Betsy’s Sungazing Articles
Going to Another World
Comment to Going to Another World
Battle of the Personality
Sungazing and Goals
Comment to BeiYin’s Post: ‘…and it’s all for Free!!!’
Relating to Sungazing Reactions
Daily vs. Sporadic Sungazing
Thinking of Stopping? Practical Advice
Cloudgazing, A Lesson in Surrender
I found out about sungazing from Ed of the Netherlands via another person and have been following the technique suggested by HRM. I started this year in March and am now at 24 minutes. One thing I noticed in the early days was a few times when I felt really tired and then did the sungazing that after I had a big surge of energy. From the moment I started it I have liked doing it, just because I feel good when I do it. But then there was also a difficult ‘transition’. When I was near three months at around 15 minutes I started to have problems with my eyes looking at the sun.
Every day my eyelids were getting more red even though my eyes felt fine. Then after around 3 weeks like this my eyes themselves started to feel dry and then I couldn’t look at the sun, it just hurt to do so. Even I persisted beyond what my body was telling me not to do. Then I went to retrieve some sawdust from a big bin and the dust got into my eyes and then there was much irritation in my eyes so that I could barely see for 3 days and my eyes hurt quite a bit. (Many times in the past I had retrieved the sawdust and never I had this problem.) At this point I stopped sun-gazing and decided to wait until my eyes cleared up. I waited around 3 weeks and tried it again and got more sawdust and then the same thing happened. So then I waited even longer to make sure my eyes were back to normal before I started again. Then it was summer and the sun is very strong here, so I didn’t get back to it again until September. Since two months of gazing again, I haven’t had any problems with my eyes and there was not any lasting damage caused by this.
I have looked at this problem to see what might have caused it and I think it was because I was staring at the sun with too much intention – NOT in a relaxed way. Another factor is that the sun here is very strong in the summer and so I believe that I received a type of sunburn on my eyes, causing them to get dry, but also that the two went together in that I wasn’t relaxed, so my own resistance together with the strong sun caused this problem.
I picked up again right where I left off at 15 minutes but at first wouldn’t look directly at the sun, but instead to the side. Gradually I shifted to directly looking at the sun and now I do so for the full 24 minutes. One thing I noticed is that the first few days I did this after not having done it for nearly 3 months is that on 2 days I saw these prisms of light for many hours afterwards during my normal daily activities, appearing as jagged images mixed with black in the lower left corner of my range of sight. It was quite distracting for my vision to have these in front or to look in a rear view mirror, and I remember being worried about it at the time, but then this affect disappeared in a few days.
I still have times when the sun just seems to bright and my eyes start to water and at the same time I see myself thinking that I can’t look at the sun. Then I remind myself that it’s my resistance – my thinking – that’s causing this problem. At this point I shut my eyes, breath deep a few times and then reopen my eyes and it’s okay. So I see for sure that the mind has a lot to do with it – being able to do it or not.
In general I also notice that if I’m thinking very much or striving hard for something with the practice then the time goes by very slowly, versus if I am completely relaxed and just ‘gazing’ then the time goes fast. This I find helpful as additional feedback for when I’m relaxed or not. For sure there are a lot of things that I would like to heal in myself by doing this practice but recently I become more aware of what I would like to gain. I am sufficiently aware of how I could just make sun-gazing into another spectacular past-time for myself or fall into traps of seeing mystical images and being entertained by all that. Now I will look more closely at what it is that I’m asking for or hoping to gain from this, to see if it’s selfish or not…
I have been practicing daily meditation for around 12 years and know the many tricky turns that the mind can take in practice. I don’t know how many times in this period that I complicated what were simple instructions into something that looked hardly anything like the original meditation. Then I would hear again the instructions and realize how I had complicated them and would go back to the simple form again.
When I started the sun gazing then also I did the same. After reading HRM’s instructions and setting out, then I had the problem at around 15 minutes (3 months) where I couldn’t continue, which I wrote about before in another post to this group. I took a break and before I started again I reread HRM’s instructions and realized that I was not doing what I had read. When I restarted it was better in that I was more relaxed so I could stick with the simple instructions, but then later on I became fixated on a goal.
