Concentrating on a Flame (#59)
From the caveman sitting in his cave staring at his fire to the new-age practitioners in their high-tech condos looking at a DVD of a flickering candle, for thousands of years people have been using a flame as an object of meditation. There are different techniques that are commonly used, but it would be appropriate to start any of them by relaxing your body, mind and emotions in whatever way you have found that lets this happen.
Position yourself in a way that will allow you to remain alert, comfortable, and undistracted. The place you are in should be condusive to meditation. Often this will include a room that is quiet except for pleasant music playing in the background, has fragrant aromas from incense or flowers, and beautiful furnishings and decorations. For many, statues and pictures of deities or religious and spiritual symbols like the cross, the star of David, the OM sign, the Yin/Yang symbol, and so on, add to the divine vibration of the environment.
As a means of keeping your concentration steady, many meditators find that focusing on your breath allows you to remain in the present and return to the here and now if you become distracted. Often considered to be one of the most important considerations is to adopt an attitude of gentleness towards yourself that includes forgiveness and acceptance, but excludes harsh self-criticism of any kind.
Flame Meditation #1
Place a lit candle either on the floor, about 3 to 6 feet in front of you - where your gaze falls naturally downward, or on a table in front of you that places the flame of the candle at about eye level. Being as empty as possible, simply gaze at the flame. Silently focus on the flame. Your inner chatterer will probably comment, compare, and judge. Let it do its thing and the chatter will eventually slow and possibly even stop. Just watch the flame’s soothing dance.
After gazing steadily at the flame with eyes open, close your eyes and visualize the flame. Use the flame as an inner sacrificial altar. Send your undivine characteristics to the flame and see them dissolve, burn away, or turn to ashes. Serve up all the things that take your peace away. Your impatience, cold heartedness, anger, pain, self-loathing, and so on. Sacrifice them all. In your minds eye, see yourself becoming purer and purer, glowing more and more as the flame grows brighter with each offering. See the purified loving light fill you and radiate out in all directions, sending divine holy healing energy everywhere. Shine brightly, eternally, and live happily ever after.
Flame Meditation #2
Concentrate on the flame at the tip of a candle. Mentally analyze what you witness. See the white, blue, red, orange, yellow areas of the flame. Observe the way the light changes as it radiates from the candle. Observe the never-ending movement. Feel the warmth. Acknowledge this naked exhibition of atomic energy at play, unencumbered by solidity. Close your eyes and visualize the flame within your heart, stimulating the pulse of life itself. Witness the flame throbbing with every heartbeat and see light fill every organ, every bone, and every cell in your body. Witness the flame light up your third eye and beam energy out infinitely to infinity.
In your minds eye, see the flame within every person on earth. See the flame within every creature that lives in the oceans, on the land, or in the skies. See the flame within every tree, every plant, everything that has life.
Visualize the flame within every molecule and within every atom that composes all the so-called inanimate objects, and see the animation of the flickering energy that keeps all things in lively movement.
See the Earth itself filled with radiant flame. Recognize the Sun as the flame of life and see it’s energy animating every atom of all the heavenly bodies in the solar system.
See the entire galaxy and all the millions of billions of galaxies alive with the same energy as the flame of the candle and know that this energy is within everything, everywhere and you are at one with it, luminescent, limitless, and eternal. You are now and have always been and will forever be pure conscious energy. Witness this enlightening illumination and live happily ever after.