Candle Gazing

Tratakam is an ancient form of meditation where a person focuses their gaze on an object of their choice. The most traditionally used object is a candle, but it can be any object that attracts your attention. Some people like to gaze at the Om symbol to help gain inner peace.

The idea behind candle gazing is that – as you focus your attention on the flickering flame – you become fully absorbed in the present moment. This means that candle gazing is a wonderfully quick and easy way to access an altered state of being. In this altered state, the subconscious mind is more open to the suggestion of your intention(s). This focus and attention takes the mind into a heightened state of awareness. When the mind is calm and focused, it brings a transcendent state of stillness and helps you to access your inner light.  This inner state of being is then reflected in your outer reality.

When practised regularly, candle gazing encourages deep focus and improved concentration. It’s excellent for people who have difficulty meditating, as it gives the mind a point of focus.  As you progress, you’ll notice that mental chatter eases and any blocks and limitations fall away.

It’s also believed that candle gazing can awaken your Third Eye. When you hold a steady gaze at the flame, the ciliary (blink) reflex is triggered, this, in turn, activates the pineal gland and stimulates your Third Eye.

Candle gazing can be carried out at any time of day or night but it’s best done in a dimly-lit room, as this helps to remove any visual distractions. You’ll need a candle, a fireproof container, matches and a secure, fireproof surface on which to place your candle. It’s best to place the candle at eye level and about three to four feet away from you. Try holding your gaze for two minutes, to begin with, then progress to five minutes, then ten minutes, and eventually aim for twenty minutes.

  • Close the drapes and dim the lights.
  • Light your candle, while setting the intention that you will access your inner light and find stillness within.
  • Find a comfortable position in which to sit where your spine is straight.
  • Holding a soft gaze, stare at the candle and allow it to be the main focus of your mind. Your eyes may water, or feel tense, let these sensations surface and pass. If you find yourself getting distracted, don’t worry, just return your attention to the flame.
  • Sense your connection with the flame of light, and with each inhalation sense how much light your body’s absorbing. Continue until you become one with the flame of light.
  • Close your eyes and try to maintain the image of the candle flame in your mind. Visualise it in the space behind the centre of your forehead. Focus on the light or flame shape that appears when you close your eyes. Give the image time to emerge and, as it does, hold your focus on the inner flame.
  • Should the light or flame image fade, just softly open your eyes and gaze once more at the candle flame. When you feel you’ve reconnected with the image, then close your eyes and repeat the process for as long as you can hold that image of the inner light.
  • This is a very soothing and relaxing way to quieten the mind and can be really beneficial if done just before bedtime. Of course, remember to blow out the candle before you sleep!
  • If you wish to go about your day after candle gazing, you’ll first need to ground yourself fully after the meditation.
  • Allow yourself a few minutes to take your awareness back to your physical body. Become mindful of the rise and fall of your stomach as you breathe. Become aware of your fingers and toes as you wriggle them.

Drinking water will help you to ground your awareness back into your body. Also, touching a leaf, a stone or a grounding crystal will help with your grounding.

I’d love to hear how you get on with this meditation. Please use the comments section below if you’d like to share your experiences or ask any questions.