Trataka (aka tratak) is a self-care practice to help your eyes. Done consistently over time (ie: daily) it will even help improve your eyesight and reduce eye tension.
During our waking hours, our minds are usually filled with thoughts, good and bad. The mind has a tendency to stay in a state of disturbance and we have a propensity for being distracted easily. This leaves us feeling scattered and fragmented and unable to cope with situations that need focus. We are constantly being bombarded by thoughts and may feel out of control. It comes as no surprise that, with all the thoughts that invade the mind, our minds drift and wander and cannot stay still for longer than a few moments. As a result, we experience stress, memory loss and lack of concentration. We are unable to feel and experience the present moment.
We can enhance our power of concentration and strengthen our memory by an ancient meditation technique called Trataka. Its benefits bring an end to the mind’s distractions, enhances our ability to concentrate, increases the power of memory, and brings the mind into a state of supreme awareness, attention and focus.
Trataka is an ideal meditation technique. With continuous practice, you will witness an increase in your alertness, confidence level, stability in thoughts, and an ability to control situations that were previously difficult. You may also notice an improvement in your eyesight. Trataka is very helpful in improving mental clarity and capacity. People of all ages will benefit, especially students who need to concentrate on their studies. Children in India are started with this meditation technique at an early age, but this method should not be practiced by children that are not supervised. Regular meditation techniques may be difficult to master if you are extremely stressed, worried or agitated. But Trataka is different in that you gaze at a focal point, usually a candle flame, that captures your sight. The eyes control the thought process, and focusing on a candle flame that is steady has tremendous and powerful benefits. Changes in our consciousness level occur through gazing steadily at the glowing flame. To attain a deep state of meditation, the level of energy in the mind must be elevated and single-pointed. Concentration is the first stage of meditation. Trataka induces and magnifies this single pointedness.
Hindu scriptures say that the practice of Trataka develops the faculties of greater intuition and that the past, present and future all begin to appear with equal clarity.
How Does Trataka Work?
The light emitted from a flame is taken in by the eyes and generates energy. The lens of the eye concentrates the light and heat energy of the flame onto the retina, and conducts the light and energy through the optical nerves to the lobes at the rear of the brain. This energy that has entered through the eyes now increases energy in the Pineal gland and increases and improves its function. The Pineal gland is located in the middle of the skull and feeds on light and heat energy. It is the only gland receptive to light, even though it is encased in bone. The Pineal gland is known as the “Third Eye” and converts light into the electromagnetic energy responsible for the entire body’s glandular system. Flooding the Pineal gland with light stimulates its development and functioning. This allows the opening of the “Third Eye” and the ensuing feeling of bliss. It is the Pineal gland that, based on light intake during the day, secretes melatonin in the later evening, helping us to fall asleep.