During one of Belsebuub’s courses that I attended, we all tried a concentration method to learn about how the mind can become concentrated on one thing.
For this we used a candle and its candle holder to try this approach out.
I gave it a go, and focused my mind on the candle and the holder that was used to support the candle, by looking at them in great detail.
I tried to sense or feel what the candle was like and also tried to sense what the candle stick holder felt like by focusing my mind on it, by wondering about it, inquiring about it and exploring the materials which made these items up.
As I focused my mind, I imagined what the wax felt like, what it would be like to go into the wax and run over the surface of the wax, etc.
As I did this I got a sense that I was running my finger over the wax and could actually feel things on the candle like the slight bumps on the surface of the wax. Because I was concentrating so much it felt more vivid than the normal way I looked at things. There was this sense of stillness in some way too.
The interesting thing was that there was a lot of feeling involved with the process of the mind concentrating. Actually it felt like a combination of thinking and feeling until the feeling process seemed stronger and a sense of the materials making the candle holder and candle seemed real.
It almost felt like time stood still with this experience and the separation from myself to the candle didn’t exist. As I kept visualizing the candle I was able to achieve a higher level of concentration within me that felt solid, still and focused.
Having the mind concentrated in this manner was really awesome, it was a feeling that was very different to the ordinary everyday state that I was used to my mind being in, it was actually the very opposite of that everyday state I was used to where my thoughts were always running wild and in all directions.
This experience was amazing and gave me such a strong feeling to keep trying the method out. It felt beautiful to feel the sensation of being in that state and being able to perceive the candle in a totally different way.
Hi Steve, I really like how you described this experience of concentrating upon a candle as something that you felt rather than just seeing the candle. I feel that while we can connect to things around us via our vision and hearing, but when we feel something it gives a very different picture of things. I remember this sense that you describe while concentrating upon a candle – it was so nice and peaceful that I was practising it daily at some point. It also translates to the efforts of being aware in the present moment. If I am not feeling the world around me and inside of me I am missing a vital part of being alive.
Yeah I think so too because when I sense things through feel I tend to get more envolved with the practice and mind calms down a lot instead of just thinking of things randomly and haphazardly. I think it helps the mind to foucus during a practice which then can lead to a deeper perception within a practice occurring.
Nice experience Steve.
I had also some vivid experience with the candle of visualization. It really inspiring when there is a good result.
The stillness of time is one of the marvelous things I have experienced, so I feel every second it counts.
That stillness which can be achieved during a practice seems to be a common experience which helps and inspires people with their practices and efforts, it’s amazing that the stillness within can be so profound!
It’s been very nice to read your article Steve and the discussion that emerged with it. Thank you to everyone for your comments and even some follow-ups of practices!
Like with other articles I’ve been reading on this site, it seems to rekindle my interest and the sense of inspiration, magic and determination with the particular practices. There’s nothing quite like reading someone’s rewarding experience on something that I had lost my faith with a bit. So a big thank you to the creators of this site, as well as to all who have been contributing so far 🙂
Some people mentioned about the sacredness and ancient symbolism of the fire, and that is a great point and actually very inspiring. I had not thought of bringing this perspective to candle concentration practices but it’s a wonderful way to go back to it.
Also like others mentioned, that stillness and solidness you described that can be felt with strong concentration is such a beautiful grounding clarity. Something to hold onto within the mind that is constantly flying everywhere, take a little away from its momentum and put it instead towards something spiritual within, that can then lead to greater spiritual momentum. I didn’t understand the point of concentration at all in the beginning but it has become evident how magical and wonderful it can be and how needed to bring order within the chaos that too often dominates or tries to take over the day.
Hi Laura, How are you? I think it’s been really inspiring too with the keeness people have described with trying practices, talking about their experiences and sharing insights from what their experiences have given them. It’s kind of uplifting and very helpful because it makes you want to get back into practicing and experiencing things again. It looks like we’re learning a lot from each other!
Thanks Steve for sharing that experience. I agree Laura, just reading other peoples experiences with this practice is motivating me to want to try to do it more regularly. I remember the first few times I tried this practice, I didn’t like it. Then I spoke with an older student who was enrolled in the same astral course (Belsebuub’s) as me. She described that with enough concentration, she was able to project directly into the flame itself. After hearing that incredible testimony, I was determined to experience it for myself and give it another try. Although I never did project into the flame up until this point, like the others here I did experience that sense of calm, clarity and focus while practicing the technique which intensified the more often I did it. There is definitely something special and sacred about fire and focusing on the flame of a candle (I prefer using tall, thin white ones with a clear view of the flame) is a beautiful and simple way to connect to it.
