Meditation Practice: Candle Meditation for Beginners

red candleThe focus of your meditation can be abstract and formless as in blue sky meditation. The focus of your meditation can also be a specific form such as a flower, a crystal, a flickering candle, or any other “virtuous” object.

If we discover that by acquainting our mind with a particular object our mind becomes more peaceful, this indicates that for us that object is virtuous. If the opposite happens, for us it is a non-virtuous object. Objects of meditation. 

Contemplation

In this meditation you will be using the flame of a single  candle as the “virtuous” object of your meditation.  Before you begin you may want to contemplate what candlelight represents to you. For what the candlelight represents to you will become seed thoughts for your meditation.

For me a lighted candle symbolizes the light of Buddha’s teachings.

Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the light of the candle with not be shortened.  Happiness never decreases by being shared. — Buddha

The  sun and fire as representations of  primal are among the most common of all religious symbols. When enter a dark room you turn on the light to dispel the darkness and see what is in the room;  to see the ‘true nature’ of the room.   Ignorance is  a ‘darkness’ of the mind and a candle symbolizes the Buddha’s teaching; it’s the ‘light’ of truth that dispels the darkness of ignorance.  Just as a flame can pass from one candle to another, so too can the truth be given from one person to another.

Seed Thoughts

Candlelight has many positive associations.  Regardless of the belief systems you may adhere to from a universal perspective  a lighted candle symbolizes enlightenment, awareness or the search for truth.  Here is a sampling of what your lighted candle may symbolize:

This candle represents elimination of the darkness of ignorance, fear and hatred.

This candle represents  the dawning of the  light of understanding, empathy and compassion.

This candle represents the clarity born of patience and wisdom which dispel  frustration, anger and suffering.

This candle represents the light of awakened consciousness.

This candle represents peace and serenity that radiates into the world.

This candle is a beacon of kindness and hospitality that draws others ever closer.

Preparation for Meditation

No matter which focus we choose all meditations begin with preparing  for meditation as described in my earlier post. See: Tips for beginner meditators in Meditation Practice: Preparation for Beginners.

As always choose a quiet place where you can sit comfortably for 20 – 30 minutes without distractions, then light your candle.

Sitting in Candlelight

As you sit comfortably with an erect spine and eyes focused on the flame, to settle your body employ the relaxation and pacification technique you have previously learned.

First tense and then release the muscles from your toes to your head until  they become relaxed and still.  Take note of spots where there is tension, and smooth and calm those muscles in your imagination until they become peaceful.

Follow your breath as you gaze into the candle flame. During meditation your business is simple awareness, nothing else. No two experiences will be the same. Distracting thoughts will arise but you will not “hook” to them and follow them. Instead you will gently direct your focus back to the candle flame and following your breath.

When your mediation comes to an end rest  for 3 or 4 minutes before rising.  This transition time is important so do not return to daily activity suddenly, after meditating.

Note:

Regular practice of meditation will  enhance your capacity to limit the production and influence of distracting thoughts. This skill could be important in conditions such as attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety disorder and major depression, characterized by excessive rumination or an abnormal production of task-unrelated thoughts.  Source

This is another article in a series for those who are beginning to meditate. It’s important to know what meditation is and what it isn’t, so please read the other meditation practice articles.

9 comments on “Meditation Practice: Candle Meditation for Beginners

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  2. This was a tremendously timely reminder for me, tt. (Funny how that happens, isn’t it?) I like the idea of thousands of candles being lit from my one. I am meditating more, and it’s almost, almost, almost getting to be a regular practice. Thanks you.

  3. Some people start to dread if they start thoughts that they will get attached to and will leave their normal responsibilities. Thoughts lead to detachment. You do not need to protect against these fears as they have no base. Your concepts about dread, greed and worry will be shaken!
    Here will be virtually a psychological revolution that will happen inside you, so that the real you can emerge.

  4. I tried using a candle as a meditative object years ago, but found the light too intense. A tea light in a frosted glass produced a more gentle glow without being harsh…but that’s just me.
    Love the quote from Buddha. I’d never heard the whole thing. Very nice.
    How are things going with you lately?

    • Hi Lana,
      I know what you mean about preferring a tealight in a frosted glass holder. I like the diffusion as well.

      I’m almost ready to come out of my winter hibernation. I recovered grom Shingles but then got a terrible case of the flu. Yes I did get flu shots and have been doing so for years but the strain of flu I got wasn’t in the vaccine coverage.

      I’ve been focusing on my blogging tips blog because I purchased a domain and domain mapping for it. The Google Page Rank and Technorati authority and rank belong to the root blog ie. the original wordpress.com url for the blog. I purchased domain mapping so all the links are seamlessly redirecting between the URLs, but the PageRank on the blog on my new domain dropped from 4/10 to 0/10. I knew in advance that couldn’t be avoided, and hopefully, in about 4 – 6 months time, I may be able to restore it.

      I’ve gone through this twice now, so if I every start another blog I will purchase a domain for it right off the bat. That way I won’t need to go through the freefall and long crawl back up the PageRank ladder.

      I’m seeing signs of spring on the coast so maybe I’ll prowl around and count them up and post on that.

      Thanks for the visit.

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