By Claudia Carballal
February 11, 2021
Trataka meditation is mentioned in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika as “looking intently with an unwavering gaze at a small point until tears are shed.” This type of meditation is one of the shat kriyas, or six cleansing actions in Yogic practices.
One of the most common ways to concentrate is gazing at the flame of a candle positioned at arms-length distance and at eye level. Attention is focused on the flame until your eyes start watering. The tears from your eyes carry away impurities.
A consistent trataka practice helps bring energy to the third eye (ajna chakra), increases concentration and self-discipline, improves memory, and cleans and heals the eyes. The Hindu Yogic text Gheranda Samhita explains that trataka develops clairvoyance abilities and inner-wisdom. This type of meditation is also beneficial to the solar plexus (manipura chakra) as it revitalizes the "fire in the belly," the flame of our solar plexus that gives energy and will-power.
Trataka meditation is practiced by advanced Yogic practitioners who want to develop more inner-abilities. However, trataka is simple enough to be recommended to people who are not familiar with meditation and who feel nervous, restless and have problems with focus and concentration. It balances the nervous system, and relieves depression, anxiety, and insomnia.
1. Light a candle and place it on a solid surface at arms-length and at the level of your eyes. Your head and neck should be relaxed and comfortable.
2. You can sit on the floor on a cross-legged position or on a chair.
3. Take three deep inhales and exhales and connect to your breath.
4. Start gazing at the flame with eyes open until they start watering and you cannot sustain the gaze. The more you wait until you close your eyes, the more beneficial the meditation.
5. Close your eyes for a moment and visualize the flame in your internal eye. Bring your awareness to the point between your eyebrows, the "third eye" (ajna chakra).
6. Repeat gazing at the flame with eyes open, then close your eyes to take brakes in between visualizing the flame between your eyebrows. Repeat as many times as you feel comfortable without overdoing it.
Claudia Carballal, founder of InnerWellbeing, works as a coach-guide-teacher of Yogic Spirituality, mental health, and various healing modalities. With traditional training in India and the USA, Claudia's work covers a variety of topics including Yoga, Psychology, Vedanta, Ayurveda, Kriya, and Jnana. For more than 20 years, Claudia has helped thousands of people through change, healing, and recovery in the areas of mental health, human rights and international law. For the past three years, Claudia studies a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and is doing her clinical experience with a local organization. For daily inspiration, join her on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or join InnerWellbeing's Mailing List!