During my yoga apprenticeship, I learned about a form of meditation called Tratak where you stare into the flame of a candle until your eyes start to water.
I know, it sounds like a scene out of A Clockwork Orange, but I promise that candle meditation isn’t a form of torture. It’s actually a form of meditation, and one I thoroughly enjoy!
This meditation technique is a form of tapas, which is a sanskrit word that means to heat and cleanse the body. Tapas helps us burn up all of the obstacles that stand in our way, and connects us to our divine consciousness.
Here are a few benefits of staring into a candle flame:
- Tratak has been known to treat several eye disorders such as weak eyesight, and it improves the internal and external optic function.
- It improves concentration and internal strength.
- It helps in disconnecting and becoming unattached to the distractions of the external world and the monkey mind.
- It helps develop intuition as you focus on the third eye.
I’ve rediscovered Tratak lately, and I’m excited to share it with you here.
There’s a little more to it to just staring at a candle until your eyes water. Check it out…
Here’s how to practice:
- Find a candle. If you want to get super traditional, find a candle made from ghee. However, any candle will work.
- Sit in meditation pose in front of the candle. Sit about a foot away and make sure the candle is raised to eye level. No need to sit in lotus, but cross legged or any comfortable meditation posture will do.
- Open the eyes and look at the flame without blinking.
- As you look into the candle, think of a guru or deity. Think of a deity that has a quality you want to focus on and bring out from within. For example: Lakshmi is the goddess of spiritual wealth. Ganesha is the remover of obstacles. Shiva is the god of destruction. (Here’s a great book to help with deities if needed!)
- As you concentrate on the deity, continue to look into the fire and visualize the qualities within you.
- Become aware (but not distracted) of the visions, shapes, and concepts you see in the fire & what arises in your mind
- Once your eyes start to water and you absolutely have to blink, close the eyes for a few seconds. Focus on your eyebrow center.
- Repeat the practice 3 times.
- Then, lay in Savasana, close the eyes, and focus on the flame that you should still see in your eyebrow center.
Tratak is one of my favorite forms of meditation because it allows me to open the mind in a different way, and work with the visualizations I see in the fire. The practice time should gradually build.
A. Find a candle that to practice Tratak with. Make sure it’s special and something that resonates with you. Create a spiritual connection and use that candle. I found these ghee candles on Amazon right now, which I think is frickin’ amazing that you can get ghee tealights.
B. Think about what you want to work on this month. Maybe take a night or two to journal about it. Come up with qualities that you want to bring out from within (abundance, confidence, strength). Research hindu deities that match those qualities, and choose a deitiy for the focus of one month.
C. Practice Tratak twice a week for one month! Schedule in two days to practice before bed. I like Monday and Thursday!
Comment below & tell me what deity you choose and how it goes!