Tratak is traditional method for improving your power of concentration with intense gazing. Eye is most sensitive organ of all the five senses. It makes mind to go outwards. It gives open invitation to multiple thoughts to enter at a time which disturb the tranquility of mind. When you focus your eyes without blinking on any object, it develops your concentration power.
Eyes are the most expressive and sensitive part of human body. Expressive eyes can speak thousand of words without any lip movement. Pet dogs express their feelings to their owners by eyes. Universal law of attraction works even among male & female via eyes. It is a medium to perceive the world. It is a window of your inner well-being.
Trataka is simple preparation to reach meditative state of mind. The technique is simple. Gaze tirelessly on a black dot on the wall in front of your open eyes. The object of focus, attention and concentration is black dot. When concentrations become intense for a prolonged period, it turns into meditation. Yoga for beginners initiate with focus, attention & concentration.
“Tratak” is a Sanskrit word which means to look endlessly or one-pointed gaze with pure intention. It is one of the six purification techniques of hatha yoga teacher training course. It is simple but very powerful concentration technique which can be practiced by all irrespective of age and sex. To some extent, it might induce hypnotizing power.
This light meditation relaxes the mind progressively. It is best tonic for your eyes and mind. It is beneficial for students as it is easy to practice and improve their focus and concentration of mind. In traditional hatha yoga school, disciples regularly used to practice tratak meditation to memorize orally-transmitted knowledge of yoga and meditation course in Rishieksh.
Choose a separate room for practicing intense gazing meditation. It should be neat & clean, and free from any inner or outer disturbance. Sit in any comfortable yogic pose (asana) with erect back and shoulders. You can also sit in chair with upright back. Adjust the position of the chosen object at eye level or slightly lower. The distance of object should neither be too close nor too distant. Light a candle and adjust it at right distance.
The techniques involve the following steps:
There are three types of it namely outer trataka, inner trataka and combination of both (inner and outer trataka). The last category is useful for those who find difficulty in visualization of flame image inwards. With practice and regularity, any yoga aspirants can perform all the three types with ease and with no external support.
Outer trataka : You need outer object for focus and concentration. Its train the eyes to gaze non-stop on the front eyes object with no blinking of eyes. It prepares for higher levels of inner gazing with visualization of object inner. It tunes your perception power without opening the eyes.
Inner trataka : The outer world disappears by closing the eyes. It is not sleep, but developing your awakening to the inner world. It can be practiced if mind dwells in anxiety, fear and hypertension. Focus your mind on the object of visualization, and you reach to the periphery of meditation.
Combination of inner & outer trataka : Intense gaze at outer object for some time (outer trataka), and then move your focus towards visualization of the same object with closed eyes (inner trataka). Outer gazing helps you in sharp visualization for better results, especially if you are meditation for beginner.
Techniques of gazing can be external or internal or combination of both. The external trataka is nonstop gazing on the chosen object. The internal trataka is focusing the mind upon any chosen object with strong visualization. These simple techniques help yoga beginners to develop concentration, and gradually meditation. It helps the monkey mind under control.
You can choose the object of tratak as per your choice and convenience. It is preferable to pick-up that object which is pleasing to your eyes. It can be dot on the wall, flame of the candle or earthen pot “diya” or whatever it may be. It should be comforting & soothing to your temperament and taste.
Guidelines : Be committed and sincere to your practice. Sit in any comfortable pose with straight back and shoulders. You can either sit in chair with upright back and head. Bring awareness to the deeper layers of mind for inner trataka. If you feel pain in eyes or mental disturbance while practicing tratak meditation, stop the practice. Never practice if you feel any tiredness in eyes or sleepiness at the time of meditation.
Duration, time & place : Fix the time and choose a calm place suitable for practice. You should start the practice at least with fifteen minutes in the beginning. The timing can be either in the morning, evening or night time. For better results, you can practice two times in a day. The place must be free from outer disturbance.
The purpose of tratak meditation is to improve your power of concentration and to train mind to go inwards. It is integral part of hatha yoga which ensures physical and mental benefits to its practitioners. The main benefits of tratak meditation are: