By Lara Barge, Aug 8 2016 07:52PM
There have been many interesting studies and experiments on eye gazing. It is an incredible tool for increasing intimacy, closeness, creating a strong emotional bond and also increasing empathy.
Eye gazing is an ancient sacred practice also known as Soul Gazing.
The eyes are often referred to as the "gateway to the soul".
As well as being a gateway to the soul it has a powerful affect on opening the heart and bringing about a clear meditative state.
As this can all sound rather new age here is some science to ground things out a bit:
When we experience direct eye contact for a period of time physiological reactions are triggered in the body and they start producing phenylethylamine, a chemical that can increase our level of attraction with a person and is often referred to as the ‘love drug’, as it is released when we are in love.
This can be particularly useful if you are in a tricky place in your relationship as your love drug levels have most likely dropped. Letting the body give you a quit hit of phenylethylamine can really help break down the barriers that have built up and support you in reconnecting with each other and allowing your heart energies to flow again. This can then lead to a sense of opening, deepening, and trusting again.
And if you are already in a great place with your partner then this can just blow the roof off and take you to new heights of love and intimacy.
We live in a busy world where most of us have busy lives and finding the time to be still can be a challenge.
And if you do manage to find that time then even more challenging is managing to be still. When we are busy or stressed there can be an internal speed, a survival mechanism that keeps us going so as not to fall off the track. As a result our systems can start to avoid emotional presence through fear of being totally derailed when we have a huge pressure of responsibility on us.
On a personal level - Eye gazing really is a magic tool in the sense that it can calm the mind and the nervous system, allowing you to relax and unwind if you give yourself the chance.
On a relationship level - Eye gazing is an essential gift. It allows you to form a strong bond and deepen/rekindle your level of emotional intimacy.
I highly recommend this as a daily practice, but if that isn't possible then maybe try a weekly eye gazing date, or even once a month.
Go with what feels comfortable: 2 minute is better then no minutes so don't let time be a barrier!
Even just one minute can create closeness so start with whatever you can manage.
For many it can also be challenging and bring up a lot, so start small and grow.
Sit comfortably opposite each other, if you are sitting cross legged on the floor sit with your knees touching. You can hold hands if you want or stay in your own space.
Take some deep breathes, softening your belly, your shoulders and your face. Take a moment to really invite yourself present.
Choose one eye to focus on and bring all of your presence into that one eye.
Continue to breathe. Soft shoulders, soft belly.
For some this can feel really uncomfortable to do. If you start feeling self conscious or any resistance, just take some deep breathes and continue to hold that gaze.
Try and avoid looking away, making funny faces, or speaking. Just work on being present with whatever is. Forget about what your partner might be thinking, and focus on how you feel, while also staying fully present to them.
If your partner is looking away a lot or moving around, be gentle with them, it is not that they are intentionally trying to not do the practice, but they most likely have something big moving in them. Love them in their vulnerability, and invite them with your own presence.
Some people find it really scary to be seen, and it can bring up a lot of emotion. I encourage you to stay with it, take that risk and allow your self to be seen. You don't need to hide your emotions, let them come. They are beautiful and another aspect of you and why your partner loves you.
To start with just focus on being present with your breathe and your eye contact. And gradually as you become more comfortable you can start to welcome your partner into you a little more and dive a little deeper into them through your gaze.
As you inhale allow yourself to open a little more, open to your partner, open to being seen, open to whatever is moving in you.
As you exhale allow yourself to journey a little deeper into the gaze, into this eye, into your partner.
Once you are in the flow together you can start to bring in different elements.
Synchronising your breathe - either breathing in and out together or as one breathes in the other breathes out.
This will often happen naturally as you drop in together, but it can also be nice to make a conscious intention to breathe together.
When your time is complete take a couple big deep breathes, smile, laugh, cry, hug, or whatever else you need to do.
Then share how it felt for you, what came up, what moved for you, how do you feel now?
And make sure you have a good cuddle to fully complete.
Creating a practice:
Make an agreement on how often you both want to share this practice, maybe once a week or daily.
Making that commitment is an incredible gift to yourself, your partner and to your relationship.
Honor that commitment.
Finding the amount of time that works for both of you:
If you aren't used to eye gazing then the first time start with 2 minutes and see how it goes, then move onto 5 minutes.
You can continue increasing it slowly each time. Half an hour is a really nice length but may not work for everyone.
Due to the stress and pressure of work and family commitments it may be that 7minutes is the most you can comfortably manage.
Once you have established a regular eye gazing practice for a nice amount of time, if it feels ok for both of you, you can start letting go of the time frame and continue gazing until one of you feels it is complete. This is a really lovely way of moving to a deeper place of flow together, allowing you to journey together at your own rhythms. If you choose to leave it open ended then at least make an agreement around a minimum time.
Remember don't take it to seriously, relax and enjoy yourselves.
Be open minded, curious and soft as you explore the journey of Soul Gazing.
May it support you in journeying ever deeper in love and connection.
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