Inspired by what was said in the article and comments, I’ve been doing the candle concentration almost daily for a few weeks now, sometimes a few times a day, and I’ve noticed that it’s improved my concentration a lot and helped with calming the mind. I wasn’t really expecting it would help so much, or I was thinking it would need more than a few 10 minute practices per day. It hasn’t been completely structured though as I would do it on and off, and not in that focused determined daily effort, but I actually want to do that now.
Like Patricia, I also like to use those long thin candles, and observe the flame as close as it is safe to do, to see it as clearly as possible. I’ve noticed how granted I’ve taken the flame/fire before now, but doing the concentration has inspired new wonder in me about the flame, seeing the different colours and parts of the flame, focusing on them in a way of feeling them, and really enjoying recreating them in my mind, like the blue part, or the transparent middle part, or the strongest light part in the middle. There is something so perfect and beautiful about it. Thanks Steve and all for providing this inspiration 🙂
Great to hear that you feel that the practice is working and your seeing the benefits from the effort that your putting in. It’s amazing what a bit of inspiration does! As I’ve found as well that once you ignite a spark of interest in the practice it helps to continue with it as the interest seems to propel the practice in some way, Everyones feedback has been an inspiration from the thread which is really helpful!, I got back into the practice for a while and then drifted off into other practices as I lost that thread of inspiration that you’ve found, from reading your post I feel that I needed to continue on with the practices that were started way back when Lucia said that she was going to re-try the practice, I think that I drifted off the practice because I changed from concentrating on the candle to incorporating the visualization/concentration into my guitar practice, I think that I should have just stuck to the simple practice of concentrating on a candle instead of visualizing the fretboard while practicing the guitar. Thanks for the post and all the best with your practices.
Thanks for your response!
Yes, I have seen that I can get a new interest or inspiration in a practice, and when that starts to wear off and it starts to feel more stale and mechanical, it’s easy not to put in the extra effort or change of perspective needed but drift to other practices. I agree that in this case it’s good to see this and just stick with the practice, maybe change something around a little to keep it fresh, but to keep going.
I started doing heart practices lately and my focus on the candle ones decreased, but I find the candle one more efficient in training concentration than the heart one, personally, so I should get back to it.
Thank you and wish you all the best with yours!
I’ve found the same thing that you mentioned there regarding the difference between the concentration on the heart and the candle concentration practices!
Thanks for the post as it’s reminded me about the practice again after drifting off from it as I’ve been busy recently and caught up with daily things, Thanks!
Hi Steve, I really enjoyed last week as I tried to rekindle concentration by focusing on a candle.
Most days, at the end of the evening, I would sit down and light a candle. I used a larger one as you show here in this blog post. I prefer these as the flame is somewhat larger, as well as a big candle has these wax formations around the flame when it has gone down a bit. It just helps me with the practice when there are various parts I can visualize.
It was no a surprise to see that in days where I allowed my mind to run more freely or circumstances brought about a more chaotic day, it took a while to calm the mind and to then form a clear picture of the flame. It’s like when you are in a storm and around you rubbish is flying all over. It obstructs your view or distracts, so you can’t clearly see the streetlight a little further or the focus is upon the things flying around instead. When I found myself in this state, it helped to just keep coming back to the flame, even though I was only concentrating on it for a few seconds to again be distracted. Coming back persistently helped me to regain my focus and I would be able to visualizing the candle longer without interruptions.
One night in particular was very enjoyable. My mind was reasonably quiet from the start and the red golden flame was sitting almost entirely still on the wick. After a while that stillness you referred to came, as well as a almost child-like curiosity and longing to know more about the flame. Everything dropped away and I just wanted to be the candle. Then I used the imaginative visualization to be the candle itself instead of looking at it. I visualized the flame and the golden light around me with me being at the center, looking around and sometimes asking what fire is made off. That moment lasted for a little while until I heard the alarm and the practice ended.
It is very rewarding to find that stillness in the practice, it’s almost like a little push in the back to keep going and try better next time as you want to feel it again. I also saw my dreams become clearer as the week went by. I could remember them more easily and they were longer. So, I’m glad I tried this practice for a week and I probably will go for another 🙂
That sounds like a great thing to have implemented in your week Roy. Nice that you could reach that state where you could feel the stillness and niceness of the practice. I know what you mean about wanting ‘more of that.’ 🙂
The calmness of the mind is the feeling I really liked about the practice too! There’s something about that state or feeling that is quiet profound I think!, it’s like when the mind starts to settle down and concentrate a bit deeper the senses open up and the experience is much more enhanced, it’s really different to sense something in that way. Thank you for sharing what happened and all the best with your practices in the future!
