The purpose of meditation is to be able to focus and understand your mind—eventually reaching a higher level of awareness and inner calm. Meditating regularly can help you to control your emotions, increase your concentration, reduce stress, and become more connected to those around you. Meditating with a candle is a really simple and easy practice, so why not have a go - you might be amazed at how it makes you feel.
Set up your environment
Meditation should be practiced in a peaceful location so you can clear your mind and achieve complete calmness, so start by removing all distractions from your environment. We appreciate that this is easier if you live alone than it is in a family home, so pick a time (maybe when the kids have gone to bed) when you can have some undisturbed peace. Dim the lights, remove any technology and make sure the family cat or dog isn’t pacing the room while you’re at it.
Decide how long you want to meditate
Before you begin, decide how long you’d like to meditate for. Experienced meditators recommend 20 minute sessions twice a day, but as a beginner it’s fine to start with as little as 5 minutes once a day.
Light your scented candle
Wear comfortable loose clothing and if you’re worried that you might get a little chilly, make sure you have a blanket or shawl at hand that you can wrap around yourself. You don’t have to sit on the floor with your legs crossed unless you’re comfortable in that position. It’s fine to sit in a comfy chair, just try to keep your back nice and straight.
The important thing is that you don’t start to feel stiff at any point, which can bring you right out of the relaxation state you’re trying to achieve. Then, light your scented candle, remembering to make sure it’s at least 50cm from your eyes, or it can appear too bright.
Clear Your Mind
Now, take slow, deep breaths as you focus your eyes on the flame. Don't worry if your mind starts to wander. You’re a beginner and meditation takes practice. Just make an effort to refocus your mind on the flickering quality of the light and let yourself be absorbed by its beauty and purity.
Your eyes constantly send new visual information to your brain for processing, but by focusing on the flame, your eyes aren’t moving, and that flow of information starts to slow down, allowing you to focus completely on the candle. Your peripheral vision increasingly begins to fade, until your awareness is focused solely on the light of the dancing, flickering flame. Essentially, you become completely absorbed by it, shutting out outside distractions to enhance focus, and achieve a state of total relaxation.
Remember - Meditation should not be viewed as a goal to complete, and particularly when you’re a beginner you shouldn’t be concerned about the quality of the meditation. Focus instead on the process and experience of meditation itself, and as long as you feel calmer and more at peace at the end of it, your medication was successful.