How to start meditating with Trataka - focus on the flame
I have been meditating for years. Often to takes me an hour to do one minute of actual meditation.
How did I start? I focused on a candle flame.
Focus - it's about training the mind to be present and pointed at one thing. Holding the gaze on one point, such as the flame, will help to develop concentration, memory and even will power.
Trataka - a focused gaze
This type of starter meditation is known as Trataka. Trataka is the practice of steadily gazing at a single point. Notice how I used the word "gaze" as opposed to "look". Ever heard ofThe Male Gaze? Look is a synonym of gaze. Gaze is a hyponym of look. Just as knife is a hyponym of cutlery.
To look at something is to try to see it better - to pay attention with one's eyes.
To gaze is one step deeper than look, it is to study the object, and it is associated with power. The definition of gaze is - to look steadily and intently, especially in admiration, surprise, or thought and with a deep focus.
This candle gazing, Trataka, leads to pratyahara (sensory withdrawal), dharana (relaxed concentration) and dhyana (meditation).
How to meditate
Light a candle, state your intention of wishing to quieten your mind, set a time limit, and stare at the flame. Bring your attention back to the flame when your mind wonders. Connect to breath. And enjoy.
"In order to concentrate on an object, either internal or external, the mind must be kept under control so that it is not distracted. One way of doing this is by choosing something as the object of concentration which will make the mind experience peace and steadiness. For this purpose the mantra Om, a flower, a picture of your Guru, a Deity, or the flame of a candle can be chosen. The candle flame is most convenient and practical object for beginners."
Swami Satyananda Saraswati