Candle Flame for gazing meditation

Use this candle picture for gazing.
On cold snowy days, I would absolutely love when my Dad build a fire in our big brick fireplace. I would sit in front of it, cross-legged, and feel its delicious warm. One day while I was enjoying my little spot, I really focused on every aspect of the flames. Other than blinking, my eyes did not flinch from their gaze. I became mesmerized by the movement and color of the fire. Watching the flickering of the flames, I noticed the size, the shapes, and the changing colors of the blaze. As I stared at the fire, I felt a sense of peace and relaxation. I was completely in the present moment and it was wonderful! Little did I know at the time, I was meditating.
Gazing is one of the simplest, one of the most effective, and one of the most powerful meditation techniques. The best thing about this meditation is that it is really easy to learn:

  1. Find an object to gaze at.
  2. Place it in front of you (eye level if possible).
  3. Get into a comfortable position.
  4. Stare the object without breaking eye contact (blinking is ok).
  5. Breath slowly and deeply as you meditate.

Some of my favorite objects to use during this meditation are candle flames, mandalas, or lying under a tree gazing at the leaves and the sky. In ancient Egypt, priestesses would gaze into a still bowl of water. Many cultures, like the Mayans, would use the moon for this meditation. Buddhists’ and Hindus’ have special mandalas that they use in gazing meditation. My aunt, who was a Catholic nun, would gaze at a painting of Christ. She called it her time of prayer and meditation. You can even gaze into the eyes of a loved one. So you see, there are many possibilities. Just choose something you find meaningful or engaging.

 There are many benefits to this form of meditation:

  • Naturally calms your busy mind.
  • Improves your concentration and memory.
  • Provides stress relief and relaxation.
  • Releases pent up emotions.
  • Helps you sleep.
  • Improves eyesight.
  • Relieves headaches.

Sometimes when you meditate you might get an emotional release, just go with it and feel your feelings. Also some people experience yawning, burping, watering eyes, etc, while meditating, again, just accept what is happening in the present moment and allow it all to take its natural course.

 If you want to add an extra dimension to gazing, after staring at your object for a while, close your eyes and try picturing that object in your mind. This really helps to develop your memory and concentration skills. Some cultures believe that this practice leads to clairvoyance or perception of subtle manifestations.

The best thing about this form of meditation is that you don’t need special equipment, knowledge, or skills. It only takes a short time for gazing to be effective. You can get the benefits in as little as 10-20 minutes. And you can do it anywhere, in any position. What can be better!?! So grab a candle and do a little gazing meditation today.
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