I didn't get the chance to record another video this week, so here's my take on tatrak meditation. I hope you enjoy it. I find it very soothing, particularly in these difficult coronavirus times!
Tatrak or tatraka means to look or gaze in Sanskrit. Tatrak meditation involves gazing at the flame of a candle without blinking. It is said to bring energy to the “third eye” and to stimulate psychic powers. It helps to clear the mind of unwanted thoughts, improves concentration and has a calming effect on the nervous system. It purifies the eyes and strengthens eye muscles.
CONTRAINDICATIONS: This exercise is not suitable for people with psychological problems and those who have a tendency towards schizophrenia or hallucinations.
Sit comfortably in front of a candle. Place a candle at arm’s length from you with the flame more or less at eye level. If the candle is placed too high, it can create tension in between your eyebrows, or produce a burning sensation in the eyes and if it is too low, it's almost impossible to practice this meditation. Make sure that there is no draft and the flame is still. Close your eyes. Mentally repeat your mantra. If you don’t have a favourite mantra, you can use “Om”.
Next, open your eyes and look at the flame without blinking. You’ll see that the flame usually has three colours: at the base of the wick the flame is red, in the middle it is bright white and at the tip it is slightly smoky. Concentrate on the upper part of the flame where it is brightest.
Close the eyes again. If you can see the image of the flame, gently concentrate on that image without creating any tension. Try not to hold onto the image, otherwise it will fade and disappear.
Repeat the practice 3 times (say your mantra with your eyes closed, open your eyes and fix your gaze on the flame without blinking, when you can no longer keep the eyes open without blinking close them and concentrate on the image of the flame you can see within until it fades).
Over time, you can practice this meditation for longer periods. At the beginning, you should only look at the flame for about 10-15 seconds. When you feel comfortable with that, you can slowly increase the time so that after about one year you can look at the flame for 1 minute and concentrate on the inner image with your eyes closed for about 4 minutes. DO NOT EXCEED THIS LENGTH OF TIME.
N.B. Ideally you should you use a standard candle in a candlestick, or a tea light (like the one shown), but not inside a candle holder. The candle flame needs to be completely visible, at eye level.