Eye Gazing

Eye Gazing

Years ago when I was in Yoga teacher training, one of the Yogi’s gave our class an exercise to do that made a huge impact on the way I interact with other people.
He had each of us sit across from another student, and asked us look deeply into the other persons eyes.
He instructed us not to stare at each other, but to simply look into each other’s eyes with softness.
We were allowed to blink, fidget, or itch ourselves.
The only two rules were:

  1. We couldn’t speak
  2. We had to look gently and deeply into each others eyes.

I almost immediately felt uncomfortable, it was too much.
My eyes kept wanting to divert my classmate’s eyes, we began to giggle uncomfortably, and I became very self-conscious and guarded…
Our teacher persisted, he asked us to stay with the practice, shake off our initial reaction to bail out, and try again … and again … and again, changing partners until we could sit and look into each other’s eyes without reaction.
That practice blew me away… I realized how essential it is to connect on a soul level with others. I remember thinking that I can (very naturally and comfortably) connect and look deeply into a newborn baby’s eyes, or a child’s eyes, or an animal’s eyes … no problem.
My difficulty with eye connection was with other adults; my peers, strangers, acquaintances, etc.
I realized that my avoiding long eye contact with others was fear… my fear of being open and vulnerable, fear of rejection and judgement…
I needed to begin to transform this fear, so I immediately started an Eye Gazing a daily practice.

Eye Gaze

An individual’s eye contact with another individual or with an object. Eye contact is a nonverbal form of communication. The eyes are the “windows to the soul.” When we gaze deeply into the eyes of another person, we can see beyond their physical body and personality into their essence. The practice of eye gazing is an ancient practice found in both Hindu and Buddhist Tantra as well as in the Sufi tradition. This practice is considered to be a path to enlightenment. It is a wonderful way to connect at the soul level.
These days I make eye contact with everyone when I speak. It has added a whole new facet to my communication skills, and has strengthened my bonds with my children, my husband, and with the people around me – what a gift eye gazing is!
A soul-to-soul connection via the eyes is a beautiful and magical practice. One of the ways I support my private clients is by looking into their eyes and staying present with them as they experience the joy of breakthroughs, talk about immensely painful experiences they’ve endured, cry and laugh.
Being fully present and connecting with them so authentically is such a blessing to me; as a woman, as a mentor, and as a healer. Honestly, I get teary-eyed just writing about it.
I’ve made it a daily practice to stay present to my life as much as possible. This simple, magical practice can be very hard to do. It reminds me of an old saying; simple need not imply easy.

Eye Gazing Can Help Improve

  • Your relationships
  • Intimacy with your partner
  • Intimacy with the divine and the world around you
  • Your bonds with others
  • Your communication
  • Your level of understanding + compassion (for yourself and others)

Ask Yourself

Do I look into other people’s eyes when conversing with them?
If not, why? Does it make me feel uncomfortable, vulnerable or naked? Something else?
How would my relationships improve if I became more authentic and open to truth?
Am I afraid that if people saw the real me, they wouldn’t love me?
Am I afraid to open myself up completely because I’ll get hurt or be rejected?

Start Here

The first step to transforming anything in your life is by noticing. So, begin by noticing when you’re looking into the eyes of the person you’re engaging in conversation with. Then as you notice that you look somewhere else, bring them back and look into their eyes again. Remember that eye gazing is a practice and overtime connecting eye-to-eye will become a habit and your new normal.