is a wonderful practice for anyone, and especially for an aspirant in the practice of meditation. In fact, it is classified as a method of purification in Yoga.
If we look fixedly at the flame of a candle, and we feel with it clarifying our mind, we may have unknowingly experienced the yogic technique called trataka.
Hatha Yoga Pradikika says of the trataka that it is done "looking fixedly and without blinking, at a point, until the tears begin to flow." This simple technique has a purifying and invigorating effect of the eyes, improves concentration, opening the way to a deeper meditative practice.
Since it represents one of the shat kryias, or the six purifying actions, trataka can also heal and cleanse the eyes.
Although we can use several objects during the realization of trataka, the most often used is the flame of a candle. Fix your gaze
We sit comfortably, in a meditation position, with our heads and neck aligned in the continuation of the body, centered in the heart, with our hands placed on our knees, and we look at the flame of a candle placed in front of us, with the flame positioned at eye level. We must make sure that there is enough darkness in the room and there are no air currents, so as not to disturb the flame.
Start with your eyes closed, keeping an eye on your body and paying attention to your breathing, until it becomes calmer and more equal. Then he opens his eyes and begins to look at the flame of the candle in the middle, just above the top of the wick. Keep your eyelids a little lighter than usual and keep your gaze without blinking for as long as possible. Observe any thoughts that appear in your mind, and watch them come and go only from the observer state.
Close your eyes, only when they begin to dry or tear strongly and you can no longer hold your gaze. You can cover your eyes with the caus of your palms to soothe sensations of stinging or discomfort, but do not rub your eyes, but gently wipe yourself with a handkerchief, because the removed lacrimal secretions carry impurities in them. After that, evoking in your mind the image of the flame, and stand with your eyes closed, focusing on the ajna chakra or the energy center between the eyebrows. If the image moves up and down, stabilize by bringing it to the center, and continue to fix it until the impression of movement disappears. To penetrate even deeper into the mind, you can start practicing a meditative technique.
According to the writings of Hatha Yoga Pradipika "Trataka cures any eye diseases, fatigue and pain, and removes any impurities." In addition, besides the fact that it improves concentration and memory, trataka cleanses the eyes, balances the nervous system, removes depression, anxiety and insomnia. Another yogi text called Gheranda Samhita, states that the practice of this technique leads to the appearance of clairvoyance and inner visions.
Because vision, mental discrimination and the specific fire in the manipura chakra are interwoven in a complex way, trataka also nourishes its subtle flame, promoting vitality and inner health. In its advanced forms, as master Swami Rama put it: "The practice of Trataka eventually merges with Sadhana Surya or meditation on solar energy."
Under the guidance of a teacher, we can learn how to use a variety of objects or symbols on which to focus our gaze during tratakasuch as: o Yantra (a symbolic geometric representation of the aspects related to the Deity), the symbol of MAN, the shape of a deity, the moon, its own shadow or the bright and orange disk of the sun when it rises or is at dusk.
All we have to do is fix our eyes and follow the light on its way, towards the inner Self.
Article taken from Yoga International