Teaching Tratak

This section includes a set of everyday tools proven to make current lives sweeter and progress toward better days faster.
Puja with the emblem

Teaching the Practice of Tratak

Room preparation

  • In large groups, use two circles, side by side. Make sure no one is directly in the line of sight of another student. If you have a small group, each person can use one candle or share one candle between everyone. This is great.
  • Make sure the room is completely dark .
  • You can burn incense if you want but tell the students that it is not part of the practice.
  • Make sure that there are no drafts in the room, as they can disturb the flame and cause distractions for the students.

Teaching procedure:

Explain that the practice is designed primarily to help them improve their concentration and ability to focus. Summarize the benefits of this and the reasons for doing it after they learn the practice (List of benefits of tratak)

Make sure they are comfortably seated in front of the candle.

Explain what they will need at home to practice it:

  1. A darkened room,
  2. The candle placed approximately one meter from the eyes (about the distance of an outstretched arm),
  3. The candle at eye level,
  4. Sitting with hands together, and
  5. Ideally, the background should be dark, with nothing to distract your attention.

Once the explanations about the technique itself are finished, light the candle or candles and darken the room, making sure everyone is seated comfortably.

Then start leading the practice by giving instructions in a slow voice and keeping your mind in a state of Gurushakti throughout the process.

Explain that they should look gently at the flame and watch the flame as if they were watching TV or a movie in the theater. They should not strain themselves. The observation should be effortless.

Important Points

  • Tell them to blink normally.
  • Leave you in a state of placid observation and be aware of the different parts and colors of the flame.
  • If the flame goes out of focus, that’s fine, but if you start to see two flames, you should refocus.
  • Thoughts will appear, as during the preparatory mantra. You simply have to gently return your attention to the flame.
  • Let them stare at the flame for three minutes.

Procedure for the part of the tratak that is done with the eyes closed

  • Ask them to close their eyes and focus their attention on the area between the eyebrows. Allow enough time for everyone to do this. As if they want to see the candle in front of them but with their eyes closed.
  • Tell them to look and observe the image that has formed. Let them know that it can change color and shape.
  • As with the mantra, let them not worry about whether the image is formed near or far from the forehead. Just focus your attention on that area.
  • It is important that they do not concentrate or strain but only look at what is there.
  • The image may weaken or become intermittent – quickly or slowly – but we must continue to look at it.
  • The image can move, slide up, down or sideways. When this happens, you should focus your attention back to the area between the eyebrows, you will notice that the image of the flame, like a balloon with a string, moves to where you focus your attention.
  • After a while the image will disappear completely. When this happens, you should continue to keep your attention gently focused on the same area. You should observe what is left of the image, it may reappear faintly, even if it looks like a tiny glimmer of what it was, which will disappear in a few seconds.
  • They must remain open for the image, or its trace, to reappear even after a long minute has passed since its last reappearance. When this time has elapsed, the round is complete. They can open their eyes again and continue to watch the flame.

After enough time has passed to complete a round, ask them to open their eyes.

Review their experiences: How they saw the image, etc.

Now let the students do fifteen to twenty minutes of Tratak,

at least two more rounds, each at his or her own pace. Close the meditation by saying, “Now, no matter where you are, it is time to end. Let go of the image and open your eyes slowly.”

TRATAK: Practice Notes – Check-up

It is important that you make sure you cover all these points about the practice so that people are clear on them.

  1. Variety of experiences:
    1. The size, color or intensity of the image may differ from the original image.
    1. Strange shapes may appear: faces, objects, scenery.
    1. There are no “right” experiences. Just enjoy what you see.
  2. When the image moves:
    1. Bring the attention back to the center. Like a balloon with a string, if you stretch, the balloon comes.
    1. When the image goes to the left or right, up or down, your attention is scattered.
  3. Factors that may cause the image not to appear:
    1. Make sure students watch the flame for at least three to four minutes (they tend to miscalculate). Suggest that they keep a watch handy for the first week to time this well.
    1. There is better contrast with a completely dark room. A dark background also helps and can be achieved with a black sheet of paper or a dark garment.
    1. Some people – although rare – may not see the image. Despite this, the practice has the same benefit. It just happens that they will not have a visual focal point with their eyes closed.
  4. Review the instructions:
    1. Watch the flame for three or four minutes.
    1. Close your eyes and observe the image until it disappears completely. Look at the flame again.
    1. Repeat the process for twenty to thirty minutes.
    1. As long as the image remains, stick with it. It may remain for quite some time, depending on the day.
    1. Give yourself a full minute to look at the flame again. If in the meantime it reappears, even for a second, give yourself another minute. When it no longer appears, open your eyes.
  5. Reasons to practice Tratak
    1. Increases our power of concentration
    1. Increases our awareness and intuition
    1. Balances other meditation practices
    1. Develops our ability to visualize
    1. Helps us to realize ourselves


The faculty of concentration

One of the most common aspects of Western civilization is the loss of the faculty of concentration. We tend to become scattered and only get very short attention spans. We are used to receiving information through a series of passive forms of entertainment. This factor can be very destructive to creative thinking because not only do we receive information that we want to know, but we are also instructed with subliminal material that we would rather not absorb.

