Today's Meditation begins with a variation of Trataka or candle gazing. This is a practice of Dharana (or concentration) and distinct from the kriya(cleansing) technique. This technique was part of my homework for a while from Sri Dharma Mittra. 🕯Start with just 5 minutes. Then you can increase the time as you see fit. 1. Sitting with a straight spine, either on a cushion or on a chair. The straight spine is vital in most meditation practices as it aligns the chakras or energy centers in the body. When the chakras are aligned, energy can flow more freely and your body, mind and spirit is able to receive optimum benefits from the technique. 2. Place a lit candle abt 3 feet in front of you at eye level. It is important that the flame is able to remain steady and not dance about. The room can be dim or dark and then this technique will be easier. 3. For about a minute or 2 (beginners, try abt 2 minutes, but no need to time yourself, just use your intuition) focus on the tip of the flame. Fix your gaze on the flame with the eyelids slightly closed, as if imprinting your mind with the flame. It is ok to blink a few times if you need to. 4. Now close the eyes and try to re-experience the candle flame in your mind, and begin to see it emerge in the space behind the forehead, at around the space between your eyebrows. What you see with the eyes closed may not be exactly the same as when they are were opened, but there will be a light or a shape that appears distinctly when you close your eyes. So, focus on that shape or light and try to keep that shape 'alive'. This will make sense as you practice this. Give the image time to emerge. 5. As the image or light or shape fades, don't worry. Just simply open the eyes a little and re-capture it like you are taking a picture. And then once you have the strong image again, close the eyes and repeat. . . You will notice how the act of concentration quiets the mind and gives you a great calming benefit. 🕯Enjoy! 🕯I have found this one particularly nice before bedtime, or if you are having insomnia, you can take a few minutes to try this. As always, I'd love to hear how it goes for you and if you have any questions.