When you are doing tratak, thinking will stop automatically. By and by your consciousness will become more centered in the eyes. You will just be aware; there will be no thinking. Eyes cannot think. When the whole consciousness is centered in the eyes, the mind has no energy left for thinking. There is no mind – only the eyes exist – so there is no thinking.
The moments when your eyes want to blink are the moments to watch out for. The mind is trying to get energy back to think; it is trying to divert consciousness away from the eyes and back to the mind. That is why constant staring, fixed staring, is needed. Even a single movement of the eyes gives energy to the mind, so do not move the eyes at all. Your gaze must remain absolutely fixed.
When you are staring with no movement of the eyes, the mind is also fixed; the mind moves with the eyes. Eyes are the doors: doors that belong to the inside mind and also to the outside world. If the eyes are totally fixed, the mind stops; it cannot move.
This technique begins from the eyes, because to begin from the mind is difficult. It is hard to control the mind but eyes are outer things, you can control them. So keep your gaze absolutely fixed, staring without blinking. When your eyes are still, your mind will become still.
You can use a mantra to still the mind, to make the mind totally silent. You go on repeating some name: Rama, Krishna or Jesus. The mantra can help to make you unoccupied with other words, but once the mind has become silent and still, then this name – Rama, Krishna, or Jesus – will become a hindrance. It becomes a replacement, a substitute. All other words are thrown away, but then this word continues in a crazy way. You become attached to it; you cannot drop it. It has become a habit, a deep occupation.
So begin with japa, mantra repitition, but then come to a state where japa is not needed and can be thrown. Use “Rama” to dispel all other words from the mind, but when all other words have been dispelled, do not retain this word. It is also a word, so throw it.
This throwing becomes difficult. One begins to feel guilty about discarding the mantra because it has helped so much. But now this help has become a hindrance. Throw it! Means must not become the end.
When I meditate I usually repeat a mantra or a namokar, but the mind remains restless. How can one best occupy one’s mind while meditating?
The need to occupy time is the need of the non-meditative mind, so you should first understand why you have this need. Why can’t you be unoccupied, what is this need to be occupied constantly? Is it just an escape from yourself?