The practice of Tratak sharpens our minds and develops our ability to concentrate on an idea, image or concept for long periods of time. It also allows us to reason in a clearer and more direct way, with less scattering, thus allowing us to be more effective.

Consciousness and intuition

Most of the time – because we function on a very superficial level – we forget the beauty and importance of our surroundings, as well as the interdependence that exists with other people and our environment. Noticing only what our senses pick up or what demands our attention, we are blind to the subtle forces that are the reason for our existence. Tratak helps us to sharpen our perception, thus increasing our awareness of ourselves and our environment.

The practice of Tratak stimulates the ajna chakra (the third eye) which is the area associated with intuition and creativity. With its daily use, we stimulate this area and lay a foundation for the unfolding of awareness, inner knowledge and intuition. We let go of our preconceived ideas about what things, ideas and people are so that we can see them for what they are, without the color added by our own opinions.

As we unfold our capacity for intuition, inward penetration naturally develops. Combined with the greater objectivity that comes with mantra meditation, this capacity for inward penetration, which comes with Tratak, is of immense value. We will understand more. We will see a bigger and more accurate picture. We will be able to get to the heart of matter, hear the bell of truth, or detect a false note better than ever before. In a nutshell: Tratak develops precision of perception.

Balance, Stabilization, and Complementarity

When we meditate with the mantra, we are opening ourselves to more subtle states of consciousness. With the mantra we expand, delving deeper into our great inner jungles. Our consciousness flows into the farthest and subtlest state, no longer confined within the limits of our usual personality.

Tratak adds a complementary element to the expansion brought about by the mantra. It teaches us to focus our expanded consciousness in a precise and effortless way. This ability is our natural potential, so Tratak is easy to do. So, we should practice Tratak, so we will enjoy its benefits.

To understand how Tratak and mantra meditation work together, imagine a pen. The pen has two functions, on the one hand it functions as an ink store and on the other hand it controls the flow of ink and allows us to write accurately, without scratching. Imagine that the control of the pen breaks down, in an instant all the ink would escape and we would no longer be able to write with it.

I would write more. Using this analogy, meditation with the mantra is equivalent to the ink storehouse, it would be a storehouse of energy. Tratak allows us to control this energy, like the tip of the pen, so that it flows in a proper way without overflowing.

As we open ourselves to our infinite resources, we must balance them with a better ability to control our consciousness. This is the stabilizing effect of Tratak. When we travel into the unexplored parts of our inner space, let us not act as tourists; rather, let us enjoy the expansion of our consciousness as if we were traveling the path of our daily existence. The combination of Tratak and mantra makes us more aware of the reality and happiness of our daily life.


During the practice of Tratak when we keep our eyes closed, we initially see the post retinal image of the flame. As we practice, we are able to see this image for a longer period of time. The post retinal image has disappeared; but we continue to see an image in our mind. This is visualization. Gradually, through practice, we improve this skill.

The ability to visualize something in its entirety is very valuable. One of the collateral benefits is that anything you can focus on with undivided attention can easily become reality. The implications of this are far reaching, but it must be remembered that this is not our goal, it is simply a natural ability that has unfolded.


During Tratak we can have the experience of being one with the flame, of being totally focused on one point. The ultimate goal of all our practices is the realization of our oneness with the totality of the universe. With Tratak we lose ourselves in the flame, forgetting who we are and what we are doing. We lose the awareness of being “small beings” and become immersed in something bigger.


Collect them. Have a series of examples written down and perhaps if you wish, have them on cards to remember them at all times. Here are some ideas and I encourage you to include your own.

For example, the benefits of Tratak are like putting the tip of the pen (using the analogy above). It is like being able to hit the bull’s eye (Arjuna hitting the fish’s eye, Ulysses passing the arrow through a tunnel of axes, which no one had ever done before and thus proving his identity). Our expanded intuition is like the eagle’s vision. It allows us to focus on what we need while maintaining a very broad perspective. You can see the benefits of Tratak as having a fine-tuned and well-calibrated receiver that allows us to focus on the images clearly.

Tratak check-up and discussion of experiences

The next time you meet with the students, whatever pace you follow, review the Tratak with the students, how did they do, how are they progressing with the technique, and answer their questions.

“In rural India, the typical two-wheeled ox-drawn cart is still used for travel. The roads are unpaved and the heavy wooden wheels of the carts have carved such deep tracks that cart drivers take the opportunity to sleep knowing full well that the cart will stay on the road. But if the cart encounters a stone in the road, the jolt will cause it to wake up suddenly. The guru is the one who puts the stone in our beaten path, in our mental patterns, in the beaten path of our habits, suddenly awakening us to a new consciousness, realizing our mistakes.”

Picture of Ramón Leonato Dominguez

Ramón Leonato Dominguez

I was born in Madrid in 1960, when I was a young boy I was solely interested in understanding the secret of life. I grew up studying biology, chemistry, physics and by 15 years old I was already in college. I published my first research work in Insect Biochemistry, Pergamon Press Vol. 10 pp 529 to 533 on molecular genetics at the age of 19 years old. In seeking for answers to the secret of life I started with biology and molecular genetics and from there I went to theoretical physics, finally I landed in the area of mysticism, or self awareness under the guidance of Gururaj Ananda Yogi, a disciple of Swami Pravitananda with whom I studied until his passing away in 1988.

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