Meditation Technique to Clean and Heal the Eyes

Meditation Technique to Clean and Heal the Eyes

By Natalya Podgorny, Yoga+

If you’ve ever been transfixed by a candle flame and felt your mind clear, you may have been tapping into a yogic focusing practice called trataka.    The Hatha Yoga Pradipika defines trataka as “looking intently with an unwavering gaze at a small point until tears are shed.” This simple    technique has a purifying, invigorating effect on the mind and improves concentration, paving the way for a deeper meditation practice. Because it is one    of the shat kriyas, or six cleansing actions, trataka also cleans and heals the eyes.

Though many objects can be used to focus your gaze during trataka, the most common is the flame of a candle. Assume a comfortable meditative posture    with your head, neck, and trunk aligned. Set a candle two feet in front of you, with the flame positioned at eye level. Make sure the room is dark and    draft-free.

STEADY YOUR GAZE

Begin with your eyes closed, surveying the body and watching the breath until it becomes calm, regular, and even. Then open your eyes and rest your gaze    on the middle part of the flame, right above the tip of the wick. Keep your eyelids slightly more open than usual, and maintain your gaze without blinking    or blurring your vision for as long as possible. Observe any thoughts that arise, watching them come and go without becoming engaged.

Close your eyes only when they begin to strain and water, and you can no longer sustain the gaze. (You can cup your palms and place them gently over the    eyes to ease the strain, but do not rub the eyes; because the tears you have shed are carrying away impurities, wipe them gently with a tissue.) Then find    the afterimage of the flame in your mind’s eye, resting your awareness at the ajna chakra, or eyebrow center. If the image moves up and down or side to    side, stabilize it by bringing it back to the center, and continue to fix your gaze until the impression disappears. To delve deeper into the mind, you can    follow this practice with meditation.

HEALTHY GLOW

According to the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Trataka eradicates all eye diseases, fatigue, and sloth, and closes the doorway creating these problems.    In addition to improving concentration and memory, trataka cleanses both the eyes and the cerebral cortex, balances the nervous system, and relieves    depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Another yogic text, the Gheranda Samhita, states that the practice cultivates clairvoyance and inner    vision.

Because sight, mental discrimination, and the fire at the manipura chakra are intricately interwoven, trataka also nourishes the subtle flame at the    navel center, promoting vitality and inner health. In its more advanced form, as the Himalayan master Swami Rama said, “The practice of trataka    eventually merges into surya sadhana, meditation on the solar energy.”

STARING AT THE SUN

Under the guidance of a teacher, you can learn how to use a variety of auspicious objects or symbols as the focus of your gaze during trataka, such as a    yantra (a symbolic geometric representation of aspects of Divinity), the symbol Om, the form of a deity, lightning, the moon, your own shadow, or the    glowing orange orb of the rising or setting sun. So steady your gaze, and follow the light all the way to your inner self.

Natalya Podgorny is the editor of Yoga + Joyful Living

Crystal Ball Gazing

Crystal Ball Gazing

This technique is best if done with a Crystal Ball 2-5 inches in diameter and works best on nights of the full moon.

Light one or two candles in a darkened, quiet room. You can hold the crystal or place it on a stand, but it should have a blue or black velvet cloth underneath it. Make sure that there are no reflections from anything showing in the ball. You can also burn incense if you wish. Patchouli works great for me.

Before beginning, center yourself. Gaze into the ball, but do not stare. Try not to blink that much. While you are gazing, breathe in and out slowly and deeply. Just relax and gaze. You will feel a sense of limitless time. Enjoy the peacefulness and simply gaze. Do this for at least 15 minutes, and increase your time by 5 minutes with each succeeding session.

Usually around the second or third session, you will notice a small cloudy glow in the center of the crystal. This is your focusing area where your visions will appear. You may get a vision on your first try, while others have to attempt it several times before seeing something. Go at your own pace.

Just a small warning: Always remember the saying “Be Careful What You Wish For” while gazing. Think about what you wish to see before gazing.

On my third session ( when I got my first vision ) I asked to see a vision of my previous life. I saw myself burning to death in a house fire. That was something that I didn’t really enjoy remembering. Now I find that it is best to just gaze and receive whatever comes to me. Perhaps you can have more peaceful visions by doing that too.

There are also different forms that visions come in. You can get actual visions of places and people, or you can get symbolic pictures. Another form that visions come in are color clouds. Although no one has been successful in identifying what each color cloud means, the following has been pretty accurate for a lot of seers.

