Candle Gazing Meditation

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.  - Buddha

The Harmony Yoga Teacher Training started last month. For a yoga teacher, it is a gift to witness students discover the magic of yoga and all it encompasses. 

We concluded the first day of the Harmony Yoga Teacher Training with a Candle Gazing Meditation. It was a beautiful and bonding experience. Candle Gazing Meditation is an open eye meditation where you stare at a flame while trying not to blink or let your eyes water. You allow the image of the flame to occupy your mind as you imagine yourself breathing in and out the flame. With attention on the flame, you can ignore or quell thoughts and thereby calm the mind giving it a much needed rest.

Afterwards, the students reported vastly different experiences, which is not surprising. Some described a feeling of calm, purity, or clarity wash over them. Some saw a striking aura around the flame or had a temporary loss of peripheral vision. A couple found it challenging to stay focused or to keep eyes open. As instructed, they closed their eyes and tried to see the flame in the mind’s eye.

Have you ever been mesmerized or transfixed by a camp fire? If so, you’re already familiar with flame meditation. Consider trying Candle Gazing Meditation at home as either an introduction to meditation or as a change from your routine meditation practice. It is simple. Sit comfortably in a dark room with a candle at eye level directly in front of you and about 3-6 feet away. For safety, remove glasses or contact lenses. Stare at the flame trying not to blink or let your mind wander. If thoughts pop into your mind, stay focused on the flame, and let the thoughts go.  If you have any trouble, just close your eyes and see the flame in your mind’s eye and perhaps open the eyes and try again in a few minutes.  Set a timer for 10-15 minutes and enjoy! Remember that with practice, meditation becomes easier and even enjoyable.  Let us know how you fared!

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