See and Be Seen: Eye gazing Practice
May, 3 2018
We all crave intimacy, right? Problem is, most of us weren’t taught how to authentically connect, instead, what we did learn is how to be critical, judgmental, shame-ridden and guilt-stricken especially when it comes to Intimacy! Eye-gazing is a profoundly powerful, ancient practice found in both Hindu and Buddhist Tantra that reprograms our nervous system for deep states of connection. It’s a tool to go beyond the physical realm and into the spiritual where we experience our ego melting away and are left with a pure state of oneness or sameness. We interweave this practice throughout the Breath of Bliss breathwork as a way to get out of our heads and create strong, authentic connection with ourselves and others.
What is eye-gazing?
Eye Gazing, simply put, is the act of softly gazing into another beings eyes. Like a meditation practice, this is done with intention and permission to honor the other person. You bring your full presence and consciousness to the experience while sitting in silence and just witnessing the other. When this type of eye contact is maintained there is an energy circuit established between the two people that dissolves feelings of separateness and we can experience a unique and profound connectedness.
Usually, we gaze into the left eye. This is because the left side of the body is considered to be the receptive side. Use a soft gaze. We are not staring each other down! Just relax, breathe and allow the experience to unfold. Mindfully notice what arises without judging it. Instead of making up stories about the person or what they think of you, stay curious and open.
Why is it SO uncomfortable at first?
This simple yet profound practice feels pretty awkward at first. Many people have a hard time just looking someone in the eye while having a conversation none the less holding a gaze for 5 to 10 mins. You may want to laugh, be silly, distract, or start talking to dispel uncomfortable feelings.
Social norms have taught us to hide our true essence through more superficial interactions. The ego is the human part of us that sees itself as seperate. The ego often runs off the program of fear, which in turns makes us feel unsafe or like we don’t belong. We are so conditioned by fear for disconnection and hiding our True Self. So, when we begin eye gazing, the level of intimacy that we actually experience may register as uncomfortable or unsafe because it is so unfamiliar! The practice encourages mindful breathing and staying in the present moment to train your nervous system that intimacy is safe AND deserved!
What are the benefits?
Eye gazing is actually re-training the brain and nervous system to register that this type of intimacy is not only safe but also a way to heal some of our deepest wounds in relationship. While eye-gazing, one holds a deep gaze into another person’s eyes for an extended period of time to see beyond their personality, faults, differences, ego and straight into their essence. Barriers of separation melt away to uncover the innocent child, sage, and ancient wisdom within.
We are able to perceive the beauty in another no matter who they are. This is why Eye-gazing during breathwork sessions is a gateway practice allowing for a reset in our ability to truly see and be seen by others.
See and Be Seen
Have you ever really let someone see you? Like really see you? The true you beyond your physical boundary and into your soul? As a therapist, what I have seen over and over again is that we ALL long to be witnessed, seen and acknowledged. Mostly, we wait around hoping that someone else will see how special we are beyond all of the emotional armor we have put up. This can prove disappointing as it’s pretty hard to penetrate through armor, right?
Well, we all have that armor and you are the one that has to start to dismantle it from within. When we connect deeply to another’s soul through eye gazing, we can see that we are not alone and that we really all want the same thing; to be loved.
The more you practice being seen in all your light, the more light you will see. The more we see the innate goodness in another, the more we recognize it within ourselves. As we recognize this beauty in ourselves, we start to see the world as a safe place where we all belong to the tribe of humanity. We heal through noticing our sameness not hiding behind our differences.
Start now! You can try this practice in a Breath of Bliss ceremony, with a friend, partner, family member, pet OR in a mirror with yourself. The more you practice, the more comfortable you become. Let’s participate in a collective mind shift that brings more presence and consciousness into all our relationships!