meditation can also involve things like breathing exercises and counting. Regardless, it’s all about finding your inner focus through an external focus.
Meditation in general can be extremely beneficial to your mental and physical wellness. If you’re curious about the specific benefits of Trataka meditation, it’s been known to calm your entire system with a sense of warmth and comfort. If you believe in the balancing of chakras, this can be great for the upper chakras.
The origins of Trataka meditation can be traced back to classical Yoga and Tantra philosophies. The use of a single fixed point or small object is often found in traditional (not neo-tantra) Tantric meditation and texts, while the practice is often incorporated into yogic practices as well. The name of Trataka meditation comes from the Sanskrit, and can be a kind of yogic purification. Therefore, it has its place both with yogic and tantric philosophy.
The technique for Trataka meditation is mostly what it sounds like — all you need is a candle and something to light it, and you can get started on your meditation. If you’d like a bit more direction, you can dim the lights throughout the rest of your space so that the candle you’re looking at is brighter and easier to focus on. This can also create a calmer and more relaxed environment if you’re using this as a way to wind down.
First, you need to find a comfortable seated position, light your candle and fix your gaze on the flame. Watch it move around and flicker. Focus all of your mental energy on the flame of the candle. If you want to add additional details to the practice, you can even set an intention when you light the candle if you would like something a bit more abstract to focus on mentally. Conversely, if you want something a bit more concrete, you can try inhaling and exhaling with the movement of the flame. You can set a timer for your meditation or simply go by your own internal clock.
There are so many ways that you can practice meditation, and the technique of gazing at a candle or flame is a great way to explore new possibilities. No matter what your experience is with meditation, you can try this one out and see how it works for you.
About the Author:
Ava Roman has been practicing Yoga regularly since she was a teenager and more recently completed 200-hour teacher training. She chose to take the leap into 200 hours because she wanted to deepen her knowledge and understanding of Yoga’s rich history and deepen her personal practice. She is passionate about sharing the message that all bodies are Yoga bodies since experiencing a lot of personal trauma and weight gain since 2020.