Then I have to ask, is the reason that I complicate something which is so simple, because I prefer a different reality than what is actually there? I remember reading in a book about Maya that occur when one is meditating, and that one is to ignore them and not pay them any mind. At the time I read it I had no idea what they were referring to, but then later I came to understand what they were talking about. I can see that at the moment that I am latching onto visual or Maya affects then I know that I have lost my focus away from the meditation. My focus is now on the visual affects and I’m piecing them together into a story to create a happening – to convince myself of something… To recognize any objects as light or colored or whatever and to get some ‘sense out of it’, it necessary requires my thinking mind and then I am not meditating. This side-show can be very entertaining and one can spend their whole meditation session this way. I think this is because it gives so much satisfaction as it is quite different from one’s ordinary reality and also because one is convincing themselves that they’ve achieved an altered state. Then this becomes the intent from then on, to go back to this world. When it’s recreated, then one receives confirmation back and believes that they’ve attained something. It’s so deceiving because what one doesn’t realize is that they are not achieving anything, instead it could be seen that one is just getting good at creating and watching movies… This is what is meant by ‘pay no attention to Maya. It doesn’t mean that you won’t see things which maybe you never noticed before – that these things don’t exist – but only to remember the simple instruction: to pay them no mind…
I’ve seen many of the visual things being talked about in this group, but also I know that as soon as I start to focus on them then I’m creating a side-show and have taken myself away from simply gazing at the sun. (I don’t remember reading in HRM’s instructions any direction about being engrossed in visual aspects or that this was some type of goal.) And yes, I’ve noticed that the scenery does seem brighter, the colors more intense at least for moments. Someone in this group mentioned something about that and equated that to enlightened beings and then the other day I find in my walk that I’m looking at everything to see if I see it more intense… Later that day I could see that I was fooling myself by seeking confirmation by convincing myself that I was seeing a different reality. I tell you this straight-up, because this is the main value ‘I’ receive out of all this talk about what everyone else is seeing – confirmation – it’s all I’m interested in. But also I’m aware of the trap that this is, and so I’m not interested in it…
From my own experience and seeing the result coming out of other people’s experience with meditation, I realize that just because a person has meditated X number of years it doesn’t necessarily mean anything. One can easily spend 20 years caught in Maya in their meditation and get absolutely no benefit out of it in terms of transforming themselves. (There are other health benefits which can come out of this but this is not what I’m talking about.) So then I realize that it’s the same with sun-gazing. Okay, so everyone can and should go ahead and do it. But if it is approached with a goal to attain something from it for themselves (for the ‘I’), then they will not get the full benefit out of it. So maybe they go through the whole process and get up to 44 minutes but they’ve only got one or two minutes of pure sungazing in where they weren’t trying to achieve something with it. So then maybe for those gazers it will take years to achieve the maximum benefit so they shouldn’t stop at 44 minutes?
What value if any, all these ramblings?
What I was thinking is that everyone should sun-gaze because for sure some benefit will result, having a positive cumulative affect world wide. But also I think it’s important that people are aware of the problem that can happen with it. These side-trips might be entertaining but also you will pay the price. I’m fairly certain that with my ’25’ minutes I don’t really have ’25’ minutes in, because I see myself slipping into distractions often enough to know that it’s difficult for me to just stick to those simple directions. Okay, but it doesn’t matter, I’ll keep trying my best, but also staying conscious about the problem that can take me to another world and to remember to keep it simple…
Comment: I took Betsy’s meaning as being aware of how the ego can get us caught up with “doing” things rather than just “being.” The ego finds ‘salvation’ through thinking, doing, being busy, and all sorts of distractions like interpreting reality … while ‘being’ just is … and is complete/whole.
This is close to what I was trying to convey. That we do need to be aware of our doing and also our goals which can take us away from ‘effective’ practice. I think this is enough as a warning and it’s much better not to go into any study or intellectual understanding about it. If someone could just accept this as a fact and trust it then that would be good. Then I think the best counter to this problem is to simply stick with the simple directions (which ever one’s are being followed) and to not complicate it. Then one keeps oneself open to receive something else. It is the same prevalent problem with all meditation practices. ‘We’ complicate it to escape confronting our true self, and by doing so we are sticking with our preference to experience oneself as a dream state.
John: In my opinion, you’re being a little hard on yourself here. It seems as if you’re saying that your minutes “don’t count” if you’re not deep in meditation. Now I think meditating is good, but I’ve never heard anyone treat it as an essential part of sungazing. Sometimes I can’t get into the right state for meditation, so I do some stretching exercises instead and I don’t think of this as “down time” (if that’s more or less what you’re suggesting?).
At this time, I don’t see a difference between sitting meditation practice or sun-gazing practice, except that I’m getting the feeling that sun-gazing as a practice is more effective because the source is stronger. What I see is that basically there is focus of one’s intent to whatever is the object in the technique. In sun-gazing it’s the sun. If one’s focus drifts from the main object into one’s thinking, then one’s energy is being used for that activity and then one isn’t open to receive something else. If one is holding a goal to start out with and is focusing on that, then I don’t see that one is open to receive anything from the sun. To me it is like looking at the sun with a blindfold on. Someone can tell me different?
I see this is a normal part/process of meditation and nothing is wrong with it. When you notice you’re thinking, then you refocus to the object. With daily practice and sufficient intention to continue with it, having strong conviction that this is good for you and also to keep it to the basics, then over time there will be affects and growing ability to focus more as one becomes more aware of their blinders.
Comment: […] I was specifically talking about effects that did not take place while sungazing. I don’t regard the effects as part of sungazing, nor as any sort of end in themselves, and don’t feel that I’ve accomplished anything in particular. I was just curious because I was walking down the street one day and twice saw small rainbows a few feet in front of me, then removing my glasses, the rainbows disappeared, never to return, but with my glasses off, shadows looked purple like they do in paintings instead of gray, as I usually see them. I didn’t know whether to attribute this to gazing.
