How to do a Powerful Candle Gazing Meditation in 6 Steps

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If you’ve ever looked at a flickering candle flame and thought how calming and meditative it appears, you’re not alone!

Did you know that candle gazing is actually an ancient practice, otherwise known as Trataka?

Unlike other forms of meditation where the eyes are closed and your attention goes inward, candle gazing meditation involves gazing at a flame and making that the subject of your focus.

It’s a powerful practice that you can easily incorporate into your routine to experience its benefits!

candle gazing meditation

Trataka Meditation Benefits

Candle gazing can be a very efficient way to practice meditation and is a great option for those who struggle to stop their mind wandering.

That’s because by keeping the eyes open and having an animated object to focus on it is easier to stay focused and enter a state of pure awareness, as we aim to in transcendental meditation.

From practicing Trataka, we get all the usual benefits of a meditative state, but according to Hatha yoga traditions there are also several other benefits such as:

  • Improves vision/eyesight
  • Improves concentration and memory
  • Enhances patience and willpower
  • Improves productivity
  • Calms the mind and promoting inner peace
  • Improves clarity and decision making
  • Provides stress and anxiety relief
  • Deepens sleep and helps sleep related disorders
  • Strengthens intuition and clairvoyance

Now, it’s worth noting that there is no scientific evidence to support these claims… so take these benefits with a grain of salt.

Nonetheless, Trataka is a great tool to enhance meditation and that’s an awesome benefit in itself!

lit candle flame in darkness

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How to do a Candle Gazing Meditation

So if I’ve sparked your interest , here’s how you can do your very own candle gazing meditation in 6 easy steps!

1. Set your space

As with any other meditation practice, the space around you is important to set the scene and get you in the zone.

Dim the lights, perhaps using a himalayan salt lamp to give a warm ambience to the room.

Make sure you won’t be disturbed and turn off any electronics.

2. Put your candle on a surface in front of you

Place your candle on a hard surface away from any flammable items.

You want the candle to be around eye level so bare this in mind and preferably use a table rather than the floor.

lighting candle

3. Light the candle

This is non-negotiable!

4. Sit in a comfortable position

Sit as you would in any other meditation – whatever position is most comfortable for you.

You may choose to sit on a meditation cushion with a blanket over you to keep warm for the duration of your practice.

You should be around 3ft to 4ft from your candle.

candle flame

5. Gaze at the candle

Your focus now is to keep your gaze fixed at the candle flame without fidgeting or blinking.

Your eyes are likely to water after some time but this is normal.

Continue until you cannot physically keep your eyes open any longer.

6. Finish by closing your eyes

When you close your eyes, you may see an image of the candle flame in your mind’s eye.

Try to direct this image at your third eye chakra (the point between your eyebrows).

When the image completely fades, reopen your eyes and repeat the process.

meditating with eyes closed

Selecting a candle for Trataka

While you can use any candle you like for your candle gazing meditation, you ideally want to choose a non-toxic candle that’s made from natural soy wax or beeswax. 

You can also experiment with using different colours and smells to resonate with a particular chakra that you might be trying to unblock. Here are some great options:

Related: 28 Unique Meditation Gifts for Mindfulness

Extra Tips for Candle Gazing Meditation

Candle gazing doesn’t have to be a complex practice, but there are definitely steps you can take to make it a more powerful and beneficial practice.

Bear the following tips in mind if you’re considering a Trataka practice.

  • It is best practiced on an empty stomach so you don’t have energy directed elsewhere (digestion)
  • It works best as a night time practice, since you have more control over the lighting levels
  • If you practice during the day, you might want to consider blackout curtains to completely block out all light
  • Regularly trim your wick to increase the lifespan of your candle and improve the flame
  • Do not strain your eyes – it is better to keep a soft gaze than to stare
  • Allow your eyes to rest afterwards (avoid looking at screens)

Let me know if you’ve tried candle gazing meditation and what your favourite part of the practice is!

Want more content like this? Check out this post:

The 11 Best Crystal Candles for Manifestation in 2022​​​

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how to practice candle gazing meditation for peace and relaxation

About Esther

Esther is the founder of Through the Phases.  Her mission is to guide others to grow to their full potential and create their dream life using spiritual and personal growth practices. Read more about her story here!

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