Hey Karim, I never thought ego’s would get hold of an inspirational practice and use it to their advantage! The spin that they used to make me think in certains ways after that special practice took a long long time to work out. they are nasty things which don’t like the light!
Hello Maria, Nice to meet you!, you know your right about it’s a relief to get away from the lower states that appear within us because on those rare occasions that I’ve been able to be in a conscious state with the consciousness functioning it’ feels so amazing and uplifting and like you say a relief. Funnily enough in my experience I didn’t get information about the flame that time but information on the materials of the candle and like you mentioned my actual state of being at the time, people comment on the sacredness of the flame a lot and draw much inspiration from it. I hope that inspiration helps you in the way you need it most!
Hi Roy, How are you?
Sounds like you’ve tapped into a deep interest you have for the flame of the candle! I think you’ve brought up a really good point and that is, there needs to be a interest in what you are concentrating on, sometimes I’ve tried to do this practice and tried to do a practice with something I don’t have an interest in and it makes it really hard to get the mind into it when I’m not interested in the object I’m concentrating on. I don’t know if other people have come across this?
Thank you Steve for sharing your beautiful experience. What inspired me most was how you, through concentration at the flame, experienced and proved to yourself a completely different way of being and the consequences of it, feeling this stillness in and out of you. “…the very opposite of that everyday state I was used to where my thoughts were always running wild and in all direction.”, it feels relief to me to escape from this terrible state that usually I’m in too. The flame and fire generally always feels so sacred and alive, inspiring me deeply. Thank you everyone for sharing too.
I think so too because my comparing of experiences never brought anything positive it was quite harsh actually because I could never match that fantastic experience with my own efforts, I could never seem to get there and this lead me around in circles. (the mental comparing I mean not the experience!)
Good luck with the new discipline and hope it brings rewards for your new efforts.
Yeah I hope so too but I know that I can’t stop and start like I’ve been doing, I got too be more consistent, so it sounds like I need a new years resolutions as well!
Hi Steve! Thanks for sharing your experience and everyone for chiming in. It is nice to see the interaction going on and all of you trying this practice out after you write a post. It makes me want to add this to my daily schedule too.
I had some nice moments of stillness with this practice and want to feel that again. I’ll try as well and will post how I went later this week. What really draws me in, each time I come back to concentrating on the candle, is the fact that fire is of great spiritual significance. Ancient culture venerated fire and the sun in their ceremonies likely because they knew this and knew how to connect with the spiritual through fire. When I concentrate on a candle and manage to calm my mind enough, it feels like I’m tapping into that.
Hope you are well! I’m glad that your we able to work through the practice and get it to work for you as I found the same thing with trying to get practices going and finding them not to be what I expected them to be, especially with my astral and awareness/self observation practices. Over time I’ve started to realize that I’ve had certain expectations to these practices and intellectually I’ve subconsciously put certain “conditions on the practice” and if the practice doesn’t meet these certain conditions that I’ve put on the practice then I’ve been writing the practice off as not what I would call a good practice or that I wasn’t aware enough.
I’ve started to understand more recently that I have been experiencing things but because of the way I’m approaching the practice I mentally think that I have not experienced anything. It’s a bit self deceiving really especially with the awareness and self observation because I had such a strong expectation to what level I though I needed to achieve with the exercise that I was missing the first key a lot, I was trying to be aware but in the back of my head I was comparing the current attempt at awareness with a special practice which really worked whered I saw things within that I haven’t’ seen since and my efforts since that special practice never seemed to be able to recreate it! so I’ve put myself in a catch 22 where I can’t win as I can never seem to achieve that level where I thought the awareness needed to be to truly change and because I’ve been chasing what I thought the practice should be like I’ve missed what it actually was like! I’m talking more about the awareness, self observation and mystical death there. so more recently I’ve simply just been trying to start from where I’m at and trust what I’m seeing/ feeling/experiencing is the actual experience not what I think it should be if that makes sense and expect it to be something more than it is.
Steve I know what you mean! Or, though I recognise what you’re saying, hearing it has also made me realise that this ‘catch 22’ is at play in my spiritual work too. I suppose in a sense it’s partly real, as I know the intensity that I need to build up to is greater than my general level, and this creates a sense of frustration. But I’m sure the constant criticism that compares my attempts to breakthroughs in the past and always finds fault is a pervading ego, rather than the nudge of the conscience.
Recently (since the opportunity of renewal that New Year has brought) I’ve been trying to practise the inner death with a new vigour and discipline, making sure I do a meditation practise every evening. Sometimes the practise can be really hard to get going, and I’m left feeling like I haven’t achieved anything, but then I realise I do see a cumulative effect and that just by trying, I create something that’s of nourishment to my essence.
