Meditation can produce a profound relax state and a tranquil mind. During meditation, one can concentrate, focus one’s attention while eliminating the vast number of confusing thoughts that may be clouding your judgement and producing unnecessary stress. Meditating has been found to help boost the immune system and help promote higher levels of endorphin; both lead to a healthier body and mind, and when these feel better, so does our soul.
Trataka in Sanskrit means “to stare“–in other words to focus on something.
The manipura chakra or third chakra (navel) is directly connected to our eyes.
Ajna chakra or third eye and manipura are closely related to each other. Therefore, the practice of Trataka leads directly to the awakening of the third eye (expansion of consciousness) and also of manipura (navel chakra).
In Tantra, we do Trataka with yantras—a linear diagram used as a support for ritual–aiding visual, but you can use a candle or another steady focus point. One of the most used yantras is shri yantra (image below).
One of the many benefits of the above yantra, is that it motivates you to focus on your goal and your life; let us not forget that instinctively our mind is trained to understand symbology over words. Meditating helps remove obstacles and negative energy from your life, and we all could use some help keeping toxic energy away, for just like unnecessary self punishment or guilt, toxic energy or stagnant energy is what separates us from your success.
There are many more profound benefits to the practice of meditation. In Trataka, one looks at an object until its subtle shape (phosphene) is manifested in front of one’s closed eyes–the point is to get the overactive mind absorbed by the focus point.
Some of the benefits you will get from this simple yet powerful practice are:
- Physical and mental balance
- Allow the free flow of prana
- Increases the ability to work, digest, think and feel
- Develop awareness
- Helps us achieve our spiritual goals.
- It helps to heal eye diseases, improves eyesight.
- Prevents laziness
- Clairvoyance and perception of subtle forms
- Improves mental and psychological functions. This is because in the initial practice the subconscious mind is activated, and this helps to bring forth awareness to certain things/feelings we may repress…bringing them up to our consciousness–hence reducing depression.
- Helps with the flow of our conscious and sexual energy, brings forth stamina.
- Awakens the manipura and ajña chakras
-Place the yantra with the tip of the central triangle down, at eye level when sitting on the floor–if using a candle focus on the center of the flame…it will look as if the fire is dancing–memorize it. The object should be at arm’s length.
-Then straighten the spine, close the eyes and relax the body.
Become aware only of the physical body, let it be as still as a statue. Make the resolution that you will not move your body throughout the practice. Once you have achieved full resolution….
-Open your eyes and stare at the bindu (dot/center)– try to be without blinking or moving your eyes. Don’t strain your eyes too much; instead focus on it with relax eyes–it’s the tension of your eyes that makes you blink. Many people try too hard not to blink, which creates tension and makes it even harder to control blinking.
All your consciousness should be focused on the bindu; to the point that consciousness of the rest of the body and the room are lost. The gaze must be completely fixed on the bindu.
If tears occur, don’t blink and let them slip down your cheeks.
The first day practice for 1 minute, then close your eyes, and with your eyes closed observe the shadow that is left. If you don’t see a shadow, don’t worry…. everything is achieved with practice.
When you’re sure the shadow is gone, open your eyes and repeat the process by focusing on the bindu.
Optionally while the shadow lasts, you can introduce thoughts, ideas or images that have great power of change, that you desire or have faith in–these will change the aspects of negative thoughts you may carry within your subconcious…transforming them from negative into positive. When we retrain the subconcious, our concious actions change for the better…effortlessly, we start to take the necessary steps to achieve our goals, be it material or otherwise.
This technique can be of great help for those people who want to heal psychological wounds, or from an addiction: tobacco, alcohol, etc.
After the last round, stare into the void for a few seconds, and then cover your eyes with the palms of your hands to finish.
If your eyes are dry or hot or tired, wet your eyes with fresh water or a moisturizing tears sold at your local pharmacy/optometrist…make sure they are of good quality.
Almost all the functions that a mantra performs are also performed by a yantra. The only difference is that mantras can be used without yantras, but yantras are useless without mantras or conviction.
The same yantra can be used for different purposes by changing the mantra, conviction or breathing technique.
Start with 1 minute–remember to be unblinking and completely still. The time can be increased very slowly and progressively, reaching 10 minutes in a month and 30 minutes in 3 months. You can do different rounds. You will start the next round when the shadow disappears.