Question: I have just started meditation. I have been doing yoga for a few years but the only way I can concentrate is with a candle in front of me. Can I concentrate just by watching the candle at all times, and bring the candle into my mind and hold it there. Is this another way?
For a while it is okay to begin with, but eventually you will have to abandon that. For practice of concentration you can use the candle, there is no harm. That's like using any God's picture also. In my student days, I also used to practice that. Because I had fallen in love with my Master so much, I kept His picture in my room, and I had to switch off the light in the night before going to bed, I used to keep watching His photo and then switch off, then the mind would absorb. So it became single-pointed, so eventually it became easier to meditate. Like that you can have the candle for a while, you can imagine the picture also, but don't get addicted. Try to abandon it. Because if you abandon it, then you would be giving the mind itself practice to become quiet on its own, without any external anchor.
Question: Yes because I tried without the candle and then the mind started wondering about, in different states trying to focus on something. I mean you have to have something to focus on.
Focusing is important. So you practice both, that's how you can get rid of the candle also. In the beginning, practice on the candle for some time, and try to take out the candle, try not to imagine the candle. Even if the candle picture on its own comes, let it come. Then watch that, staringly watch that candle picture, then that picture gets evaporated. If you imagine a candle picture it will always be there, and you cannot give up. Mind gets stuck into it. So if you understand this phenomenon, this secret, then meditation will be easier for you.