A short daily meditation session can make all the difference to a good night’s sleep. By teaching the mind to disconnect from all the cares and despairs of the day, you may be able take that final step towards the land of slumber.
Candle Gazing (Trakaka) is an ancient yoga practice which is used for cleansing the eyes or to aid meditation.
You will need a simple candle or nightlight. Place the candle on a table at eye height. Make sure that there is no draught to prevent any flickering.
Sit in your preferred meditation position with the candle a few feet away in line with your eyes. Spend a few moments concentrating on your posture and your breathing.
Soften your gaze and look at the flame of the candle. Keep concentrating on the flame – the outline and the centre of the flame. After a few minutes or when the eyes feel tired, close your eyes. You should see the image of the flame with the eyes closed. Keep concentrating on the image and when this starts to disappear open the eyes and repeat the gaze.
You can repeat this until you are able to hold the image without the ‘support’ of the vision of the flame.
Using a Meditation Support helps maintain concentration. A sunset, sunrise, a picture, apple or many other objects can be used. Gradually, as the mind becomes trained you may be able to meditate without any support.
Sound is an effective support for many people. It is rare to find a place completely free of sound. By scanning the individual sounds inside and outside the room and being aware of the moments of silence you can keep your concentration ‘active’, until you can move into the silence and stillness of your own being.
Meditation does not need to be static. A walking meditation allows you to experience the minds connection with its own movement and its connection with the earth.
The connection with the bare foot and the sand or earth connects us with our roots. Try and find a spot where you will be undisturbed. Keep the body upright and relaxed. Move slowly experiencing every step and the contact between the body and the earth. Keep all your awareness with the movement and how the body moves through the air. Be aware of your breath and the feeling of the air on the skin. Keep moving forwards, or in a circle, drawing the mind back to an awareness of the movement if it starts to drift.
Filling the Sleep Gap
By developing meditation skills you will be able to train the mind and body to relax and let go. Meditation leaves you feeling alert and refreshed. When sleep is being evasive it may be just enough to help you through another busy day.