The Teacher Within - Tratakum Gazing Meditation
This photo shows Yogi Bhajan in a state of neutral mind. In Kundalini Yoga, Tratakum Gazing Meditation involves Gazing into the eyes of a neutral person, such as Yogi Bhajan. This allows the person gazing at it, to go through it and into their higher consciousness. This is the only photo that captured this state of mind.
Note: There is more to the meditation than just gazing into the eyes, so you do want to get the instruction sheet and photo, referenced below.
In the yogic scriptures it says, "Even a glance from the eyes of a holy man can cure mental and physical imbalances." Once in a very great while there is a picture that has a transcendent quality of neutrality that allows the person gazing at it to go through it and into their higher consciousness. This is a form of meditation called Tratakum.
Years ago, a photograph was taken of Yogi Bhajan which had such a quality, and it has been used ever since by students as a link to their teacher and their inner consciousness. It is called simply, "The Meditation Picture." The picture itself does not have any power, and it would be folly to worship a photograph. The power is in the beholder, in the student who, by using the picture to help him tune into his inner awareness, elevates himself and gives life to the spirit of the Teacher inside.
When meditating on such a photo, it is impossible to get stuck on the level of personality. It will reflect you better than a mirror. In a mirror you can fool yourself with your own face. In this photo you cannot. In such a photo there must also be a light in the eyes of the teacher. A photo with the direct gaze of neutrality can heal and give you the instant ability to contact your own higher guidance.
As the different facets of an object of concentration present themselves to you, you actually experience different facets of your own self. The outer object is nothing but a gateway to the many facets of your self-experience. In a real sense, you become what you meditate on.
If you identify a new quality in an object of meditation, you have contacted and brought out that quality in yourself. For this reason, pictures of saints and objects of inspiration have always been subjects of meditation.
We are fortunate to have such a picture of Yogi Bhajan. It is said that if it is meditated on properly and seriously, the karmas can be erased and individual destiny expanded.
Teachers are connected by the Golden Chain, unto Infinity. Meditating on the picture allows you to ascend the Golden Chain. It is an action done with humility. Nothing else has the value of this meditation, Tratakum Meditation.
It is a must for any student or teacher of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan to have an experience of this. The practice is called, "mental beaming." It gives the mind the ability to project to Infinity through the creative power of the imagination.
Try this practice for 40 days in the early morning before sunrise and see what effect it has on you. During this time, eat lightly, and see with new sight during the day. If you like, the panj shabd (Sa Ta Na Ma) can be chanted mentally while doing Tratakum.
Yogi Bhajan instructed that the meditation picture be surrounded by an orange border. Set the photo about 3-6 feet (30-60 cm) away from you. Set one or two candles in front of the picture so that it can be clearly seen. The rest of the room should be dark.
Tune in with the Adi Mantra (Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo), and humbly tell your mind that the higher Self will guide you across the ocean of individuality, into the peace of the Cosmic Self. Know that you will receive guidance in all matters.
Posture: Sit very straight in an easy meditative posture, and cover your head and body with a shawl or blanket. Sit on a sheepskin or wool blanket to insulate your auric field.
Eyes: Open the eyes wide, and look eye into eye at the picture. Draw up the lower eyelids slightly. You will feel like you do not need to blink anymore.
Mental Focus: Completely still the body. The breath will automatically become lighter and lighter. Look at the light in the eyes of the photo and travel mentally through the picture to the source of that light. Mentally ask a question and listen to the answer. During the meditation, the picture may seem to move and look three dimensional. You may feel like floating out of the body. Just remember to keep your gaze on the light of guidance in the eyes.
Time: Meditate from 15 – 31 minutes.
To End: Close your eyes and see the image at the Brow Point.
© The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan
Compiled from "Tratakum Meditation," The Aquarian Teacher, and "Traatakam: Gazing on the Face of the Teacher" by Gurudain S. Khalsa, Beads of Truth #7 vol. II. Published in Aquarian Times, August 2009.
The Tratakum Gazing Meditation can be found in the The Aquarian Teacher - International Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training, Level One Textbook- Instructor
The Meditation Photo is available through:
SOURCE: 3HO Tratkaum Mediation
Personal Experience by Dharam Singh
The Tratik (gazing meditation) method using the Tantric Photo versus a Yantra or a flower is special in that I am looking at another person. An apparently "in-animate" image of another person but a very alive one. I can not fully analyze the image for anyone what exactly is going on. That would only create labels and a barrier to direct experience. What I can say is that nearly one hundred photos were taken of Yogiji while he \was in a state of perfect Tantra. The one we use is the one that was chosen.
The angle of the eyebrows....the fact that the eyes are actually focusing around you and not directly at you. There are too many things going on to describe. One message that is coming through is that he [the entity in the picture] is saying "I'm dwelling in the Infinite, why aren't you?" There is a quality of challenge to it, but not a menacing one. Though it's not an image for hanging above your fireplace.
The fact that I am looking at another "human", gives me a chance to be with my interpersonal issues. Maybe even issues that I may not feel capable of disclosing to another person, no matter how much I pay. There is an opportunity to resonate deeply with some parts of our self that can be pretty "sticky". My deepest, most liberating work has been done with the Tantric photo.
I KNOW parts of my brain and self that previously, were not shaking hands are, at least, on talking terms. And I'm talking about parts of myself thatI generally censor in my day to day connection with other homo sapiens. And it does take a bit of inspiration and courage to do this kind of work, even with a picture. I like doing this at around 3am or after Sadhana meditations before the daylight begins. You want nothing else distracting you, you want total darkness all around you with only candles providing the light.
I would sit with the intention of doing maybe 31 minutes but I'd keep adding time as time became a non issue. It was such a nutritious experience I'd often go for 70 minutes or so. Regarding the eyes, you'll want to raise both the upper and lower lids. This will keep more moisture close to the pupils of the eyes, keeping dryness at bay. I'd squint to retain moisture and blink when I have to. During longer sessions I'd use Singh Kaur's Guru Ram Das (For Protection), from Crimson Collection 1 and 2. It's spacious, clear and etheric enough to allow for the space.
We are fortunate to have such a picture of Yogi Bhajan, the Mahan Tantric. If it is meditated on properly and seriously the karmas cam be erased and individual destiny expanded. Teachers are connected by the Golden Chain unto Infinity. Guru Yoga allows you to ascend the Golden Chain. It is an action done with humility. Nothing else has the value of this meditation. It is a must for any student or teacher of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan to have an experience of this. The practice is called "mental beaming". It gives the mind the ability to project to Infinity through the creative power of the imagination.
For instructions on how to do the Tratakum Meditation, a full-size copy of Yogi Bhajan's Tantric picture. A glossy 8.5 x 11" photo can be purchased from Ancient Healing Ways. Tratakam Meditation Photo and Information Sheet #17058 (there is more to the mediation than just gazing into the eyes)
Dharam Singh at Audarya Fellowship - India Devine