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A Mind Cleanse

We not only have a body, which requires regular cleaning and maintenance, we have a mind, which requires cleaning and maintenance. Trataka is a simple mind cleanse, which can be performed anywhere, at any time and has many beneficial effects.

Trataka is sometimes called Eye Gazing and is used to develop concentration by sitting and gazing continuously at some object.

Traditionally, Trataka is performed by concentrating on the flame of a candle or lamp. Light a candle or lamp and place it upon a table or stool at the level of the height of your eyes. Ensure there is no turbulence in the air around because the flame of the candle should not flutter. Keep the candle at a distance of 2 feet from you. Now fix your gaze on the flame. Continue to gaze without blinking till you feel the strain on the eyes and they start watering. Then close your eyes and visualize the flame at the eyebrow center through the mind's eye. Two minutes will prbably be your limit, at first. Gradually increase the time with practice.

You do not need to do this sitting in front of a candle. You can draw a circle on a wall and concentrate on the circle. Or, you can concentrate on the tip of your nose. Advanced yogis concentrate on the sun, but do not stare at the sun without expert guidance.

Do Trataka for two minutes to start with. Then cautiously increase the period. Do not be impatient. Gradual steady practice is required. Gazing at a spot even for three full hours continuously counts for nothing, if the mind is wandering. The mind also must be on the spot. Then only you will advance in this practice and attain many mental powers.

At first, when you concentrate on an object, pay attention to each thought and feeling as it arises, and let them go, so that the mind is completely absorbed in the symbol. The practice continues until the eyes begin to water, at which point they are closed, and relaxed. As you develop concentration abilities, after you close your eyes, try to concentrate on the after image, and hold it for as long as possible. At first, it will be a real after-image, but later, it will exist only in the mind's eye, and the exercise in concentration comes from trying to maintain it there for a long period of time.

Obviously, this cleanse develops intense powers of concentration, will-power and steadiness of the mind and it is also very beneficial for the eyes. It is also a great remedy for lethargy.


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