Beneath the vibrations of the mind, deep below our thoughts, there is a peaceful and vibrant silence waiting to be unlocked. This space holds the power of profound peace and the deepest sense of relaxation.
By taking control of the mind through meditative practice, the wonder and mystery of this profound stillness can be attained.
You may think this sounds like a daunting task reserved for ancient civilization or zen masters, but there is a very simple and extremely powerful technique that is perfect for anyone interested in learning meditation.
Among many other benefits, meditation helps decrease stress and anxiety by promoting the release of negative and distracting thoughts. Meditation gives us the ability to develop a positive mind even when in turmoil.
Tratak meditation — or object meditation — is among the most popular forms of meditation. This type of practice is perfect for those who have trouble concentrating or easily become distracted. Tratak meditation involves fixing the gaze at one single point (object) for a certain period of time.
This technique has been used to enhance memory and develop skills involving focus – such as reading, studying or professional sports. This is an easy technique that anyone can benefit from, and ideal for the beginner.
A Brief overview
Tratak meditation was brought into the mainstream by yoga teacher and guru Swami Saraswati in 1962. The Hindu word Tratak means ‘to gaze steadily.’ It is believed that through this focused method of meditation, the eyes are used as a channel of communication to the soul and mind.
It was mostly used as a medium of attaining spiritual understanding and connection, although the practice itself has several benefits.
How it works
Several pieces of research have revealed that we waste tons of energy and precious time thinking about things that are completely unnecessary. This is where Tratak meditation comes in. It helps us channel our thoughts in the right direction by first calming the mind. In most cases, the individual has to focus on an object or the inner self commonly known as the third eye.
By eliminating the negative or unwanted thoughts, you can attain peace, calm and eventually lead a more vibrant and stress-free lifestyle. In addition to diminishing the levels of stress, you are able to achieve clarity of mind.
Types of Tratak Meditation
There are three known types of Tratak. Each type of mediation recommends 30-40 minutes of focus, but you can always start with 5-10 minutes and gradually build from there.
1. Inner Tratak – This is the most basic form of Tratak meditation. It is conducted while closing the eyes. The object of focus in this situation is the third eye. You have to maintain concentration within yourself by focusing on the sensation of the body, before going deeper and becoming aware of the observer within.
In the process of closing your eyes and concentrating on the third eye, you may experience pain and heat that quickly disappears. Through practicing the Inner Tratak, you are allowing for the release of negative thoughts to take place.
2. Middle Tratak – Unlike the Inner Tratak, Middle Tratak is performed with the eyes open. It involves staring at a particular point – traditionally a candle or lamp flame – while directing all your concentration to it. Because you are not supposed to blink, your eyes may get irritated in the process.
If the irritation becomes unbearable, you are allowed to close the eyes and later repeat the whole process over again – you will not break the meditation.
With practice, you will find out that your ability to stare at the point or flame without having to close your eyes increases. The middle Tratak improves your concentration and memory. You can also increase your foresight by practicing this form of meditation.
3. Outer Tratak – This is the most complex of the three. It involves staring and concentrating on a celestial body such as the moon, sun or stars. It increases your concentration capabilities, eliminates mental strain, and boosts morale.
Guidelines of Tratak meditation
• It is always wise to have a regular routine to help you follow through with your meditation periods. Regular meditation will greatly improve your desired results.
• It also advisable that you concentrate on only one of the three Tratak Sadhana methods at a time since they all have the same results. This will help you save time and achieve results quicker.
• The results of meditation are mostly long-term and hence you should observe patience if you get discouraged.
• You should maintain a comfortable and naturally straight spine and maintain a completely still body during Tratak meditation.
Although the practice of Tratak Sadhana meditation may be one of the simplest and most accessible forms of meditation, it is not to be taken lightly. You have to be committed and make the sacrifice of time for it to work. But you should take comfort in knowing that the benefits are worth more than you could imagine.