Trataka is the practice of staring at an external object, so it’s no surprise that the Sanskrit word Trataka translates into English as, “to look” or “to gaze”. It is used in Yoga as a way of developing concentration and mindfulness, and is said to stimulate and balance the Ajna chakra. So, if you’re feeling unfocused and have that “out of it” feeling, give Trataka meditation a try!
The symbol most commonly used is a candle flame, because even after the eyes are closed, the impression remains naturally for some time.
In the practice of trataka an object is gazed at until its subtle form manifests in front of the closed eyes. The point of concentration is usually a symbol or object which activates the inner potential and can absorb the mind. The symbol most commonly used is a candle flame, because even after the eyes are closed, the impression remains naturally for some time. I’ve also used other objects, such as a flower, a photograph, or anything else that is significant to you. The purpose of focusing the eyes on an external object is to arouse the internal vision and make it absolutely steady by stopping the eye movements.
- Light a candle and place it directly in front of you (at eye level is best).
- Begin in a comfortable seated position with your eyes closed.
- Spend a few minutes calming and connecting your body and breath.
- Open your eyes and gaze at the candle flame for a couple of minutes.
- Close your eyes and internally gaze up at the image of the flame that is now positioned at the Ajna chakra (third eye).
- Sit with this image and your breath.
- If you lose the image and want to refresh it, simply open your eyes again for a minute and then close them to return to meditation.
- Before opening your eyes, rub the palms of your hands together to warm and energize them. Place them over your eyes.
- Remove your hands from your face and slowly open your eyes.
Do you feel less scattered and more focused? I’d love to hear your comments!