Tratak Meditation (or Gazing Meditation) is a really beautiful and simple way to meditate using a form of concentration. Here is a beginner’s guide to how to do it.
You can gaze at anything during for this meditation. In the past, I have used some incredible pink roses that I picked from my garden, as well as a candle, which is quite common for Tratak Meditation.
However you meditate and whenever you meditate it can be really helpful to decide before hand why you are meditating and what you want to develop through your meditation practice. So, in this gazing meditation whatever you choose to stare at and meditate on, begin by determining an inner focus. I will explain more about this below.
Gazing Meditation combines this inner focus with an outer focus.
By single-mindedly focusing your eyes on a fixed point and just gently gazing at that point both internal and external distractions begin to melt . Through this process, you allow all the thought processes (and particularly all other stimuli) to reduce and reduce and reduce so you can develop a nice state of equilibrium within yourself.
What can you gaze at during Tratak Meditation?
Gazing at a rose, such as those that I picked from my garden, can be a really beautiful thing. If I wanted to engender compassion and love as my inner focus during my meditation, all of these qualities are very much symbolised by a rose. You may have different associations with a rose, but whatever you think will be what you embody whilst single-mindedly focusing on the centre of the rose.
Alternatively, you could use a candle. A candle often represents purity: purity of spirit, purity of mind, purity of thought process. Its light is said to be very clearing and cleansing, especially for the eyes. In Ayurveda, we say that the eyes are governed by Alochaka Pitta, a heat quality from the eyes. Therefore, meeting the heat quality from the candle creates this cleansing process within the eyes, giving them the opportunity to self-heal through the process.
How do you perform Tratak Meditation?
Make sure whatever you are gazing at is in line with your eyes; this is so you can gently stare and be very comfortable. As usual, sit in a very good posture with a neutral spine. When I practice Tratak Meditation, I often sit on a sports balance ball. They are perfect as they force you to sit up correctly, well within your sitting bones!
Choose whatever it is you are going to focus or stare at. Shift your gaze, stare into the centre of your object, and become quiet and calm within.
If you are new to meditation, you may only do this for a few minutes. However, if you are familiar with meditation, you may continue for longer; perform just to that point when you can tell you have done enough.
What are the benefits of Tratak meditation?
With regular practice, you can begin to enhance your inner focus and inner concentration capacity. You can also bring some clarity to mind. A further benefit comes from developing whatever quality you choose to bring forth in your meditation practice for example; compassion.
And that’s it really! Simply sit and go within whilst maintaining full concentration on the element you are staring at. Your breathing rhythm will naturally change and soften, and you will soon establish a nice rhythmic and gentle breathing state.
Once you have become familiar with this beginners practice it can be developed further but this is best done with a teacher present.
I hope you enjoyed this blog. If you do try to perform Tratak Meditation on your own, or you do it regularly anyway, I’d love to know what you use and how you find it! Find me on Instagram @anneheigham and on YouTube.