The trend toward holistic health in the health and wellness industry is unmistakable. More than ever, we are looking for innovative new ways which can offer us experiences that incorporate wellness of the mind, body and spirit.
Collective healing practices such as eye gazing may be helpful in bridging the gap between mindfulness, spirituality and everyday living. Beyond healing the mind and body, it aims to nourish the heart and spirit, goals that have become highly relevant in the modern spa world.
A DEEPER CONNECTION
To really see and be seen by another is, in and of itself, a powerful healing tool. How often do we really allow ourselves to make deep contact with another human being? According to business insider writer AJ Harbinger, “The simple act of holding someone’s gaze — whether it’s a new person, a prospective employer or an old friend — has the power to ignite or deepen a relationship.”
The truth, however, is that prolonged eye contact is no longer well practiced due to a fast moving, technically inclined society. According to communications analytics company Quanti-fied Impressions, while adults generally hold eye contact between 30 and 60 percent of the time, an average of 60 to 70 percent is necessary to create a sense of emotional connection.
Today, relationships tend to be generally transactional; one person gives and the other receives. In the process of eye gazing, participants are invited to the experience of receiving, which may be foreign to them.
The quality of one’s interpersonal connections is a powerful indication of their level of peace and happiness. In the article, “Social Relationships and Health, A Flashpoint for Health Policy,” authors Umberson and Montez from the University of Texas reveal that “relationships — both quantity and quality — affect mental health, health behavior, physical health and mortality risk.” Simple eye contact alone is a catalyst for improving one’s sense of emotional connection. Eye gazing takes the psychological benefits of eye contact and multiplies them by a hundred-fold.
The actual act of eye gazing has been known for centuries in the realm of Buddhist tradition and spiritual psychology. The modern practice of eye gazing distills the power of the exercise into a universally accessible practice. In this model of eye gazing, participants, organically paired into couples, make direct, uninterrupted eye contact that lasts between 60 seconds and five minutes.
During an eye gazing session, the facilitator invites participants on a journey through the exploration of uplifting and healing emotions. They are asked to remain silent during the process and to follow the guidance that is being extended, while carefully selected music plays in the background.
As the invitation is accepted, one is met with the deepening of the experience, of each emotion being lovingly mirrored by the other. These shared moments are intended to bring participants to a space of genuine human connection. A brief closing practice follows the session, which aims to integrate and ground all that was prompted by the experience.
Eye gazing as a practice can be a very powerful healing method, as it assists us in recognizing the one before us as ourselves. It directly challenges the illusion of separation and offers us the chance to repeatedly taste our fundamental unity. Some profess that eye gazing has opened the door to a new way of being and seeing the world both inside and outside of oneself. On an energetic level, powerful healing waves can be felt and sensed throughout the room, triggering a sense of deep unity with everyone present and with all that is.
TOUCHES THE SOUL
During the exchange, participants may experience a profound meditative state. The process of eye gazing invites its participants to remember their innate value. The more an individual can accept and surrender whatever may come up emotionally, the deeper they are able to go and, thus, the richer their experience is. The idea of being seen without the need to say or do anything in order to be appreciated has a remarkable effect on the psyche.