The practice of trataka boosts concentration and memory,
and promotes strong, healthy eyes.
‘Trataka’ otherwise known as ‘yogic gazing’, is an ancient meditation practice.
It also serves as a ‘kriya’, or cleansing process, of the eyes.
The gaze is fixed on an object until it becomes imprinted in the mind with the eyes closed. There are 2 types of trataka practice.
1) Antaranga Trataka (internal gazing)
2) Bahiranga Trataka (external gazing)
They both have powerful meditative and cleansing benefits.
THE EYES ARE THE WINDOW TO THE SOUL
If that is true, how can you make use of this fact to improve your meditation practice?
Here is where the techniques of Trataka meditation come in.
Out of the main five senses, sight is arguably the most powerful.
With our eyes we can perceive objects and landscapes miles away.
Indeed, 80% of all sensory data we process comes through our vision.
- After the brain, your eyes are the most complex organ in the body
- Containing more than 200 million working parts.
- They are also the fastest muscle in your body.
- This 576-megapixel camera can distinguish over 10 million colours.
- And process information as quickly as your ethernet cable.
- The eye is so important that only one-sixth of it is exposed to the environment, with the remainder encased in bones.
The practice of trataka boosts concentration and memory, and promotes strong, healthy eyes.
According to the Hatha Yoga Pradipika; Trataka is defined as “looking intently with an unwavering gaze at a small point until tears are shed.” This simple technique has a purifying, invigorating effect on the mind and improves concentration, paving the way for a deeper meditation practice. Because it is one of the shat kriyas, or six cleansing actions, trataka also cleans and heals the eyes.
STEADY YOUR GAZE:
HOW TO PRACTICE BAHIRANGA TRATAKA MEDITATION
In bahiranga trataka you gaze steadily at a single object without blinking, until the eyes sting or begin to water.
Though many objects can be used to focus your gaze during trataka, the most common is the flame of a candle. Assume a comfortable meditative posture with your head, neck, and trunk aligned. Set a candle two feet in front of you, with the flame positioned at eye level. Make sure the room is dark and draft-free.
1) Begin with your eyes closed, surveying the body and watching the breath until it becomes calm, regular, and even. Then open your eyes and rest your gaze on the middle part of the flame, right above the tip of the wick. Keep your eyelids slightly more open than usual, and maintain your gaze without blinking or blurring your vision for as long as possible. Observe any thoughts that arise, watching them come and go without becoming engaged.
Find the after-image of the flame in your mind's eye, resting your awareness at the ajna chakra, or eyebrow center.
2) Close your eyes only when they begin to strain and water, and you can no longer sustain the gaze. (You can cup your palms and place them gently over the eyes to ease the strain, but do not rub the eyes; because the tears you have shed are carrying away impurities, wipe them gently with a tissue.)
3) Then find the afterimage of the flame in your mind’s eye, resting your awareness at the ajna chakra, or eyebrow center. If the image moves up and down or side to side, stabilize it by bringing it back to the center, and continue to fix your gaze until the impression disappears. To delve deeper into the mind, you can follow this practice with meditation.
“Trataka eradicates all eye diseases, fatigue, and sloth, and closes the doorway creating these problems.” - According to the Hatha Yoga Pradipika.
In addition to improving concentration and memory, trataka cleanses both the eyes and the cerebral cortex, balances the nervous system, and relieves depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Another yogic text, the Gheranda Samhita, states that the practice cultivates clairvoyance and inner vision.
Because sight, mental discrimination, and the fire at the manipura chakra are intricately interwoven, trataka also nourishes the subtle flame at the navel center, promoting vitality and inner health. In its more advanced form, as the Himalayan master Swami Rama said, “The practice of trataka eventually merges into surya sadhana, meditation on the solar energy.”
Join us for a stunning Trataka Meditation
& Transformational Breath-work Retreat
This Sunday 8th Dec 2019 6-8pm
@ SoulSimple Retreat In The Cotswolds
All Peace & Love
The SoulSimple Family xxx