Candlelight for Creating Calm
Mindfulness Meditation is a practice that involves focusing attention inward and on the present moment. To practice Mindfulness Meditation, you focus on the present moment, noticing any thoughts, physical and emotional sensations, without judgement. Using candlelight for meditation is a great way to ease symptoms of anxiety, feelings of stress and overwhelm and can help to bring the body and mind to a state of calm.
There are many beneficial effects of candlelight. Candlelight itself omits a gentle and warm quality of light, that helps to calm the nervous system. Candlelight can be used as part of a mindfulness practice, during meditation, before bed, accompanying a hot herbal bath or during a light exercise like yoga.
Before you begin your meditation, take a minute to prepare the space. Make sure the room is dimly lit and at a comfortable temperature. Light a candle and position it at eye level or slightly below. It’s okay to look down at the candle slightly, but make sure that your head is not tilted too far forward and that your body is not slumping. Find yourself in a comfortable upright posture that feels natural to you. Take a seat in your favorite chair, or sit cross legged on the floor, and place the candle is at least 12-14 inches away from you (otherwise the light may feel too bright).
To begin, simply stare at the candle and allow the image of the flame to occupy your mind. At first, your mind will probably wander about and your eyes may water or resist your efforts to keep them still. This is normal and it will gradually ease with practice and as the meditation progresses.
To deepen a candle meditation, imagine that you are breathing the light of the candle in and out of yourself. You don’t need to perform a complex visualization exercise to do this, just keep your eyes fixed on the candle flame, and allow your natural breathing rhythm to fill your awareness. Casually sense that the light of the candle is flowing into you as you breathe in and out. Feel it's warmth and it's light,
it's color, it's purity, and it's clarity entering and filling body and mind.
Practice for about 5-10 minutes and repeat daily, weekly or as needed.