When we gaze deeply into the eyes of another, we can see beyond the physical and encounter their essence. After all, the eyes are the “window of the soul.” The ancient practice of eye gazing is found in both Hindu and Buddhist Tantra tradition. This path to enlightenment is a wonderful practice as it helps you to connect at the soul level. You can do with your beloved before and during sex.
Actually, you may have done eye gazing naturally, while gazing into the eyes of a newborn baby or when you first fell in love. Even when you are in a conversation and maintain eye contact, you are doing a less focused form of eye gazing. Eye gazing can be done as a 1-on-1 meditation with a friend or beloved. It can also be done solo by gazing into a mirror. Try to integrate it into daily life by engaging people briefly, in passing, with the intent that when you meet their eyes you will see beyond their form, into their essence. The benefits of this practice include becoming more present, opening your heart and expanding your awareness of the Divine in all beings.
1. The Heart Salutation…Begin this practice by acknowledging the Divine in each other with a Heart Salutation. Sit across from your partner and look into their eyes. Maintaining eye contact throughout the rest of the process, begin by extending your arms towards the earth, palms together. Then, inhale and keeping your hands in prayer position, bring them to your heart. Exhale, as you bow forward and acknowledge the Divine in each other with the Sanskrit salutation â€œNamaste,â€ which means â€œI honor the Divine in you as a reflection of the Divine within me.â€ Inhale, as you straighten back up. Finally, exhale as you allow your hands to return to the starting position, pointed towards the earth.
2. The Bubble…Now, create a bubble around you and your partner. Do this by waving your arms around both of you defining the shape of the bubble that surrounds you. Then gesture, as if removing an object from your bubble and verbally say out loud what you are removing from the bubble. These won’t serve you in this practice (the past, distractions, anger, worry, etc.) Next, gesture and state what things you want to bring into the bubble. These are things to enhance your connection (love, willingness, presence, trust.) At this point, offer an appreciation or blessing to the other person (â€œI honor your heart, which gives so much love to the world.â€) Creating the bubble will call you into present moment awareness and create a safe space in which to practice the eye gazing meditation.
3. Share Your Desires, Fears and Boundaries…Once the bubble is created, share your intentions/desires, fears and boundaries related to this practice. First, one speaks while the other listens without judgment or commentary. Then switch roles. For example:
â€œI desire to stay present, open and connect deeply to your soul.â€
Why boundaries? Yes, people often have resistance to setting boundaries, but boundaries are not walls, they are bridges. Bridges help bring people together. Intimacy happens when people have â€œhealthyâ€ boundaries. Healthy boundaries allow you to feel safe, stay open and be present. Boundaries are dynamic, so it is important to check-in periodically with yourself to see if your boundaries have changed. If they have changed, update your partner so they can honor your new boundaries. Here are a few:
4. Eye Gazing Practice. Once you have created the bubble and shared your desires, fears and boundaries, begin the eye gazing practice. Traditionally, it is recommended that you begin by gazing into left eye. This is because the left side of the body is considered to be the receptive side. Use a soft gaze.. Change eyes if and when you feel called too. Just relax, breathe and allow the experience to unfold. Notice what arises without judging it. Be open and curious, like a child.
Do this practice for as long as you want. Begin with 2 – 5 minutes of eye gazing the first time you try it. Then close your eyes, go inside and reconnect internally for 1-2 minutes. When you are ready, open your eyes and begin again. Extend the time as you get more comfortable with the process. Doing this practice for an extended period of time can take you to new levels of connection. Set aside a time when you can practice for 45 to 60 minutes. Eye gazing is a great way to discover how open you are and to notice when resistance arises. If you feel resistance, allow it to be there. Feel it and see if you can allow it to melt away.
5. Share Your Insights. Discuss your experience with your partner afterwards. How does it feel to be seen? How does it feel to look deeply into another person? Were you able to see beyond their body and personality? Did you notice their face changing form? Did you feel your heart open? This is a great practice for developing intimacy. It can be helpful to keep a journal of your experiences.
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