Candle Gazing Meditation

Light a candle and position it at a comfortable height in front of you.  If you are in a group, position it in the centre where it is clearly visible by the whole group.

Focus your awareness on the sounds outside. You may have to quiet the breath in order to hear some of the fainter more distant sounds.

Bring your awareness to the sounds inside the room, and then to the sound of your breath.

Bring your awareness to the candle.  Focus your attention on the bright flame as it flickers in the gentle breeze. Be aware of the flickering shadows as they dance on the periphery of your vision. Be aware of the glow of the wax, lit from within by the burning wick. Be aware of the intense chemical reaction of the flame reacting with oxygen in the air, fuelling the combustion reaction.

Soften your focus slightly and notice the fleeting streaks of light caused by the interaction between the light and the protective flayer of moisture covering your eyes.

Close your eyes and focus your attention on the negative afterimage left on your retina. See the candle without looking at the candle.

Now link your focus on the breath with the candle by gazing with your eyes softly open as you breathe slowly in, and with your eyes closed, focusing on the afterimage as you breathe out. Do this for 10 breath cycles in your own time, pausing for a moment at the top of the in breath, and at the bottom of the out breath.

let go of the breath and simply gaze at the candle. If your mind wanders or you loose focus and look away, simply return your focused attention to the candle and begin again.

Let go of the candle, close your eyes and simply be in the moment.

Bring your attention back to the breath. Then to the sounds of the room, the the sounds outside. Gently begin to move your fingers and toes to bring circulation back to the extremities. Gently begin to move your feet and hands, then your arms and legs. Take a deeper than normal breath and when you are ready, open your eyes.

Note your experience of presence in the room. Remember this sensation and hold the intention to commit it to body memory so that you may return there anytime simply by focusing your awareness.

Intense Focus meditation - Candle Gaze

 

Bring your awareness to the sounds of the outside world.
Listen and try to isolate each sound. You may need to quiet the breath somewhat to hear the fainter sounds in the distance. Take a slightly deeper than normal breath, and then forget the breath and just listen.

Bring your awareness to the sounds inside the room, and finally to the sound of your breath.
Now bring your awareness to the candle. 
Observe how it flickers in the gentle breeze
Observe how its shadows dance on the edges of your vision.
Observe that this is taking place now, in this moment, there is no past, or future outside of your thoughts, there is only this moment.

Keep your eyes locked on the flame. If the light is too intense, soften your gaze slightly. 
With every breath in, look at the flame with your eyes open.
With every breath out, close your eyes and observe the afterimage, the negative impression left on your retina by the light of the flame.

If your focus wanders, or you become hooked on a train of thoughts or loose your count, begin again with an inbreath and gaze with your eyes open.
Bring your awareness to the intensity of the light, and the intensity of the moment. Every moment has the potential to occur with crystal clarity and expand to fill an entire lifetime. The practice is to consistently bring your awareness back… to the moment, to the candle.

Continue in your own time and at your own pace. You can gaze eyes open or closed as you wish, with faster or slower breath as you wish.

Every few minutes i’ll sound the bowl as a gentle reminder to return your focused awareness
Back  to the moment, to the candle.

Close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath. Bring the same level of focus that you experienced with the candle to your breath.  

Gently bring your awareness back to the sound and rhythm of your breath.
Then to the sensations of your body, 
Then to the sounds of the room.
Start to gently move your fingers and toes to bring circulation back to your extremities. 

By practicing intense focus with the breath, we can practice this technique anytime and anywhere.    I encourage you to practice this once a day for a week, and then share about what happens here next week.  Namaste.