I’m glad you’ve started to notice this pattern, it sounds like you’re on your way to stepping out of it and having some breakthroughs with your practise!
Thanks for mentioning that trap Steve. So many of going wrong that we need to overcome and correct.
I enjoyed reading your description of this practice Steve. A simple but magical practice. But which I haven’t done in such a long time… Even though at first, like yuo described it was something so magical to try and to explore. Exploring not just the candle and the nature of fire, but the different states of consciousness we could go to. That stillness from concentration you mention is so lovely.
When I’ve done this and similar visualisation practices in the past I also found these sense of touch within the visualisation something that made it a lot stronger. What also worked well at times was going very ‘close up’ or ‘macro lens’ on the objects, if you know what I mean.
Thanks for sharing. I will also give this practice a few tries tomorrow and let you know how it went! 🙂
I’m a bit rusty with the practices too but Lucia’s keeness to try the practice was inspiring and I felt like giving the practice a go again too.
All the very best with it and just let things happen don’t think that the practice should be like this or that just experience what comes from the practice from focusing the mind, I don’t know how many times I’ve put expectations onto my practices, which I feel haven’t helped.
I actually found that the concentration on a candle practices were really calming when I did them yesterday, very nice. They really helped to break up my computer work and made me feel clear again each time.
Thanks for reminding me of the depth that can be found within a simple concentration practise. These ‘imaginative visualization’ practises really helped me to change my feeling towards concentration practises. At first I felt like they were devoid of any ‘magic’, a bit like the mental equivalent of doing press ups in a gym, something that helps you get more muscle (in this case, mental muscle) but totally charmless. Plus, of course, I found them really difficult to start with, when I didn’t know how to properly relax and only go as far as to gently stretch myself but not to give myself a headache. But then, exploring this candle practise, I also found myself able to ‘feel’ the candle, the flame, the wax – it was very sensory, not just a strain in my brain, and very alive. It also amazed me how I could connect to the living energy within the candle – as well as anything else that you attempt to connect to with your conscious awareness.
That feeling of being, ‘solid, still and focused’, is something that I now value and there’s nothing quite like concentration practises to get you there. Thanks for sharing!
Just tried a short practice and although the practice wasn’t as strong as the practice in the article it had similar charateristics to it. I found that I could see and feel the item I was concentrating on but the feeling was much more subdued than in the articles actual experience. The stillness of mind was also much less but it felt like a starting point after such a long time since I’ve sat down and did a concentration practice like this. One interesting thing is that I feel a little more aware after doing the practice.
How did your practice go? it would be nice to see what you experienced from it.
Hi Steve, thank you for sharing. Maybe because you remember how it felt to be so well concentrated, you were able to bring up a similar feeling easier this time? Just wondering… For me the practice was not anything special, even though I enjoyed concentrating on the beeswax candle due to its natural material. I also made a resolution yesterday to make this practice regular and see if I can experience something new with it. Thank you for the inspiration!
I’m not sure why the practice was the way it was this time around but it wasn’t the best practice either! It was sort of like there were similar qualities in the practices but the recent practice was much much weaker/not as intense. I’ve sort of grown tired of judging my practices recently as it’s been a big trap for me in the past. I want to just experience a practice for what it is these days and no put any conditions on the practice like I use to do.
All the best with the practices and thanks for the input as it’s been very inspiring as well!
“It almost felt like time stood still with this experience and the separation from myself to the candle didn’t exist. As I kept visualizing the candle I was able to achieve a higher level of concentration within me that felt solid, still and focused.” That sounds like a really amazing candle concentration, Steve. You really went into the visualization in a lot of depth and were truly concentrated.
I find it very inspiring how originally you felt a difference between concentration and feeling, but as you carried on, the feeling became stronger (and from your description, spontaneous, too, with the sudden sensation of running your fingers over the wax!). It is a clear reminder that through concentration, a lot of other faculties are opened up!
It was a surprise what the practice felt like as mentally I wouldn’t of thought that concentation or directing the mind on something evolved such a deep feeling of the object.
I feel that I was helped to see what concentration could be like at the time because when I’ve tried to concentrate on other things even though the concentration wasn’t quite as strong as the one in the artical there was a deeper feeling obtained from focusing the mind on something which helps to understand the object focused on more in a reallty interesting way.
Thank you very much Steve for sharing this concentration experience and especially your detailed description about how it felt. I really like what you said about “feeling” the candle: “… it felt like a combination of thinking and feeling until the feeling process seemed stronger and a sense of the materials making the candle holder and candle seemed real.” Going to try it right now. 🙂
Yeah it actually surprised me too that the sense of feeling was such a big part of the experience, Hope the info helps in some way, actually I’m gonna try a practice now as well!