Sit in any comfortable meditative pose. First of all close your eyes and relax your whole body. Then open your eyes and focus on the nose tip. Don’t strain your eyes, but try to hold both eyes on the tip of the nose. If the attention of both eyes is truly directed inwards to the tip of the nose then you should see a double outline of the nose. These two outlines become one and solid where they merge with each other. The two outlines cross each other at the nose tip to form a V-shaped point. You should direct your gaze at this point. If you don’t see this V-shape then it means that your eyes are not both fixed on the nose tip. In this case adopt the method of converging the eyes outlined below.
At first you will find that you can hold your attention on the nose tip for a few seconds. Continuation of the practice becomes a little uncomfortable. Be sure to release the position of the eyes for a few seconds and then repeat the practice. In this manner you will gradually increase the period of time of actual nose tip gazing as the eyes progressively become accustomed. Under no circumstances should you strain the eves. Proficiency in the practice should be developed over a period of weeks. When you can gaze at the nose tip for a minute or so without the slightest difficulty then become aware of your breath as well as your nose tip.
Feel the breath moving to and fro through the nose. At the same time you will hear a slight sound as the breath moves through the nasal passages; also be aware of this sound. Try to be completely absorbed in the practice to the exclusion of all other thoughts. Maintain awareness of the nose tip, movement of the breath and the accompanying sound. Continue in this manner for as long as you have time.
Method of converging the eyes
The biggest obstacle in the beginning is the inability to converge both eyes on the nose
tip. There is a method of overcoming this problem: hold up one finger in front of your eyes at a distance of about 45 cms. Fix both eyes on the finger; at this distance it is easy. Then slowly move the finger nearer and nearer to the nose, all the time keeping the eyes fixed on the finger.
Continue to slowly bring the finger closer to the nose until it touches the nose tip. The eyes should still be focused on the finger. Then merely transfer the attention of the eyes to the nose tip and remove the finger. You will now find that both of the eyes converge on the nose tip. If necessary ask a friend to tell you if this is indeed the case. Eventually this method becomes superfluous and you will find that the eyes can be fixed on the nose tip at will.
Awareness and duration
Though the eyes are open, this practice is a method of introspection. If you are doing the practice correctly then your awareness should be only on the nose tip and the flow and sound of the breath. Under these circumstances the open eyes are not aware of the outside world. The eyes are concentrated and in turn the mind too.
This practice can be done for as long as you up to five minutes.
Time of practice
This technique needs no preparation so can be practised at any time of the day. If you wish you can even practise while sitting on a bus or a train. It is ideally practised early in the morning and late at night, especially before sleep, for it induces calmness of mind as a preparation for deep, restful sleep.
The benefits are essentially the same as given for trataka. If your mind is in a state of disturbance and turmoil or if you feel angry then practise this technique. It is especially suitable in this respect, for it can be done at any time during the day when you are most likely to meet stressful and disruptive situations. Most other techniques require preparation and a special place of practice.