The unbelievable benefits of candle meditation, and ways to carry out the Candle Meditation
The philosophy and praxis of Mindfulness is rigorously current and has generated great interest both in scientific circles and on the street.
Although Mindfulness seems the new fleeting fashion in the field of well-being and meditation, we are not facing a recently created phenomenon: its origins date back to the end of the 7th century BC, a historical moment closely linked with the appearance of Buddhism.
The fundamental objective of Mindfulness is aimed at providing us with a method to learn to manage emotions, reactions, attitudes, and thoughts in order to face the situations that life presents us, through the practice and improvement of mindfulness.
Thus, we will be able to discover that through the development of mindfulness in the present moment we develop certain positive attitudes in relation to our mental state and emotions, coming to control them from freedom, self-knowledge, and acceptance.
Handmade mindfulness gifts are a classic element of focus during meditation. The flame represents both strength and fragility, as it has the power to destroy, but can be put out in an instant. Fire still fascinates mankind. The flames fill light and heat in a dark room, and dance without really moving. Meditating on the flame of a candle is an exciting experience.
When one is starting in the millenary practice of meditation, maintaining attention, or entering an optimal state of energy through relaxation can seem like an unattainable milestone.
However, the benefits of meditation or mindfulness are so interesting that more and more people are encouraged to try these types of activities in order to improve their quality of life.
The trataka, or meditation with an object, is one of the most used tricks, especially when it comes to beginners in meditative practice. Thanks to the trataka, even the most nervous and off-centered people will be able to enter a certain state of relaxation and concentration that will gradually develop with practice.
Although the most popular object for this activity is a lit candle, any other object or subject can be used as long as it is not in motion. In fact, trataka literally means "to gaze with contemplation."
In other words, the chosen object is not the most relevant factor here, since what is really important is to keep our attention fixed on an object for a length of time.
What are the benefits of using candles for mindful meditation?
Meditation has been practiced by our ancestors for centuries. It is only now that science and new technologies confirm the true benefits that meditation has on the brain.
Meditation has a surprising variety of benefits on our neurons: preservation of gray matter, reduction of activity in the region of the brain linked to consciousness of the "me" (and therefore of the ego) and improved connection between regions of the brain.
Now we look at the flame itself. Of course, each person makes their own interpretation of the flame. However, it is widely recognized that practicing mindfulness exercises like this regularly improves concentration. It is also said that this exercise helps to develop intuition and life force. In addition, meditating on the flame of a candle also provides physical benefits. Indeed, it allows us to strengthen the ocular musculature and even to purify the eyes!
Trataka, or candle meditation, is a widely used practice for beginners and as an introduction to a more intense meditation session. Its benefits are numerous and very interesting:
- It is able to reduce anxiety
When one is in a state of relative anxiety, it can be difficult to achieve a certain state of relaxation to start a meditative practice. This is often the first hurdle that people fail when trying to meditate. That is what makes trataka so effective and so helpful for meditation. The trataka is excellent in overcoming these barriers and unblocking ourselves by significantly reducing our nervous states.
- Improves eyesight and strengthens eyes
Being a visual meditative practice, candle meditation is known for helping strengthen the nerves and muscles of our eyes, improving our ocular abilities.
- Helps in concentration and increases memory
Like any other meditation, the trataka is also very effective in improving our concentration, memory and mindfulness.
- Purifies and stimulates the sixth chakra, Ajna
According to spiritual experts, the practice of trataka is perfect for purifying the sixth chakra, which is located right in the area of our third eye (the penal gland).
In addition to all the above benefits, meditative practice through candlelight trataka can give us that push we need to believe that we are capable of effectively maintaining our attention. Point being, it can be the perfect step into mindfulness practices.
If you have been trying to meditate for a long time and the classical methods do not quite work, getting into a state of relaxation and full concentration thanks to trataka will be an injection of satisfaction for you. Without a doubt, a small first step towards a fuller and healthier life.
- Calmer and improved mindfulness through candle meditation
In the pre-Christmas period, despite the contemplative days, the holiday period can often be hectic and stressful, so I would like to invite you to a moment of relaxation with candle mediation, also known as trataka in yoga. Handmade mindful gifts have been leading the way in supporting the mindfulness journey. We at Handmade Minds have designed our mindfulness gifts to support the individual’s mindfulness journey. You can find our handcrafted candles and wax melts here.
Mindfulness exercises give you peace and serenity, promotes your ability to concentrate and illuminates your inner being with light.
To do this, place a candle in front of you at a distance of 2-3 meters. The room you are in should be as dark as possible. To do this, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to release the stress from you. Then open your eyes and direct a relaxed but slightly “staring look” at the candle flame, if possible, without blinking your eyes. If your eyes begin to cry, they are said to have a cleansing effect. If it is no longer possible to open your eyes, close them relaxed and let the afterimage in your thoughts continue to be felt before your eyes.
Perhaps you continue to see a flame, see colors, or feel movement in your thoughts. If the light or image in front of your inner eye fades again, open your eyes again and repeat this process.
