What is Tratak Sadhana? Part 1: The Method
The Yoga of practicality
Tratak is one of the 6 methods of Hatha Yoga.
The practice of tratak is key to improving one’s concentration during meditation on certain abstract mantras.
In particular, one would practice tratak for bija mantra japa – such as Kleem and Shreem.
Tratak is generally considered an advanced technique and the help of a Guru should be sought by the serious practitioner.
Concetration is vital to manifestation
It is well known that benefits from mantra japa accrue in proportion to effort. Concentration is the underlying measure of effort; the greater the concentration whilst chanting, the more powerful the results.
Tratak helps to focus the mind and dramatically improve concentration. In this way, it is not dissimilar to pranayama.
What is tratak?
Tratak is the concentrated effort of maintaining one’s vision on one particular object or area within.
There are three forms:
- Inner – one focuses on the point between the eyes while they are closed. This is the area where the pituitary gland is located within the brain.
- Middle – focus on an object at an intermediary distance; for example an oil lamp at arm’s length.
- Outer – in this method the aspirant focuses on a distant object such as the moon or stars.
- Freshly shower, wear freshly washed, loose clothes and find a quiet room to practice alone.
- Sit in your usual yogic asana (posture) – such as cross legged with the spine, neck and head straight.
- One calms the mind using pranayama before starting.
- Actively avoid and repel any intense emotional thoughts. Clear the mind.
- Start the tratak method that you find most comfortable (inner, middle, outer etc).
- Keep absolutely still and quiet during practice.
- Start with 15 mins of practice and work up to 1-2hrs.
- Always practice for the same or more time than in your prior practice.
- Try to be regular in practice – at the same time every day or week, depending on frequency.
- It will take at least 3 months of continuous practice to see significant improvement in your mental state.