Have you ever stared straight into someone’s soul?
Well I can’t say I stared but I did catch a glimpse and what I saw was terrifying. It changed everything about how I related to people, especially women.
In new age circles it’s called soul gazing or eye gazing and has been around for probably 1000’s of years.
Used to foster intimacy, trust, and understanding, testimonials of first time eye gazers is nothing short of outstanding.
To do it is simple–your partner and you look into each other’s eyes for 5 minutes of unbroken silence.
Sounded cool so I figured I’d try it out. Nothing to lose right? With very little convincing, I talked my then girlfriend into soul gazing with me (she was already into some meditating) She brought us out some cushions, smudged her room with some sage, lit a candle and dimmed the lights…
How to soul gaze:
You can actually do this with anybody who is willing, even complete strangers, but for the sake of the article we’ll stick to intimate partners.
To get prepared, it’s helpful to create a healthy space. Make sure there won’t be any external distractions for the 5 minutes like putting your phones on silent.
You may want to smudge the room with sage or palo santo before starting to clear stale energy that can be lingering.
Make sure your partner and you will be comfortable sitting for five minutes, either on cushions facing one another or chairs that will allow you to sit upright. Sit an arm’s length apart so you can place your hands in theirs. You’ll want your right hand in their left, with your palm facing down, and your left palm in their right, with the palm facing up.
Sit down, set your timer, and embrace hands. I like to start with a 30 second closed eye meditation after the timer’s set to get in a good space before opening my eyes.
Now hold your partner’s gaze.
It’s easier to focus on one eye than both. Many prefer looking into their partner’s left eye. You can even sync up breathing by relieving downward pressure on the hands slightly on the inhale and on the exhale letting your hands rest and fall a little. This will make the energetic circuit between you and your partner that much stronger.
You can blink, but no talking and try to hold your gaze just on that spot.
It’s helpful to have no expectations as to what should happen and to keep an open mind. You may want to laugh or cry, but as soon as it comes, try to maintain your gaze.
After the five minutes are up, thank your partner for the moment you shared.
My Experience Soul Gazing
About a minute into it, my girlfriend started to cry.
Not wanting to judge the moment or stop the exercise, we forged ahead holding our gaze.
As I continued to focus on her left eye, the rest of her face started shifting. I could see it through my periphery while something told me to hold my focus.
I could see the face of an old man, a laughing child, a crying widow. Thousands of years of life seemed to shine through her in the flickering candlelight.
I didn’t try to place any meaning on what was happening and I’m trying not to now. But I couldn’t help but feel profoundly aware of her and humanity’s heritage.
So many people have given their lives to the soil we stand on. The world has cried, bled, loved, and died and we are it’s end result.
Admittedly, I haven’t always been the greatest person. But that day put me on a different trajectory. I had more respect for her and for the Heart that bleeds and rejoices–the soul that animates life future, past, and present.
I felt an overwhelming compassion.
We don’t keep in touch much anymore, but I still think about her often and thank her for one of the core experiences that changed my life.
Results May Vary
This exercise is much more effective when done in a state of curiosity and enjoyment and not expectation.
Try to maintain an open mind and enjoy yourself.
Keep in mind, the more vulnerable you allow yourself to be the deeper you might fall down the rabbit hole. How deep does the rabbit hole go? I’ll let you decide.
Feel free to comment and share your experiences if it feels right to you!