I first heard of candle meditation several years ago from my father. A colleague of his was taking a class lead by a guru and described being in a dark room, staring at a lit candle, for the purpose of improving concentration. My dad was quite doubtful of its efficacy, though he does believe in benefits from other types of meditation. I hadn’t given much thought to it again until recently, when I noticed that my inability to focus was seriously impeding my progress on my thesis.
I Googled “candle meditation” and came upon many sites describing how to do it. They all tout it as a way to improve concentration. I think candles are beautiful and would love to use them regularly. My dad, on the other hand, will not permit anyone to light candles in the house unless it is dark and the power is out. (That is why I secretly get excited when we have a blackout that lasts after dark.) His reasons are that candles are a fire hazard and they make the air bad (increased CO2). If I can somehow convince him that candle meditation is effective, then perhaps he will approve of me keeping a lit candle in my room. The problem is, he doesn’t think a candle is necessary, citing other types of meditation, and told me to just stare at a picture of a candle flame.
I managed to find a few YouTube videos of a lit candle for meditation, created “for when you don’t have a candle” (or when you do have candles but aren’t allowed to light them).
After watching one (without the sound) for a few minutes, I felt quite relaxed, so I think there is some validity to candle meditation. However, that still won’t convince my dad. He tells me I can just watch the video instead of using an actual candle, and that it’s better for me to not become dependent on the candle, but rather that I should learn to meditate without needing any objects.
Have you heard of candle meditation before? Have you tried it, and if so, did you notice improvements in your ability to concentrate as a result of it?