Thanks for your clarification, but my intent was to tell how ‘I’ have a tendency to
use these kinds of information to convince myself of things. I shared this because
I suspect that I’m not alone in this tendency. On the one hand it’s nice to know what
others are experiencing or to know that what you’re experiencing is normal and
nothing is wrong, but on the other hand all information can be used to confirm the
Comment: However, other people made all sorts of comments on other effects, including those that occur during sungazing, and I agree with you completely that any such effects should be regarded as more or less accidental byproducts.
Probably these visual aspects are part of the process that one has to go beyond, to not get caught up in it. To realize that when one is doing this then one’s focus has shifted and is no longer focused on gazing at the sun .
Comment: But be careful that your notion of Maya doesn’t lead you to feel like you’re “doing it wrong”.
I don’t see that I have feelings that I’m doing it wrong. I can see that if I’m preoccupied with any kind of notion, then my intent is focused and turning around that, not being open to receive something else. I am sure that if people keep it simple, such as specified by HRM, and do it daily then results will happen. But also I am sure that there are many, many, ways to do it wrong and that these come out of our own inventions which we will dream up for the purpose to escape the simple directions which would have an effect. But even I know that this game is part of the process – no blame.
When people are ready to do this, then they will do it.
This morning I got up late and ran to start the sun-gazing. Normally I like to be there just when the sun is coming up, but not only to greet it… In the past with the sun-gazing, I had thought that it hurt my eyes to do so and my eyes had a strong reaction and got all red and I couldn’t do it any more and had to take a break. This break lastest 3 months, which for sure was at least a month longer than it needed to be for my eyes to recover. So there was a part of me that didn’t want to continue for reasons other than my red eyes. Since I have restarted it has been 2.5 months and I am at 27 mintues. Also, I see inside myself this other reason why I want to start out sun-gazing at sunrise. I have ‘the belief’ that the sun is milder at this time and also that if I start with a more gentle sun, then it is gradual intensity as the sun rises and my eyes can accustom to that. So I see there exists a fear inside of me of repeating a trauma coming out of my past experience and this I am trying to avoid. Today I saw clearly how this ‘belief’ affected me when I started to sun-gaze later than normal. (The other day from Vinny’s information, I checked the UV in this region of Ibiza, Spain and found out it was 2, which means that it should be okay to sungaze at any time of the day…) At first I was just thinking ‘the sun is too strong’, ‘I can’t do it now’, ‘I will wait until sunset to do it’. Then also with that thought it triggered: ‘but at sunset the sun starts out strong and goes weak, I prefer to start out the other way!’ So then if I would have followed all this logic then I wouldn’t have done it this afternoon either. I would have skipped a day, and what then tomorrow? Would I unconsciously get up late tomorrow and repeat this entire experience again? I saw all this thinking and said to myself ‘It’s just your head telling you stories’. Forget about it, relax, this IS THE CHALLENGE to just go beyond all that you’re telling yourself, to drop all these reasons you’re creating to not continue and do it. Well, I can only say that it was quite a struggle after that. I strongly felt I couldn’t look directly at the sun, and was only partially looking at it, turning my head and closing my eyes often. I was twitching, stretching, paying attention to the dogs and cats around, blowing my nose, in essence: squirming… My eyes were tearing, and I felt they weren’t comfortable. It became very obvious to me how I was ‘escaping’ with all this external activity. I then asked myself how I could continue as I could see I needed an attitude adjustment. I really don’t want to stop again and at most times I feel really good doing this, so I really wanted an answer. I then remembered what HRM says that the sun is our friend, it won’t hurt us. I could see clearly that I was reacting and my giving credence to my thinking was much of the problem. So then I adopted the attitude of beneficial feelings for the sun, that it couldn’t hurt me, that it was only my head telling me otherwise. Many times more I felt resistance, but then I would repeat the affirmation that the sun couldn’t hurt me, to relax and just gaze, to not pay attention to other thoughts. Eventually I was able to just gaze at the sun. At that moment, I could see that the sun just faded into the background and it was like it was part of everything else, there was no difference between the sun, a cloud, a bird or the tree next to me. Today with this experience, it became just so sharp to me, how paying attention to my thoughts created my reality. Reflecting back on the whole experience this morning I see that it’s just another story…
HRM: Different people feel different things while doing this practice and it is as a result of one’s own thinking or is just a reflection of what we read or know of other’s experiences, but in reality they are not. We feel something happening though in reality it is not and that is Maya.
Betsy: For sure everyone will have their unique experience doing this practice which comes out of their past history, and these thoughts and feelings are being churned in one’s head and thus are not reality. To be in this Maya or non-reality then it is necessary that one’s intent or focus is identified with one’s thoughts and feelings. One’s initial intent/focus to have faith/belief in the positive effects of the sun has been displaced with the intent/focus to immerse themselves in their Maya world. As I see it, one can only focus on one thing at a time.
