Trataka – Yogic Gaze

Trataka is a Sanskrit word meaning to gaze. In meditation terms it includes staring at an object for long enough so that the practitioner can see the object when they close their eyes to develop concentration, stimulate the eyes and open up the Ajna Chakra.

• It aids healing to eye disorders and strengthens the muscles of the eyes
• Develops concentration
• Because of the focus on a particular object, the mind is less easily distracted by the environment and one’s own mind
• Opens up the third eye

Trataka Exercises

Begin both exercises in a comfortable meditation pose.

Exercise 1
Attention is focused on a particular symbol, any thoughts that enter the mind whilst concentrating on the symbol should be fleeting; acknowledge the thought and simply let it pass and bring the focus back to the symbol. Maintain focus without blinking until your eyes become strained and start to water, as soon as this occurs close your eyes.

Exercise 2

Gaze at a candle flame approximately two feet in front of you, again until your eyes begin to water and again at this point, close your eyes. You should see an afterimage of the flame. It is important to try and maintain the afterimage as long as possible. If the afterimage begins to move in your mind’s eye, being it back to the centre.

This is a very powerful technique to develop one’s concentration. After regular and consistent practice, the flame will be visible in the mind’s eye without the need to gaze at the flame of a candle.

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