Continue to gaze at the flame for as long as you can without flickering the eyes. Beginners should aim at about two or three minutes.
With practice increase the time up to five and ten minutes in one stretch.
Inner gazing can be practised for as long as you can clearly see the after-image. Beginners who cannot see an image should tiy to create or discern an image for a minute or so and then open their eyes. Advanced practitioners may find that they can see an image almost indefinitely. In this case, practise inner trataka throughout the entire practice or for as long as you can see the image. The aim is to increase the duration of inner trataka and eventually reduce the period assigned to outer trataka. This is because in general, inner trataka is far more conducive to meditation and awareness of the deeper layers of the mind.
Duration and time of practice
To gain noticeable benefits try to practise for at least fifteen minutes every day; more if possible. You can practise at any time, though early in the morning and late at night are the ideal times. If possible practise at both these times. Arrange your program so that there are no outer disturbances.
Everyone has accumulated complexes and problems stored in the mind. The aim of yoga is to clean out the mind of this accumulated dross. Trataka is an excellent method in this respect for it helps you to become aware of your problems. However, it is possible for your problems to manifest too rapidly, with possible mental upsets. If you find this occurring, stop your practice and seek expert advice.
Trataka develops the power of concentration enormously, which is of immense use in everyday life. Furthermore, the focussing of mental energy towards one point leads to peace of mind, for it stops the continually fluctuating tendency of the mind. Trataka is an excellent method of obtaining meditational experience and unleashing some of the dormant potential of the mind.
The power of memory is hampered in many of us by mental disturbances, which seem to cloud over our ability to recall events when we require to remember them. Trataka helps to improve our memory by calming the mind.
All people with nervous tension, insomnia, etc. are recommended to do trataka on a regular basis. Also those people with weak eyesight and weak eye muscles will gain much benefit from trataka.
In India, trataka is often used as a means to gain psychic powers such as telepathy, clairvoyance, etc. But we don’t recommend that you practise it for this reason, whether you believe in these powers or not, for they are a distraction on the path to higher awareness and self-knowledge.
We have described trataka using a candle flame as the object of awareness. Remember, you can use any other object of your choice, practising trataka in a similar manner.