HRM: While gazing at the sun, give auto-suggestions and then results will be according to your requirement and Maya will disappear and whether you meditate or not, meditation will happen in you. In short, safe sun practice with full faith will give you the desired results and everything will happen in you as you want.
Betsy: I see it as a type of surrender – to just do it without thinking about what could be the result and then something happens in you. I don’t see that any goal is needed and indeed I don’t see how this would help. So then also I know from experience that these happenings are transformative, moving one along, step by step. I can understand that full faith is needed as this creates a channel of receptivity. I’m not sure what an auto suggestion is? Do you mean to repeat something over and over that you want and then it’s like programmed in your subconscious (such you would do before you started the sun-gazing session)? All that aside, I don’t see how I can come up with something I want that isn’t defeating the purpose. If one is still identified with one’s personality, then I see that anything wanted or goals coming out of that state would only have the underlying desire to confirm that illusion. This isn’t what I want!
John: OK. If you insist on taking an eastern approach to this and making this distinction between being and doing the centerpiece of your value system vis-a-vis sungazing, then you may have to forego anything beyond passively meditating while taking in the sun.
Betsy: I am not taking any eastern approach and am not making the distinction you state here. As advice this sounds good on the surface but I don’t see that it can be in actuality, because of being identified with one’s personality. Meaning you will still have wants/goals even if you decide to not adopt one consciously. What BeiYin wrote in the article: ‘Sungazing and Personality’, cleared up this question for me. Everyone will have a goal whether they are conscious of it or not and it will be self-serving, no matter what it is. But it’s okay – as a goal it motivates to do the practice. I see that I don’t have to be concerned about it, the main thing is to continue with the daily sungazing practice and not get caught up in distractions or reactions which are happening as part of the process. I understand that even this problem will lose significance. Can you give some examples of auto-suggestions?
HRM: Your auto-suggestions are the signals that are received by the sun and since you are a sun practitioner sun satisfies your needs. Faith in sun and safe sun practise will lead you to higher and higher levels. All adverse happenings will disappear.
Betsy: How does the sun receive an auto suggestion or can you explain this some other way?
John: Just my solution — and it may seem a bit whimsical, but I think it’s useful nevertheless: regard the sun as alive and conscious (and this may be the greatest of understatements!!). Just as you are aware of the sun, think of the sun as being aware of you.
Betsy: Yes, for sure the sun is alive and conscious. Your answer here is helpful
and to see how the sun receives. From my question, I see how normal
it is to fixate on the outside forms and not be aware of the connection that exists
beyond my own interpretations. How can I know what are my ‘true’ needs?
John: You already do.
Betsy: What I know is that I don’t know what could be my true needs. And most likely by the time I’m aware of them, it’ll be past tense. But I can see that any need I’m identifying with is like my current goal so probably also what is best for me to learn from, if as a minimum I’m at least open enough to question it and not cling to it like it’s a matter of life or death.
> On Sat, 08 Nov 2003 18:42:53 +0100
BeiYin: Some days ago somebody had ask in this list if there would exist any documentation about how many people who started sungazing are continuing and for how long. Nobody had answered. Somewhere else I read (I think it was at Mason’s Web site) that after a lecture eighty people started with sungazing, but most stopped after a few days and at the end of a month only two were left. If this would be the average, then it would be interesting – and necessary – to find out about it. I have only the experience with our few people here at FalconBlanco. We started all at the same day. I am now at 38 minutes, one person at 25 minutes, another at 10 minutes, etc. Well, at least they are all continuing…
Betsy: I was the person who posed this question and indeed there wasn’t an answer. But now I have to ask myself why I really asked it. Is it that I feel that I am somehow more advanced if I can stick with it and go the full duration? (Then also feeling that I don’t have what it takes if I can’t?) Even I’ve thought about what I would have to offer to this mailing list if I wasn’t allowed to speak about the topic of people escaping from confronting themselves? Is it a prerequisite that people have an advanced evolutionary background to be able to do this exercise? Or could it be that the only prerequisite needed is that one has a strong motivation to confirm their self-image and by going through this exercise which is difficult, then one has the perfect vehicle to prove it?
In essence, this would mean that people that don’t stick with it aren’t necessarily escaping from confronting themselves, or that they are not ready for it, or that they are not advanced enough, it could simply mean that this isn’t an interesting way for them to prove themselves. At this time I think this could possibly be the answer for many people, because I haven’t seen any concrete evidence or testimonial from people who have gone the distance and that have dissolved their personalities, rather the opposite seems to be the case. This leaves me somewhat disheartened in that there doesn’t seem to be any hope to escape from the various confirmation games even with such a powerful meditation, of which I’m most concerned about my own.
