Tratak or steady gazing is an excellent concentration exercise. It involves alternately gazing at an object or point without blinking, then closing your eyes and visualizing the object in your mind's eye. The practice steadies the wandering mind and concentrates the attention, leading you to focus with pinpoint accuracy. Wherever the eyes go, the mind follows, so that when you fix your gaze on a single point, the mind too becomes one pointed.
Tratak remains much the same, whatever the target of your gaze is, though naturally you will have to adapt it slightly when meditating outdoors.
1. Place the object at eye level, three feet (90 cm) away from you.
2. First regulate your breathing, then start to gaze at the object without blinking.
3. Don't stare or gaze vacantly - just look steadily without straining.
4. After about a minute, close your eyes, and keep your inner gaze steady, visualize the object.
5. When the after-image vanishes, open your eyes and repeat.
Candle GazingTratak, as it easy to hold an after-image of the bright flame when you close your eyes. You should place the candle at eye level in a darkened, draught-free room.
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