Yogic culture exemplifies how to conduct life as a spiritual practice (Sadhana) or spiritual process. This culture - beyond the physical practice of postures or Yogasanas - evolved from and round making every action in life into a possibility for transcending limitations of the physical. For reaching your ultimate potential as a human being.
Many of these processes are now seen as ceremony or ritual practices and may occasionally be associated with religious practices. However, their roots are in the simple process of transcending limitations and devotion to the divine. Not a God, but to the divine that exists in all of us and everything we experience in this life.
One simple way to bring a spiritual process into your life is to light a lamp each morning. It's best to use a brass lamp rather than a candle and to burn sesame oil or ghee using a cotton wick. Its optimal to light the lamp with a match rather than a lighter and to allow it to go out on it's own or extinguish the flame by waving your hand rather than blowing on it.
This simple act of lighting a lamp creates a certain atmosphere and can enhance your meditation, yoga or other spiritual practice. Its best if you have a dedicated space or area set aside for lighting the lamp doing your practice.
"Before you start your day, you light a lamp because you want to bring the same quality into yourself. It is a way of invoking your own inner nature. It is symbolic and psychological, but to some extent, there is also an energy aspect to it. Lighting a lamp creates a certain atmosphere. So, in places of worship and in places that we use for meditation, in your home, or wherever, it is always good to have an oil lamp." - Sadhguru
Getting a lamp and supplies
Many Indian grocery stores carry similar lamps, sesame oil, ghee, and cotton wicks. When using sesame oil, avoid brands that have additives such as preservatives or jaggery (cane sugar). Most grocery stores stock both sesame oil and ghee. The lamp and wicks shown above are available at isha Shoppe:
Lamp - https://www.ishashoppe.com/USA/solid-brass-guru-pooja-offering-lamp
Wicks - https://www.ishashoppe.com/USA/cotton-wicks
You can make your own wick using a piece of a 100% cotton, cotton ball or similar. Roll it into a long thin shape so that it fits into the holder for the wick.
Care and cleaning
After each burning you will need to trim the wick before lighting the lamp again. You can do this with your fingers or use tweezers to avoid getting the charred wick on your hands. If you choose to keep the lamp lit continuously, you will need to lengthen and trim the wick to keep the flame burning. This is easiest to do with tweezers.
Clean the lamp regularly. First wipe out any excess oil, then make a paste with lemon juice and salt and use this mixture to clean an tarnish off the lamp. Rinse with clear water and dry throughly, preferably with a white cloth or paper towel.
More about the significance of lighting lamps from Sadhguru
- Why Light and Oil Lamp?
- Lighting a Lamp in Celebration