But whatever the real answer is, I am becoming more sensitive these days to how I have been using the technique to derive my own sense of identity from the activity of comparing myself to others. In any case, I think I have to credit the sungazing practice for this heightened awareness about myself. At this time it seems like the big benefit is that it is having the affect to shine light on the ways that I use to assert and maintain my individuality. Each day I feel like I am being swallowed a little more with a growing sense of how everything is connected and actually isn’t separated but instead is one big growing whole. Out of this more expansive oceanic viewpoint, I can see more clear when the ‘I’ rears up it’s ugly head and how simultaneously there also arises the need for this ‘I’ to prove what it is seeing…
From the first time I did sungazing I liked it. I especially liked the aspect of being in tune with a natural rhythm such as the rising and setting of the sun. In the past I had made many of my sitting meditations outside and also walked barefoot as much as possible in the forest twice a day with my dog. Also the meditation I did was very much like gazing at my inward sun. At that time in my life I experienced being very much connected with nature and also with myself. Later I moved, and then changed my practice to a sitting meditation inside and also I dropped my habit of daily walks outside. Now I am doing daily sungazing and also walking with the dogs in the forest and I feel the same kind of stirrings returning. Everything outside just seems so alive, and I want to immerse myself in it as much as possible.
But not all has been such a beautiful experience. After doing the practice for 3 months then I had a strong reaction in my eyes, where they got very red and dry, and my vision became cloudy. At that point I had to stop because it became painful to look at the sun. So then I waited 3 weeks for my eyes to clear and started again. The same thing happened again. At the time I cried, because I really wanted to continue and was disappointed that I had this kind of reaction. I felt like I would not be able to continue again. But not wanting to give up, I then made the decision to wait until my eyes were completely healed and cleared of all symptoms and then I would have another go at it. This took another month. But then another month passed and I kept thinking about going back to sungazing but there wasn’t enough motivation to do so. But then I heard positive results from a friend of mine who is doing this and his testimonial gave me the needed inspiration to have another go at it.
Since that time, I have another 3 months of sungazing practice so now I’m near 6 months. In the last week I felt the sungazing went very good, as I had overcome a problem that I had previously with looking at the sun. Now I’m not using any filtering technique to diminish the intensity of the sun by using my hands, one eye, eye lashes, closing my eyes, tree branches or tipping my hat… By questioning and observing results, I finally came to know what it means to look without focusing and now the sungazing feels quite comfortable. For the last three days there were no clouds and I had no problem gazing at the sun for the entire period and I was feeling really good about that. But this morning, I realized that the eye symptoms had returned. My eyes felt sticky upon waking like there isn’t enough moisture. My vision seems somewhat blurred, which I think, comes from my eyes being dry. This could be the result of a healing reaction, or from overexposure to the sun or from a mental resistance. But because this is happening when I don’t feel any difficulty with sungazing, then I feel most likely it is due to overexposure. I am now quite certain that this problem results when I am increasing my gazing time too quickly. It has been my habit to increase the time weekly by one minute on Monday, regardless of what my actual gazing time was due to clouds or difficulty to look at the sun or a missed session. I think I’ve finally learned the lesson of how important it is to stick with gradual increases of 10 seconds ONLY AFTER having completing the previous amount of time. At this point I don’t really know what is the correct number of minutes that my eyes are comfortable with but what I do know is that 28 minutes is too much. I have decided to take a break until my eyes feel moist again, and then pick it up starting with a reduced number of minutes (maybe subtracting 4 minutes) and see how that goes. For me it’s hard to take a step back, but I see this is all ego and more important is that I do it within my own limitations. In the future I will keep better track of the time and to remember to keep it gradual.
This happening itself challenges me, because there is self doubt on whether I am making my decision based on fear or not. Because there are so few detailed testimonials regarding sungazing at this time, there is not enough material to consult to find out about this specific problem. So then I have to trust my own inner guidance. I see the lesson in this and decide to do just that, to simply stay alert and attentive to ‘any strong symptoms’ (mental or physical) that may indicate that I’m over doing it or pushing too fast and then be willing to back off or adjust my exposure at those times. Along with the physical reaction from my eyes, I also realized that there was a strong emotional/mental reaction going on as well. I remember feeling irritated at many things, somewhat depressed, hungry and tired and was not certain why I was feeling this way. Now it starts to make more sense that the body is reacting on many levels and if it is done too quickly then the symptoms are too strong. I can see that having strong reactions (mental, emotional and/or physical) could very well be the point when most people decide to quit doing the practice. But I think it is better to look at it more creatively, that if the reactions are getting too strong or unbearable then that is your body telling you to simply take it more slowly, to make an adjustment, not that you necessarily need to stop it.
This experience has also been valuable to highlight for me just how much value I have invested in my expectations of success and what that means to me. For sure the holding of these expectations were the source of my disappointment before when I couldn’t continue to gaze and they have reappeared again with this recurring problem. Seeing this, I have adjusted my attitude to let go of expectations (as I become aware of them) and instead just accept and relate to what shows up, step by step. Right now, I don’t see that there is any hurry to reach a goal or indeed that there is any goal. What I see is most important at this time, is relating to what presents out of this process and if I do that then I will grow by doing so.
Comment: How do we know that daily sungazing practice is what is desirable or best for everyone? Perhaps some folks only feel guided to do it once in a while, or sporadically, as needed.
