Visual Concentration – Introduction to Trataka

Traditional mandala for concentration.

Traditional mandala for concentration.

Concentration is necessary for every kind of worldly success. Focusing the sight is one of the easier concentration techniques to practice.

Choose an object that is attractive to you. Place the object slightly above your line of sight.

(If you wear contacts and plan to practice this for longer than three minutes, remove your contacts before practicing.)

Sit comfortably and relax the body from your toes to the top of the head. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth three times.

Blink a few times while you focus on the object you have chosen. If it is an image or a statue of a person focus on the eyes. If it is a candle flame, focus on the top of the wick that should be in the center of the base of the flame. If it is a mandala, focus on the center of the design. For any other object direct your attention to one part of the object.

Don’t blink. Don’t move. You may breathe naturally, but no other movement.

Without moving the body, without blinking, look at your object. You may contemplate the object or you may control your thoughts by repeating a single word mentally. Do not speak any word or thought aloud. An ideal like “Joy, Joy, Joy,” is a strong choice for internal repetition. Repeat the word mentally. Not out loud.

  • – You may breathe, but don’t move the body.
  • – Ignore any pains or itches on the skin.
  • – Ignore any noises.
  • – Ignore any smells or tastes.

Focus on the object alone. If you are distracted, return to contemplating the object or repeating your chosen word.

The stages of visual concentration are:

1 – You struggle to relax the body, to calm the senses and to keep the eyes from blinking.

2 – The eyes begin to water and tears run down your cheeks. Resist the urge to blink.

3 – The object begins to change before your eyes. (This is the first indication of success. The nervous system is sending out tests to see what is happening to the stationary feedback the optic nerves are receiving.)

4 – Finally, the vision goes dark.

Congratulations. You have just learned how to turn off the sense of sight at will.

Without stimulation the optic nerves will turn off. Your brain will send more energy to your other senses for feedback. You will need to redouble your effort to fight more intense distractions from the other senses.

You might see a shadow image of the object in the new darkness. Don’t move. Continue to practice.

You might see flashes of white light or steady colored lights. Persist regardless.When you are ready to end your practice, close your eyes. Become aware of the body. Take three deeps breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth. Open your eyes and view the object.

Note:

If you see visions of events, or ghosts or any other entity during this practice, those experiences indicate that your mind is restless. Your mind is not sufficiently developed to fully control your senses. In this case you should limit your practice to three minutes, until your concentration becomes more focused.

Ancient History

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