Until electricity and modern day lighting was invented, we used candles out of necessity for illumination. Today, candles are used for their warmth, inviting feeling and comfort in the home. They provide us with a feeling of meditation, calming energy, and a soothing aura during periods of stress.
Just as moths and insects are drawn to light, so are we. However, it is not only the aspect of illumination that captivates our attention, but the simple beauty and mystery that the element of fire offers us, stirring passions and providing us a feeling of vitality.
If you’ve ever had a fire at home, you know how enjoyable and mesmerizing it is to sit gazing into the flames, but have you ever sat and stared at the flame on a burning candle? Have you been able to successfully use a candle as a meditation tool, becoming so engulfed in the allure of the candle’s flame that you prevented mundane thoughts from entering your mind? This may sound easy to do, but this exercise will actually prove to be more difficult than you may think!
A candle flame is a wonderful guide for focusing your mind and creating a general feeling of warmth and well-being. This quick exercise can be performed in 10 minutes and leave you with a greater sense of clarity and focus.
For this exercise, you will need one free-standing candle, either a taper, a tea light or a votive candle. A glass-encased candle will not work as well with this exercise, as attempting to view the flame through the glass can be more of a distraction. The color or scent of the candle is not as significant. White is usually the color of candles used for clarity and purification, but feel free to use what is most readily available. Since this is not a candle that you are “charging” or one that you are using to manifest a specific outcome, this can be a candle that has been previously lit, or even a decorative candle. The focus and intent of this meditation will be on the flame as the point of concentration.
1. Turn off any light sources in your surrounding space, and avoid daylight if possible.
2. Take note of the time when you begin this exercise, as time and reality often escape you during meditation. Five minutes may feel like fifteen minutes, and it will be useful to know how long you were able to maintain your concentration during this exercise.
3. Light your candle and place it on a table or flat surface. I prefer to sit cross-legged on the floor and place the candle on my coffee table so that I am directly at eye level with the flame, about one foot away.
4. Sit comfortably with an erect spine, taking note of spots where there is tension, and calm those muscles until they become peaceful and you can maintain deeper relaxation.
5. Begin by taking several deep breaths, I suggest ten, in through the nose and out through the mouth, to eliminate anxious energy and to help you achieve a feeling of being centered. [Note: I have received feedback from some callers that they cannot properly meditate and take the deep breaths because they become light-headed and dizzy. The reason for this common complaint is that there is an imbalance between your oxygen intake and exhalation.] To avoid the feeling of dizziness, maintain your inhale and exhale for the same amount of time, and with the same breath force. It may be easier to ensure equal breathing by counting; “Inhale-hold-1-2-3, Exhale-hold-1-2-3.” Be careful as you exhale to avoid breathing on the candle flame and blowing it out.
6. Focus on the candle flame, allowing your eves to migrate from the white tip of the flame to its violet base.
7. Take note of the peculiarities of the flame and how it appears to dance.
8. After about one minute of examining the flame, you will begin to notice your mind drifting and reflecting on the day’s events and remaining to-dos. Immediately regain your focus and divert it back to the candle flame. Although this sounds easy, it is a very complicated task to perform.
9. Continue trying to maintain you meditative trance and the clearest mindset as possible.
10. If you become anxious, begin taking deep breaths again to reset your mind and concentration.
11. When your attention span has finally reached its maximum and you are feeling antsy, extinguish the candle and perform a few physical movements to wake your body.
12. Check and see what time it is and how long you were able to perform this exercise.
Regular practice of this candle meditation will enhance your ability to limit the production and influence of distracting thoughts and maintain focus of a single task. This Psychic Workout is especially useful as a fun exercise for children with conditions like attention deficit and hyperactivity.
If you devote more time to achieving a quieter mind, it will eventually function in that consistent level, with an entirely different and calm quality of being.
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