I don’t see that there are many detailed testimonials out there these days on what has been people’s experience with sungazing. As I am new to this, I am not judging it as good or bad to do it one way or the other, only I am sharing my experience with it as I go. I hope that nobody takes my sharing personally. I don’t have any need to promote my own method. I have no desire to project or maintain any self-image of myself, nor want to claim that I am a sungazing professional. I have no interest in marketing myself as an expert in sungazing, positioning myself to offer my valuable advice… From my own experience, I know that in order to test drive something you need to put that new habit into place – consistently – for a minimum of three months, so that your system can adjust and also to know what, if any, benefits or changes result from it. To only do sungazing sporadically, I can compare the results to be the same as only doing a raw foods diet when one felt like it. Once a week someone could eat only raw foods and then on that day they may notice a positive feedback with more energy, better digestion, etc. And this ‘benefit’ can’t be denied, it did happen and the person is better off for it. But probably it will take you longer to realize the full benefit of eating a raw food diet, maybe up to 50 years with this type of pattern. It strikes me now how HRM answers so often to people’s modifications in their practice, that with these ‘techniques’ you will not be denied the benefits – just your progress will be slower. Ah, the truth speaks loud and clear!
Comment: Only an individual can know what they need at that time, and that is perfect.
Hahaha! If this were true about my stubborn human personality and it’s rigidness and it’s tendency to cling to everything to keep some sense of stability and never question anything I’m doing, then I would agree. If I only listened to my personality then I would never have left the SAD diet. I never would have meditated, I never would have sungazed, I would never move or change jobs… The truth is that the ‘I’ prefers to keeps things exactly how they are because this confirms oneself. Anything that threatens to upset this stability is NOT wanted. ALWAYS I have to go beyond myself and my old ways to adopt something new or make a change in myself. The advice you offer here is perfectly complacent for those who really don’t want to make a change, to keep one in dependency of one’s old structure and habits… Great!
Comment: Given the guidelines above, I have never yet met or been in contact with anyone, who has ever quit sungazing, once started. Yes, they may only return to it occasionally, or as guided internally, or perhaps only when they confront a serious illness or problem.
This would be the same as saying: ‘I’ve been eating raw foods for 15 years and I’m a raw food expert and would you like to know my method? I eat raw foods only when I feel like it, I find once a month is enough, or whenever I feel the need for a boost in energy or when my immune system feels depressed…’ All joking aside, this brings up a question: Does eating a raw food diet once a month have cumulative benefits to the system? Does sungazing
once a month have cumulative benefits to the system? Where are benefits ‘stored’, if not in the body cells then where? Is it that the long term benefit from either practice comes by denying the habitual response of the personality and by doing so, one goes beyond oneself, and this is like reducing the power of one’s personality and it’s tendency to cling just a little bit more? Yes, I think this is very close to the answer because I saw something this morning sungazing. It was beautiful day to sungaze today and I am now at 29 minutes. Ever since around 25 minutes I have been having difficulties. A couple of times today there were brief moments when I thought the sun was too strong and I should stop for the day. (Recurring problem…) I then realized that the only way I could continue to sungaze at this amount of time would be if I took a step beyond myself. I had to let go of everything, all my thinking, beliefs, fears, and just focus to the sun and let go of everything else. So this I did and then it came to me that this is why it’s so easy to stop, because when doing the practice there will be personal reactions from the system, and then at these intervals one is confronted to make a choice. The choice being to confront the hurdle – the personality reacting – question it and go beyond it, to let it go to the past. I can see the same parallels when one goes onto a raw food diet, that to stick with it over a longer period of time one must go beyond oneself.
Okay, so daily sungazing is not for everyone, but I see that it only has to be done one time in one’s life: daily, gradually and continuously for 9 consecutive months (HRM method) and then after that most likely you’ll be sufficiently cooked!
Comment: Did you already consider that your problems could be related to your diet?
Thanks for your practical advise… I realized later that this could very well be the reason I had my problem with my eyes getting dry. I realize that I am quite dehydrated not drinking near enough fluids and also my diet these days is not very good. I see that ‘this answer’ confronts myself in another way, in that in order to continue there are all kinds of things coming up that I have to address. ‘I’ would prefer to give the reason for my problem to some unique factor or physical aspect of myself, that just doesn’t allow me to do this practice and then opt out. But when I look more near I see that the reaction itself, asks that I look behind to find out the reason why I’m having it and then the next step is that I have to make a change in myself or adapt according to that unwanted reaction that is presenting – gasp!
Even when I wrote what I did and was somehow looking for an answer by doing so, I bypassed what came back from my question not really being open to see this answer, because it didn’t confirm that which I wanted to hear. From my experience so far with this, I realize more that all these reactions showing up: physical, mental and emotional, must all be related to if I want to continue. To not relate to them is for me to stop or to escape. In June when I had this same eye problem then I took a break from sungazing for 3 months. I now see that it would have been better if I would have stood outside, getting up early with the rising sun and to just stand there with my eyes closed during my remission, versus the complete stop that I made. Because I made this ‘I can’t do it’ type of decision, then it took me far away and maybe I would never have went back to it. So I see the wisdom now in the advice that even when there isn’t sun you gaze at the clouds and I would add: even if you have a physical reaction in your eyes (or other reaction) and need time to recover then still do the sun gazing, everything except looking at the sun, until you feel ready to do so. By being outside and in front of the sun, even if you’re not looking at it you are prepared to start up again exactly when you’re ready to do so.
