Candlelight Meditation | Fire for the Soul

Candlelight meditation is different to other types of meditation. Your eyes remain open the whole time as you focus on the light that emanates from the wick of a candle flame. Fire rituals such as these are old. When humanity first discovered fire, it must have mesmerised us.

As I watched the flame pulsate through the wax, I wondered–where did the wax go? The fire had consumed it.

Fire, is, a life giver. Fire, is, a cleanser. Fire, is, a transformer.

In Eastern traditions, when we pass away, our bodies are offered to the fire for purification. At the end, what is left is ash and a few bone fragments; which are typically either stored in an urn or taken to a river or the ocean to scatter. The deceased is then remembered by way of the stories we tell about them and their photographs.

It is thus the end, the grand finale. It is a point of no return. It also represents a new beginning.

The Flame That Ignites

If you do it in a really dark room, and you concentrate really hard, you will see the aura that emanates from the candle. If you were to sit a little further away, you would see the rays that emerge from the candle in line-like strips that are making their way towards you.

There’s a feeling of rejuvenation and rebirth that sweeps through me whenever I sit down to do a candlelight meditation. It is as though I am a child again, discovering the power of fire for the first time.

Mesmerising, truly!

In the beginning, I used to feel sweltering hot whenever I did it. But after continuously concentrating on the flame, my body would cool and reach a place of relaxation. It’s common for your eyes to feel temporarily droopy. If they do, shut them for a few seconds and open them again.

Candles are also offered at an altar or at a holy place in the hopes that our prayers will be heard and answered. At the Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount in the Bandra District of Mumbai, candles are sold outside the iconic church in various shapes and sizes. Devotees offer these candles to Mother Mary in the hopes that their wishes will come true. I went there once when I was young, but I scarcely remember it.

Despite how ‘simple’ it looks, meditation is not easy. Our minds run helter-skelter. Our body begins twitching and annoying us. We just can’t seem to focus, even though we’re ‘trying’ to. It took me close to a year and a half to get to a place where I could meditate and actually ‘gain’ something from it.

It’s a bit like that with anything we do, right? It takes a while for us to ‘gain’ something from it. It may even feel like a nuisance, an annoyance; something very unpleasant that we do not want to do at all. Then comes the point when we have a breakthrough; when we see the benefits of doing something that seemed so frivolous, whimsical and even unnecessary.

You know, over the years, I’ve heard people talk about the benefits of meditation–and the key takeaway I’ve had is that there are so many different ways to do it. Guided meditation, drum meditation, mantra meditation and so on. For a long time, I only did mantra and music meditation. And then there came a point when I couldn’t do it anymore.

YouTube also introduced too many ads (midway through the meditation!) which brought me away from wanting to do it. Seems the monkey isn’t just in your mind, it is also out there in the world. When you’re not dealing with your own monkey mind, you have to deal with someone else’s.

Candlelight meditation is a sensory experience. It allows your eyes and if you get close enough–even your body–to experience the sensory awakenings that arise from this practise.

Well, what are you waiting for! Turn down the lights, light up that candle–and treat yourself to a romantic evening with a little light.

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