Candle meditation, also known as candle gazing, is a wonderfully peaceful and soulful way to meditate. For anyone that struggles with meditation and doesn’t want to be plugged into an app, this is a lo-fi but incredibly effective way to relax.
There’s a good reason why mindfulness practices in both the East and the West often call upon the power of a simple lit candle to guide their meditation. The act of striking a match and lighting a candle gives us an opportunity to drop our shoulders, soften our chests, and breathe in a little bit deeper.
Candles are one of the most essential tools in rituals and ceremonies around the world because they are versatile, relatively easy to obtain, and demonstrate a symbol for transformation and tapas. Candles are also a point of intersection, where our daily mindfulness practices interact with our desire to illuminate and enliven various aspects of our lives.
Every New Moon I light candles, grab a journal, and WRITE out my intentions, everything I wish to cultivate in the next 30 days (start small) and when the end has come, I just breathe into it and release the thoughts knowing that as I write, and think, and act upon, it will be, and then I blow out the flame to breathe life into those dreams and desires.
Historically, candles have been used to pay respect, as a beacon to signal the way home, and to help create a homely environment. The act of lighting a candle at the start of a meditation session, that can help to ground you in the moment. Symbolically, the flame represents enlightenment, and that is especially fitting when thinking about candle meditation.
Below we dive a little deeper into the benefits of this peaceful practice and share some handy candle meditation tips to know, as well as a candle meditation video to help you get started working with the transformative power of mindfulness.
CANDLE MEDITATION: THE BENEFITS
Candle meditation shares many of the same benefits as other forms of mindful practice. Taking time out of your day to calm those constantly whirring thoughts and focus on a candle’s peaceful flame has so many positive benefits for body, mind, and soul. Candle gazing has been found to help boost our ability to concentrate, whilst simultaneously reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Over time, meditation can help us in our daily lives to be more resilient, more patient, and more focused. It can even help to aid restful sleep. I chose wooden wicks for my candles to add that natural earthy sound to truly help you disconnect and escape into any visualization you complete.
CANDLE MEDITATION: THE TIPS
Candle meditation is best performed when it is dark or in a room with the curtains closed and all artificial like turned off. Ideally you want a gentle flicker, so place the candle in a spot with little or no breeze. Light your candle and place it about a meter or more in front of you at around eye level.
There are many moods to meditating, choose a scent that matches your vybe and energy for that time.
Try not to meditate too soon after consuming food or caffeinated drinks. Before you start, make sure you are sitting comfortably with a straight spine and you are warm enough. Have a blanket close at hand if you need!
You should then gently rest your gaze on the candle. *(don’t look directly at the flame but more the overcast of it, the shadow, the flicker, eye protection is key, if your eyes hurt at any point stop immediately) The aim of candle meditation is to focus your attention on the gentle flicker of the flame cast and ensure that you are breathing slow and deep down into your belly.
Take your time but don’t put pressure on yourself, start with five minutes and gradually build-up to 20 minutes. See you soon friend.