And later HRM responded : ‘Water is the best antioxidant and if you take .5 ounces of water for every pound of your weight all your problems will be settled. If you are weighing 100 pounds than you must drink 50 ounces of water spread out over the whole day. Then there will not be dryness of your eyes.
Needless to say I’m drinking more water…
November 18, 2003
Today is the third day in a row where there are clouds, rain, cold and wind. On the previous two days I skipped the sungazing, even though I have written before about the importance of establishing a habit. So today when there was not sunshine at sunrise, I easily decided not to sungaze but instead to do a sitting meditation. The thoughts about being inside where it was nice and warm were inviting… But soon other thoughts came in – that the winter is only cold and something to be avoided when I think it is so. It is this way because I am being resistant to reality; instead I could just accept how it is. Then came the memory of how nice I feel when I do the sungazing, simply to be out in nature and feel connected in this way. With this being the third day without sunshine, I feel like something is missing without having my daily dose of sunshine. So then I decided instead to go to my normal spot outside on top of the hill and do cloud gazing.
When I first started then I thought I would do it without taking off my shoes. Again I questioned this thought, countering it with: ‘No, the earth isn’t that cold yet, and actually it isn’t that cold when one is standing still, the earth retains the heat and so far my feet have not been cold.’ Having dealt with that, then I decided that I would do the full 30 minutes just like there was sunshine. Feeling that it would be good for me to stay consistent even if it’s cloudy. These days I find it difficult at times to even stand for that length of time without moving, so I know that just going through the motions is beneficial for me. So then I started cloud gazing, and what I shortly discovered is that cloud gazing offers it’s own challenges…There were so many clouds that I could not detect where the sun really was. There were a few bright spots but I knew they weren’t in the same place as the path of the sun. Being used to looking at an obvious focal point, I also found it difficult to just look at the clouds. My mind wandered easily and it was hard to refocus onto a certain point in the sky because it all looked uniform. I saw myself thinking at this time, that it was too difficult to sungaze without the sun, that I would do it the next day instead. Also that it was silly to do cloud gazing, as probably I was not getting any benefit out of it. I was nearly ready to stop for the day and wait for the next…
Right at that moment, I perceived a broader perspective and saw all this thinking in a different light. By giving heed to it, I was listening to what my head was telling me to do and not my heart. I was completely forgetting all the debating I did with myself earlier to even come to this point to be standing outside. I had completely forgot all the good reasons why I wanted to do this in the first place. I could see that I was being very persistent to come up with reasons to not do what I had determined before would be good for me! So why was that? Then I realized it was because there was a conflict. I could either engage in the story world going on in my head or do the practice, but I couldn’t do both at the same time. Listening to what was going on in my head was not only a big threat to opt out of doing the practice, but also that I wasn’t engaged in sungazing while busy with this illusionary world very vividly and I saw what kind of decision I was being asked to make in order to continue. Today I saw starkly the conflict going on, but also I realize that I have reached a turning point – that if I want to continue with sungazing then I will have to surrender…
I am at 32 minutes sungazing (6.5 months) and still I find it challenging. As time goes by, the expectations and fears I’m holding about this become more clear to me. I see that I have the expectation that sungazing will get more easy as time goes by, that I will just sink into it and then because it doesn’t I feel disappointed. This feeling of disappointment then starts a chain reaction of thoughts of failed expectations, taking me into the future and out of the present. The other day I even calculated how many minutes more that I have left: 50 hours, which at this moment seems daunting to say the least.
At this time, nearly every day there arrives the moment when I find it difficult to look at the sun because it feels too bright and if that doesn’t happen then I’m feeling some bodily discomfort or I get both at once. When I let these sensations overtake me, then I find I’m looking at my timer to see how much time is left. Many times when I’m ready to call it quits I’ll look at the timer and see that there is consistently one minute left. I suppose this has to do with the gradual increase of gazing time, of what my system is growing accustomed to doing?
This is my experience right now, and I have been observing it as I go along. For most of the practice I have been looking at the sun directly for the full time, but there have been a series of intervals at certain points, away from being able to look directly. Early on when I had problems looking at the sun and was looking for advice, then someone told me that I was looking directly at the sun with too much intensity or focus and this was why my eyes were getting irritated and red. Looking back at that time, I think there were two reasons why I was having problems. The first was that I was staring at the sun even when it felt that my eyes hurt, because I wanted to do it so bad. In a way I was fighting with myself and causing resistance which most likely added to the symptoms. The other aspect was that I was not drinking enough fluids and so my eyes got dry. So then I took a break to rest my eyes. In the meantime I asked people why this could have happened. Someone told me that I shouldn’t look directly at the sun, but rather I should look at a spot a little to the side or below it.
