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
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.