Candle Meditation: A Soulful Way To Meditate | Benefits, How-To, Safety Tips, And More!
When I first started practicing meditation, I found it difficult to concentrate on the stillness around me. It wasn’t easy because after being used to noise all day, sitting in stillness with nothing to focus on was hard.
I’m sure that you, like me, may find it difficult to focus during meditation, and to help you, candle meditation is here!
Candle gazing meditation, candle light meditation, flame meditation, or ‘Trataka Sadhana’ are just some names we can call this practice.
An effective meditation technique, candle meditation requires you to focus your attention on the flame of the burning candle, unlike other techniques wherein you’re asked to close your eyes for the duration of the meditation.
Focusing your gaze on the flame of the candle can bring you to a hypnotic state that calms your unsettled mind and improves insight.
Fire being an element that humans have been attracted to since the beginning of time can also help put you in a trance-like state. The warm glow of the candle flame can quickly relax you when used right.
In this blog, we’ll discover the benefits of candle meditation, how you can practice it, some techniques to practice this peculiar meditation, and some of the safety tips to keep in mind.
What Is Candle Meditation?
Candle meditation can also be referred to as yogic gazing or ‘Trataka Sadhna’. Trataka in Sanskrit means to gaze or to look. You can find the mention of this practice dating back to the 15th century.
According to practitioners of this meditation, you gaze at an object for a long time, till your eyes tear up. They believe that doing this can help clean your eyes and cure eye problems.
Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve essentially forgotten how to calm ourselves and focus on the good rather than the bad. With so many distractions in our daily lives, we’ve forgotten how to let go and relax.
When you practice candle gazing meditation, you’re looking at or focusing on one object only. This attention can help you improve your focus and clear your mind.
According to Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), there are five elements namely,
- Akasha (Space)
- Vayu (Air)
- Agni (Fire)
- Jala (Water)
- Prithvi (Earth)
In Ayurveda, the combination of these five elements is called doshas. These doshas are what rule one’s physical and mental wellness. The doshas can be
- Vata (Space & Air): Control movement and the essential part is called Prana (life force)
- Pitta (Fire & Water): Control transformation and the essential part is called Tejas (insight)
- Kapha (Water & Earth): Creates a structure and the essential part is called Ojas (the essence of life)
The fire element helps with concentration and the cognitive process. When you practice candle meditation, you can use fire to refine your insight (Tejas), which then enhances your focus and mental clarity.
Benefits Of Candle Meditation
There are many mental and physical benefits of candle gazing meditation. Some of them can include:
- Increased cognitive abilities
- Increased focus
- Increased relaxation
- Improved attention span
- Improved memory retention
- Improved mental wellness
- Improved sleep quality
- Improved eye health
- Better mental clarity, and more!
People who often have difficulty focusing can see better eye movement with this candle meditation. Candle gazing meditation requires you to focus on an object aka the candle flame which can increase cognitive flexibility, memory retention, and even attention.
Meditation has always been a wonderful tool to improve mental health and with candle meditation, you can experience a decrease in anxiety symptoms. This meditation makes you focus on the candle flame that gives your mind (and eyes) something to do. Your senses are focused on the task, hence giving you less time to focus on your worries and stress.
How To Practice Candle Meditation?
Practicing candle meditation is simple. As the name suggests, you need a lit candle to stare at for some time. You can decide if you want a 2-minute meditation, a 5-minute meditation, or a longer one. You need to take deep breaths as you stare at the candle flame.
Sit in a comfortable position, either in a lotus position or you can sit in a chair. Keep your back straight and place the lit candle at your eye level. Putting it at eye level will help avoid neck strain and slouched spine.
Make sure the candle is kept at least 3 to 6 feet away from you. Your gaze should fall naturally on the flame. It is recommended that you practice candle meditation in a dark or dimly lit room so that it is easy to focus on the candle and less on the distractions in the room. You can combine candle gazing with relaxing meditation music for a soothing experience.
Try to use a white candle or scented candles so that you can engage most of your senses. Just make sure that the scent of the candle isn’t too overpowering or else it will be an unnecessary distraction.
To start, you can:
- Sit in a comfortable position
- Take deep breaths and let go of your stress
- Slowly bring your attention to the candle flame
- Soften your gaze and admire the dancing flame
If your mind wanders during the meditation, don’t worry. Slowly bring your attention back to the dancing candle flame. Gradually, you’ll begin to feel relaxed and your thoughts will vanish.
Note: Candle meditation is a self-guided meditation practice that you can use to either quiet your mind or use to improve your visualization skills.
Techniques You Can Use
Techniques you can use to practice candle meditation can include:
1. Visualize Love & Light
There is infinite love and light inside of you and as you practice candle meditation, visualize spreading the love and light in the room, in your thoughts, towards the world. As you stare at the dancing flame, imagine the light filling every part of your body, mind, and soul.
2. Visualize Your Insecurities Burning Away
Another technique you can use when practicing candle meditation is visualizing burning away your insecurities such as fear, hatred, greed, anger, anxiety, envy, guilt, and all other such emotions. With each dance of the flame, let your negativity burn away and replace them with positive emotions.
3. Connect With Present-Awareness
To keep yourself connected with the present, try to keep your gaze on the candle flame and take note of each dance, each pattern the flame makes. Notice the color of the flame, how the slightest air makes the flame dance. Be aware of the candle, the breeze in the room, and how the flame is dancing.
4. Connect With The Infinite Flame
When the flame extinguishes, light another one. This will help you understand that the candle flame is infinite, just like your inner Self. You have infinite love to give to yourself, to your loved ones, and all beings in this world. Visualize distributing this infinite love to all.
Safety Tips To Keep In Mind
Candle gazing meditation is relatively safe to practice, yet, there are some safety precautions that you need to keep in mind when practicing candle meditation.
Practicing candle meditation isn’t helpful if you’re:
- Using recreational substances
- Consuming alcohol
- Prone to fits or seizures
- Having eye disorders
- Having psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia, psychosis, etc
NOTE: It is suggested that you seek professional advice before starting a new mediation practice. If you’re unsure about your focus, you can try setting a timer beforehand. If you have an eye problem or disorder, it is strictly recommended that you consult with your doctor before starting candle meditation.
Before you begin candle meditation, you need to:
- Have a heavy candle or candle base
- Have a sturdy table or surface to place your candle on
- Have a dark and quiet room to practice meditation in
You can also add other soothing elements to your meditation room to enhance your experience, such as
- Water fountain
- Flowers or plants (away from the candle)
- Pictures of your loved ones
- Posters depicting your happy place
Candle meditation has been in practice for centuries and has been a part of ancient yogic teachings. There are many benefits of candle meditation including improved focus, better concentration, improved memory, and alleviating stress or anxiety.
I hope that this article on candle meditation, its benefits, and how you can practice candle flame meditation helps you begin your soulful journey. For more, you can always contact us by writing to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can also DM us on social media.
You can also share your thoughts on candle meditation in the comments section below!