What Is Candle Meditation?

M.C. Huguelet

Candle meditation is a form of deep contemplation in which the meditating individual focuses on a candle flame to quiet her thoughts and temporarily enter a calm, peaceful state of being. Performing a candle meditation requires some preparation, such as ensuring that the meditation room is sufficiently dim and that the candle has been placed in a proper location. To enhance one’s candle meditation experience, some meditation devotees recommend interpreting the candle’s flame as a meaningful personal symbol, while others suggest imagining that the flame is passing in and out of the body with each breath. Those who lack experience may need to start with short candle meditation sessions, gradually building up their endurance until they are capable of meditating for significant periods.


Much as its name suggests, candle meditation involves focusing on a candle flame to temporarily dispel everyday thoughts and channel the mind to a calm realm. Performing this type of meditation requires a few preparatory steps. First of all, it is important to ensure that the meditation can be performed in a space that will be free from distracting noise or interruptions. To allow for maximum concentration on the candle’s flame, the room should be quite dim or even dark. Additionally, the candle should be placed roughly at the meditating individual’s eye level, and should also be kept at arm’s length to minimize burn risks.

A candle for meditation.
A candle for meditation.

To enhance one’s candle meditation experience, some meditation devotees recommend imagining the candle’s flame as a symbol of something which is positive and meaningful. One might imagine, for instance, that the flame represents the light of peace which can banish hatred and suffering from the world. Others suggest creating a mental image of the flame passing in and out of the body with each breath. Techniques such as these may both make it easier to banish everyday thoughts from the mind during meditation and enrich one’s sense of tranquility.

As with any type of meditation, those who lack experience may initially find it difficult to summon the mental stillness required to focus on candle meditation. These individuals may find it necessary to gradually build up their meditation endurance. They may start, for instance, with a few meditation sessions of just five minutes, gradually extending their session lengths over weeks or months until they become capable of focusing for 30 minutes or more.

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