  • Blue clouds symbolize success of career or business

  • Gold clouds symbolize prosperity, steady cash flow, and renewed romance to come

  • Gray/Dark gray symbolize ill fortune

  • Black clouds symbolize some seriously bad stuff coming one’s way

  • Green clouds symbolize health, happiness of the heart

  • Orange clouds symbolize hidden aggression and anger, troubled emotions

  • Red clouds symbolize danger to come. This person must watch themselves

  • Silver clouds symbolize troublesome times ahead followed by goodness

  • White clouds symbolize very good fortune to come

  • Yellow clouds symbolize upcoming obstacles

 

TO SOOTHE A BROKEN HEART

TO SOOTHE A BROKEN HEART
You will need:
–one egg one pink candle rose petals lemon balm honey rose oil (optional)
Take the egg in one hand.
Sit quietly and think about the relationship you have just ended, and your feelings about splitting up.
Allow all your negative feelings, grief, frustration and loneliness to_come to the surface.
Cry, howl and bawl if you need to – the end of a relationship is like a death and you should
allow yourself to grieve and not feel ashamed about it.
While thinking about the relationship, take the egg and roll it gently over your face and forehead.
Imagine that the egg is like a sponge which can soak up your grief, your need, and
all the negative emotions which are holding you back and dampening your spirits.
Project all your unhappiness over the relationship into the egg and let it soak up all your negative feelings.
When you feel that the egg has sucked up all your unhappiness and negative feelings over
this broken relationship, take it to a plot of earth – preferably not your own garden – and bury it.
If it must be on your property, bury it as far as possible from your house.
Know that the negative feelings and depression you projected onto the egg are being
absorbed and neutralized by the earth.
Return to your house, preferably to your own bedroom or some place where you spend a lot of time.
Make yourself some lemon balm tea with some of the rose petals, and sweeten it to taste with honey.
Sprinkle the rest of the rose petals around the candle and yourself, if you have enough.
Light the candle. Imagine the warmth of the candle and the scent of the rose petals
_combining and filling the room with warmth, sweet rose scent and soft pink light.
Let the pink light and scent fill you with loving warmth and_comfortable feelings.
If you have some, anoint your chest just over the heart with a little rose oil.
Sip the lemon balm tea. Say quietly and with conviction:
‘Gentle balm, soothe my heart
Bring to me your healing art’.
Imagine yourself surrounded by love and peace, sheltered from discomfort and loneliness.
Know that you deserve love and that you are now free of your previous relationship and
open to a new one. Gaze into the candle flame and imagine yourself happy and healed,
living a joyful and fulfilling life without the person you have just broken up with.

Water Gazing

Water Gazing

 
The simplest of these is known as gazing or scrying, in which water is used to create symbols of the future. To perform this ancient rite, pour water into a blue ceramic bowl. Ask your question. Sitting with your back to the light in a darkened room, gaze into, but not at, the water. (Some people add a few drops of blue food coloring or ink to the water to darken it; this is particularly useful when using a light-colored bowl.)
 
As with a crystal ball, the water may cloud. Eventually you may begin to see symbols within its cool depths. Make a note of any such symbols. When no further symbols are seen, begin the process of interpretation.
 
Some water gazers prefer to have a candle’s light reflected on the water’s surface. Others take the bowl outside on a cloudless night and, capturing the moon’s reflection, divine by its appearance on the water. All three of these techniques can be used.
 
A method related to water gazing involves wine. Pour wine into a clear glass. Place a candle behind it and light it. Sitting before the glass, ask your question (if any), gaze into the illuminated wine, and search for symbols to appear. This is known as oinomancy.
 
Sycphomancy is defined as the use of cups or glasses in divination (as in the above technique). It is of uncertain origin. The following procedure allows the reader to discern the past, present, and future. Three cups of three various materials are needed.
 
Old instructions state that the weather must have been calm for three days prior to the divination, and that the diviner be dressed in white. Fill a silver cup with wine, a copper cup with oil, and a vessel of glass with water. Scry in the silver cup to view the past, in the copper cup to see present events, and in the glass to discover the future. Use of these three scrying tools is ideal when the past, present, and future all pertain to the question-which is usually the case.
 
Gold cups filled with water were also sometimes used for gazing, but these have always been out of the reach of most diviners. A variant of this practice consists of placing a gold ring in a glass of water. Set this glass before a mirror and gaze into the ring’s reflection in the looking glass.
 
Natural bodies of water provide excellent gazing tools. A calm lake or a small pool that is continuously filled by a running stream is ideal. Sit before the lake or pool. Shut out all distractions and gaze into the water. If appropriate, ask a question. You will see what you need to know.
 
Finally, toss a lump of gold into a well. The water will become clearer and, thus, more conductive to scrying. (Silver was probably more often used in this rite than gold. This is a relic of the day in which well were considered to be sacred and the gold or silver was an offering to the well’s spirit or attendant deity.)
 
Other methods of water gazing include watching the waves at a beach, gazing into the sea from a high point that juts into it, scrying in the reflections of the sun sent up by water against a flat surface, and many other techniques.
 
Divination For Beginners
Reading The Past, Present & Future
Scott Cunningham
ISBN 0-7387-0384-2