TRATAKAM, or steady gazing is an excellent concentration exercise. It involves alternately gazing at an object or point without blinking, then closing your eyes and preserving the image of the object in your mind’s eye. This last phase of the technique does not involve any form of visualisation or imagination.
The practice steadies the wandering mind and concentrates the attention, leading you to focus with pinpoint accuracy. Wherever the eyes go, the mind follows, so that when you fix your gaze on a single point, the mind too becomes one pointed. Even with the eyes closed, the mind is focused on the same point, this time preserved inside the mind.
We will perform TRATAKAM with a candle, but you can equally well use various other objects as targets for your gaze. Place the candle away from you, about three feets ( one meter), at eye level. Sit erect, keeping the spine straight and the body relaxed. First regulate your breathing, then start to gaze at the candle flame without blinking. Don’t stare or gaze vacantly – just look steadily, without straining. If your eyes water after gazing for a while, it is simply a sign to close them – you will gradually be able to extend the period of gazing. When you close your eyes, keep your mind focused on the same object, the only difference being that instead of using your physical sight, you are using now the inner sight.
As your concentration grows deeper and your gaze steadier, lengthen the times spent with the eyes open then closed until you are practising for up to fifteen minutes. In your early days of TRATAKAM you may find unwanted thoughts intruding on your mind. Just keep bringing your attention back to the object of concentration and your mind will become more focused. Burn symbolically in the candle flame any thought that causes you negative emotions and disharmony. With practice, when you close your eyes, you will be able to hold very firmly the image of the flame.
Practice daily for thirty days. We will be glad if you will write to us about what you have achieved with this simple practice. Thus, you will help and contribute to motivate other beings to practice Tratakam for calming their mind and to increase their capacity of concentration and introspection.
We wish you good practice and excellent results!
Attention! Put the candle in a safe place, so you do not burn with your wax or cause a fire. After you finish practicing, always extinguish the candle!
Advice. Keep a journal and note in it, what you have observed during the practice, after each daily session.