A pleasant and easy meditation method is the candle meditation. It's also known as 'tratak'. You can either use it as a prelude to your usual meditation, or as a meditation in itself...
It’s fairly self explanatory. You just place a candle, in a safe holder, on a low table. A coffee table would be perfect. Light the candle, then sit arms length away and then gaze at the flame.
This normally requires sitting cross legged, or in lotus. Optionally you could sit on your haunches.
If you are not comfortable in these positions you could just put the candle on a normal height table and sit on a chair. Remember to stay arms length away during the meditation.
Blink as little as possible. Your eyes may water. This is good, your eyes will enjoy a good cleansing.
[This meditation can also help improve your eyesight.]
After a short while you can close your eyes and you’ll still see the candle flickering and dancing away…
In your mind’s eye. Either faintly, or as if it’s really there. Either is fine.
You can either just watch the flame as it ‘appears’ or visualise it between your eyebrows.
If thoughts come just let them be there or drift by while keeping most of your attention on the candle flame.
If the image of the flame fades just open your eyes and repeat the process.
You could start off with a few minutes of this meditation,working up to about twenty.
If time allows it is a good idea to rest, lying down, for a few minutes after safely snuffing out the candle.
If you want to do the candle meditation as a prelude to your usual meditation a few minutes should be enough. It's very settling and peaceful. Of course, then you only need to rest at the end of your main meditation!
It’s really powerful and relaxing to do this candle meditation. If you’ve ever had a real fire at home you know how enjoyable and mesmerising it is to sit gazing into the flames.