Anyone who suffers from concentration problems, anxiety or stress should fix a candle flame from a short distance for a few minutes. The mind will calm down and relaxation will set in.
You can do this exercise for yourself for a few minutes. Before you finish this exercise, rub your hands together and place your warmed hands on your eyelids and feel.
How to carry out the Trataka practice
To carry out this practice, the first step is to choose our object of contemplation. For beginners, we always recommend a lit candle as the slight movement of its small flame is often extremely relaxing in itself.
Once we have our chosen object, we just must position it in a place that is at eye level while sitting comfortably on the floor.
The next thing will be to sit in the typical lotus position of meditation and close our eyes for a few seconds relaxing our breath. This short period of time will help us to internalize that our meditation session will begin in a few moments.
When you feel ready, open your eyes, and keep your gaze fixed on the candle. Intrusive thoughts or disjointed images are likely to pass through your mind during your first sessions. Do not worry, this is totally normal. When this happens, just let them pass without judgment and continue your practice.
As you focus on the little candle, remember to consciously control your breathing. Your eyesight will eventually tire, and your eyes may start to sting. Hold on as long as you can but without forcing yourself or causing any discomfort.
When you need to rest, close your eyes for a few seconds and take a few deep breaths to keep practicing.
When you think it is enough, end your meditative session thanking the universe and yourself for the effort and time invested. You will see how, as you repeat this practice, you will improve your meditative skills.
HOW TO MEDITATE ON THE FLAME OF A CANDLE
Take the time to settle in
The flame of a candle is a fragile thing, you must take the time to settle down to be sure that it will not go out in the middle of your practice due to an unwelcome draft or because you let the candle fall, which could be dangerous. Smaller candles that can be secured safely in a stand are the most suitable, because they shine for a long time without leaving any sag and because they are stable by themselves.
If you are meditating outside, or if you are worried that your candle may be blown out by a draft, you can shelter it in a transparent candle holder that is of a simple design. Sometimes a glass can do the trick. Also be sure to protect the floor or the support from any drips of wax if you choose a classic candle. Finally, make sure that nothing near the candle can catch fire. The risks are of course very limited, but you might as well avoid them as much as possible. Be sure to check out our safety instructions if you have any questions.
When all of this is done, all you must do is sit down to meditate, as you usually do or by following a method for getting started in meditation.
So, you are going to stare at this flame, observe it and try to understand what gives it life, what allows you to see it, to feel it. It is only energy, but it needs matter to be. It is only energy, but it is visible, you can feel the heat of it, but it can also hurt you, destroy you. Yet, she is there, beneficial, bringing you her warmth, because you are at a good distance from her. It is visible and sensitive because it is concentrated energy. You will not be able to hold it between your fingers, but it exists nevertheless, it is undeniable.
It exists differently from many things, but it exists. In fact, she is a concentrate of strength which does not need more to exist, which does not need to expand, even though she can. She shines and lives with a single wick, because you have created the conditions that she needs to exist.
The fragility despite the power
The flame represents a fragile balance which allows, as long as it is maintained, this little miracle to exist. The flame has fascinated people for millennia. Fire is only possible if energy, fuel and oxidizer are present. Let only one of these elements be present in too much or too little quantity and the fire is no longer. It changes shape or simply disappears. This fragility contrasts with the devastating power that fire can demonstrate. This is proof that the two are not incompatible.
Also take the time to think about what can destroy a fire that starts from a simple candle flame, how big it can take, and think about how the power can be distributed in all areas to do great things or to destroy in great proportions, depending on what you do with her.
Meditating on the flame of a candle is a soothing and instructive experience. The fascination that fire exerts on mankind is not about to be extinguished. Enjoy it!
Mindfulness as the key to self-knowledge
Mindfulness pursues learning, getting connected with our inner self, managing our internal events, and reacting in a more conscious and effective way to day-to-day eventualities. The philosophy of conscious attention proposes that on this path we are able, progressively, to find the essence of who we are.
Ultimately, we must be aware that what causes us discomfort or anxiety are not the events, but how we link emotions to them. The Compassion and Self - pity are practices that help us relate to the facts in a way nonjudgmental and open to the suffering, both his own and to others'. Compassion is key in Mindfulness, as it helps us minimize the impact of negative things that happen to us. It is not about erasing the negative emotions that certain events can cause us, but about reducing their intensity.
Over the course of the last centuries, Mindfulness techniques have been applied as support to psychotherapies used to solve different mental health problems, such as stress, anxiety, disorders associated with sleep or tolerance to pain, among others.
Handmade mindfulness gifts are classical, soothing, and beautifully handmade sets of candles, designed to support a variety of mindfulness exercises.
We at Handmade Minds have specifically designed mindfulness gifts to give individuals a reason to dedicate time to mindfulness practice.
Using mindfulness candles to carve out time in your day can help you to relax and be present in the moment, and to bring the mind to a place of stillness. Distractions dissolve away, and the mind becomes focused on the flame. Regardless of the major benefits that candle meditation and mindfulness gifts can provide, they are also simple, elegant, and beautiful gifts, perfect for a relaxing moment.