Before you light a candle for your meditation, take a minute to prepare the space. Turn down the lights or draw the blinds. You’ll find this meditation much easier to do in a room that’s not too bright and you’ll avoid eyestrain, make sure the room you are in is dimly lit and at a comfortable temperature.
Light a candle and position it at eye level, or slightly below. It’s OK 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. It’s important that you can maintain a comfortable upright posture that feels natural to you. Take a seat in your favourite chair, or sit cross legged on the floor, and make sure that your candle is at least 50cm away from you, otherwise it may appear too bright.
Focus on the candle and allow the image of the flame to occupy your mind. Your mind will probably wander about, and your eyes will resist your efforts to keep them still. This is normal and it will gradually ease as the meditation progresses. Try and just notice what is happening and bring your focus back to the candle. You may also find that your eyes water a little. Again, this is normal, and it usually goes away quite quickly. Just notice and return your attention to the candle flame. A great way to deepen a candle meditation is to imagine that you are breathing the light of the candle in and out. You don’t need to perform a complex visualization exercise, 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 a sense of purity and clarity infusing with your body and mind as you absorb yourself in this meditation.
Notice the flame of the candle, the mystery. It attracts the attention. It flickers, changes shape, produces a halo, and displays several colours. Allow the mind to relax as you watch the candle.
After 5 or 10 minutes gently bring the meditation to a close.