Candle gazing

Sitting in a comfortable position with the spine long.  You place the candle on a stable surface in front of you, about two feet away, lower than eye level.  Bring your awareness to your body and let go of tension and stress, maybe ease out your shoulders and neck muscles a bit.

You sit quite still and take your soft gaze to the candle flame.  Your aim is to bring the focus of your mind to the flame as much as possible.  Let thoughts come and go and gently draw your awareness back to the object of your focus.  Try not to analyse, judge or run a mental commentary.  You are resting your mind and your brain and enjoying the stillness and peace that comes with awareness in the present moment.

Your eyes should be relaxed, with the gaze effortless. Sometimes the eyes water and you can use this practice to cleanse and refresh the eyes.  However as we are using this method for meditation purposes  you can blink if you need to. You can close your eyes for a while and observe the impression of the image of the flame; an internal gaze, then after a while open them again.

When you have finished, close your eyes and rub your palms together to warm them up.  Gently cup your hands over your eyes and feel the warmth and energy soaking into your eyes and the muscles around them.  Then release your hands and slowly open you eyes. Always take your time coming out of meditation.

Start by practicing for a minute or two and then build up to longer, if comfortable (up to 10 - 15 minutes).  You can follow this same method but choose a different object such as a flower, crystal or image, etc.



Yoga and well-being with Lesley Doveton