How to do candle meditation and what are the benefits
Meditation is a popular way to boost physical and mental health, but there are lots of different forms of meditation so which do you choose?
Candle meditation is a great option for those who want to practise meditation but who struggle with keeping their mind focused. In this article we'll be looking at the benefits of this ancient practice and a candle meditation technique that you can use to heal your chakras.
What is candle meditation?
Candle meditation is a simple meditation practice which is ideal for beginners. Also referred to as trataka or candle gazing meditation, candle meditation involves focusing all your attention on a burning candle flame for a set amount of time.
Unlike traditional meditation techniques which generally involve keeping your eyes closed and turning your attention inwards, with candle meditation or trataka, you keep your eyes open.
Trataka derives from the Sanskrit word, meaning "to look" or "to gaze." It is a form of yogic purification and what is known as a tantric method of meditation. It has been used in Ayurvedic teachings and ancient yoga practices for centuries.
Trataka involves staring at a single small point such as a mark on the wall or a star in the sky, but the most common object of focus is a candle flame.
Candle gazing meditation is thought to be particularly effective for opening the Third Eye Chakra, improving memory and supporting mental clarity.
Benefits of candle meditation
Candle meditation or trataka is a spiritual practice that has been shown to be very beneficial for the mind and body, and an important part of chakra healing.
It is one of the most popular mindfulness meditation techniques as it helps us to be fully present in the moment. By focusing the mind, we can learn not to be so reactive to external circumstances and instead build resilience and awareness of our inner thoughts and emotions.
Benefits of candle gazing include:
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Increased relaxation
- Improved patience and focus
- Improved sleep quality
- Improved mental resilience in our daily lives
- Improved memory
There is scientific evidence that trataka improves cognitive function by boosting working memory and concentration, as well as increasing rapid response rates.
Candle gazing meditation can be used to work on any of the chakras, but it is particularly effective for opening and balancing the Third Eye Chakra, also known as the Ajna Chakra.
The Third Eye Chakra is responsible for our intuition and psychic power. It is located at the forehead, which is why channeling our energy through the eyes and focusing the mind can be so effective for this energy center.
If, like me, you often struggle to keep your mind from wandering off in different directions while meditating, then candle meditation could be perfect for you.
Concentrating on a physical object makes it a lot easier to stay focused and stop other thoughts and concerns from distracting you.
Read on for how to set up candle chakra meditation for beginners.
How to do candle meditation
The beauty of candle meditation is that it is really straightforward, even for beginners. I recommend using chakra candles if you would like to use candle meditation to work on your chakras.
Just follow this simple candle meditation technique:
1) Choose a quiet space with a comfortable temperature where you won't be disturbed.
2) Turn off your phone and anything that could distract you.
3) Dim the light in the room - this will relax your mind and make it easier to see the candle flame.
4) Place the chakra candle you want to use on a table and sit on a chair in front of it. Ideally the candle should be at eye level. Alternatively you could sit on the floor and place the candle on the floor in front of you.
5) Place the candle close to you - no more than 50cm away.
6) Try to sit with a straight back and find a position that you can comfortably sit in for a few minutes.
7) Take a few deep breaths. This will help to lower your heart rate and calm your mind. Keep deep breathing until you feel your body relax and any tension slip away.
8) State your intention for this candle meditation session. For example: "I welcome guidance from my highest self".
9) If you have a chakra affirmation that you are practicing then this could be a good time to say it. For example a Sacral Chakra affirmation could include: "I embrace my vibrant creativity."
10) Light the candle and turn your attention to the flame. Watch as the flame flickers and see how it changes color.
11) Keep all your attention on the flame and try to blink as little as possible. If you find yourself being distracted by thoughts or other objects in the room, simply return your attention to the flame.
12) You may find that your eyes begin to water after a few minutes. Don't worry, just continue to gaze at the candle and the feeling will likely pass.
13) Beginners should aim for no more than 5 minutes. You can build up to 10-15 minutes as you become more comfortable with candle gazing meditation.
14) After you close your eyes, keep the image of the flame in your mind and feel the energy charging your Third Eye Chakra.
15) At the end of your session, express gratitude to yourself and the universe.
You might find it easier to practise candle meditation at the beginning or start of the day, when you are most relaxed. It's a good idea to do it on an empty stomach when your energy will not be used up by digestion.
If you find that candle gazing meditation isn't for you, there are lots of other ways to meditate with crystals and candles. Check out our guide to how to heal your chakras with meditation.
What you need for a candle meditation
The great thing about candle meditation is all you actually need is a candle.
If you want to work on your chakras, then I recommend using chakra candles which combine specific colors and essential oils designed to tap into specific chakras.
A comfortable chair and table can be useful. Although sitting on a cushion on the floor works just as well. Try to find a quiet room or meditation space which isn't too light.
Selecting chakra candles for candle meditation
So how do you go about selecting the right candles for meditation? This totally depends on your goal. If you are looking to work on a specific chakra, then it's wise to select a candle created for that particular chakra.
Chakra candles typically use the specific colors of the chakras, so a Solar Plexus Chakra candle will be yellow, while a Crown Chakra candle will be purple. The color of the candle can have a big impact on the effectiveness of your meditation.
Chakra meditation candles also contain essential oils which when burnt can support the opening of particular chakras. The oils in these scented candles invigorate the chakras and help direct positive healing energy towards these energy centers.
Some chakra candles contain crystals with healing properties and vibrations that can be really beneficial for the chakras. You can also use these crystals after you have burnt the candle, in visualization, meditation or manifestation rituals.
How to make candle gazing meditation safe
Candle gazing is generally very safe but as with any practice involving candles, there are a few safety points to consider:
- Avoid toxic candles which can emit harmful vapors. Choose natural soy wax or beeswax candles.
- Make sure you place your meditation candle on a flat, stable surface where it won’t be knocked over.
- Don’t put your candle near anything that could catch light, for example next to a curtain.
- Do not put a tea light or candle in a metal container directly on a wooden or flammable surface. Place a saucer or plate underneath the candle if necessary.
- Don't strain your eyes. Maintain a soft gaze and if you feel your eyes becoming strained or painful then close your eyes.
- Avoid screens and allow your eye muscles to rest after a candle gazing meditation session.
- Avoid candle gazing meditation if you have an eye disorder or suffer from migraines.
Candle gazing can be a really effective meditative practice for the chakras, with a whole host of physical and mental benefits.
The great thing about it is it's really accessible for meditation beginners - all you need is the right meditation candles or aromatherapy candles and a quiet space in which to practice.
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