Tratakum meditation is a rewarding technique of meditating with the eyes open and gazing intently and unblinkingly at a point of focus. For kundalini yoga teachings, Yogi Bhajan offered this image as a focal point. He says this tratakum meditation is a practice of Guru Yoga, where there’s a direct link through the Golden Chain to all the kundalini yoga teachers who have come before us. “Teachers are connected to the Golden Chain. You tune into a teacher, he connects with his teacher, who connects with his, and so on until you are linked directly to Infinity. Guru Yoga allows you to ascend the Golden Chain. It is an action done with humility.” (Aquarian Teacher’s Manual of Sets & Meditations)
It’s recommended to try tratakum meditation on the image of Yogi Bhajan for 40 days. Fix it on the wall and sit 30-60cm away. Keep the eyes fixed on the light of guidance in the eyes of the image, without blinking. The body must keep total stillness. Take your tratakum meditation for anything between 15 minutes to four hours, but 31 minutes is a recommended time.
Satyananda Saraswati, who writes about tratakum meditation in his book Kundalini Tantra, also offers a candle flame, an image of a deity, the full moon, the tip of the nose, or a yantra /symbol.
One of my favourite focuses for tratakum meditation is the Sri Yantra, a tantric symbol that incorporates sacred geometry to embody the cosmos. It’s the physical manifestation of that all-vibrating syllable ‘OM’ (in kundalini yoga teachings, the more resonant, nasal and skull/brain vibrating ‘ONG’). And it’s a lovely symbol to gaze upon. In tratakum meditation with the Sri Yantra, gaze at the bindu, or tiny dot in the centre. Also, make sure it’s the right way up! The inner-most triangle points down. Another meditation with this rather delightful yantra is to draw one by hand, which is what my dear friend and talented artist Johanna Kwiat did with the Sri Yantra that illustrates this page. Wow, it’s a challenge, but so, so satisfying!
Satyananda Saraswati says that tratakum meditation corrects eye weaknesses such as near-sightedness, strengthens the nervous system, eases insomnia and relaxes the mind. It also awakens the ajna, or third eye – quite a collection of wins!
Sat nam x