This first suggestion I did for quite some time, to not look directly at the sun but to the side. At first I was so far to the side of the sun, that I realized that I wasn’t getting much benefit out of sungazing. So then each day I moved my gaze closer until I was directly looking at the sun again. Eventually the problem returned that the sun became too bright for me to look at. Not ready to give up and also not wanting to repeat my past experience, I asked some more questions. This time I found out that I should look at the sun, but in a relaxed way. As I understood it I was to gaze at the sun, but not focus on it, instead my focus or gaze should be turned inward – like staring blankly at a TV set. Up to now this has worked for me, but in the last few weeks the struggle reappears. With hindsight I notice that each time it is a little different even if the outside symptom may appear to be the same thing.
For this particular episode, when the sun has felt too bright I have experimented with different techniques and have observed the results. I discovered recently that if I continue to look at the sun but do some bodily diversion, then the sensation of brightness goes away. Proving to myself, beyond a doubt, that the sun isn’t too bright unless ‘I think’ it is too bright. This isn’t to say that at times it is in actuality really too bright, which could be the case beyond my normal gaze time or when the sun is higher in the sky. What I’m talking about is a sensation of brightness that occurs within my normal gazing time. (This raises other questions: How to know what is reality? How can I know if the sun is really too bright, or if it’s my thinking that’s telling me that the sun is too bright? What comes before the sensation that the sun is too bright? Is it a chain-reaction, caused because of some fear or expectation I’m mulling over? Can I find out what is reality by dropping my thoughts?)
At the moment when the sun felt too bright and I felt like I couldn’t continue on with it, I started moving my toes and at the same time I kept my gaze riveted on the sun. I saw the sensation disappear in an instant, from too bright to just right, without any change in my solar exposure. (If anything the sun gets stronger with passing time as I’m doing my sungazing at sunrise.) So then I experimented with this some more. I realized that it had much to do with my inside focus. When I moved my toes in circles, then this ‘thinking focus’ completely removed any possibility of my being able to have the same sensation that the sun was too bright, and also getting caught up in my thoughts in a reactive circular way. I also found out that this was the case when I was ‘lost in my thoughts’ or having an inner dialogue with myself. I noticed that the sun was only too bright when I was thinking that it was too bright. At the time I was quite amazed by this little insight. That all of my experience or perception had to do with my inside focus, of what I was concentrating on. Then I felt elated, I would look at the sun and if at any moment those thoughts returned of the sun being too bright, then I would do a little exercise to settle those thoughts. This worked over and over again. I could gaze easily at the sun as long as I kept my thoughts busy in another direction.
But then in the last few times it has been nagging at me that this little trick may work, but there is something I’m avoiding by using it. I can see that what I need to do now is to simply gaze at the sun without using any aides what-so-ever: no exercises, no hat tipping, no shifting of my weight, no looking to the side, no day-dreaming, etc. It’s like all this time so far, I can see that I’ve been trading techniques to be able to continue. Looking back it appears a natural progression and I don’t feel like I would have had another path to come to where I’m at today if I had to do it all over again. All this time of practice, I see that I am getting nearer to be able to gaze at the sun in comfort. But now I see that the challenge that confronts me is that I have to dispose of all of these techniques. The challenge is to drop or let go of my thoughts, NOT to redirect them. For now I will continue and confront this challenge and see what happens. I suspect I’ll be switching back and forth still using the old tricks, but now that I’m aware of what is behind this, I can observe and see if I can find an answer to the new questions.
When I ask myself what can I take from my experience with sungazing to date? What comes to me is to keep it simple, relax, don’t complicate it and don’t be so clever. Just gaze at the sun and don’t do anything else. Relate to that which comes to you through this simple process versus finding ways to escape from confronting that which comes up.
I don’t give up so easily, but maybe this time I will have to…
December 14, 2003
When I reached 35 minutes of sungazing, I found that I was struggling to finish the last 10 minutes and then made the decision to stay at 35 minutes until the entire session felt comfortable. Making this decision felt good, that it came out of my own observation and I didn’t need to ask anybody if it was right or not. No pressure, no concerns, just a logical way to proceed and observe. Having made the decision, I relaxed more, dropping any concern about not being able to continue to the end. As it turned out I only stayed at 35 minutes for one week longer. During this interval I noticed how my emotional body determines my experience even more than my thoughts. I know thoughts and emotions are closely linked to each other, but I had never observed so closely how my feelings were creating a tension in my body, causing a reactive cycle. During my usual episodes of feeling the sun is too bright to continue to look at it, I observed more closely to see what was going on behind my reaction. I realized that old feeling patterns of failure and of inadequacy were driving it. Realizing this, I found out that by simply relaxing my physical body it would calm the emotional reaction I was having. This was different than thinking I could stop my thoughts! By focusing on my breathing and by not giving any heed to the emotions I found I could calm the effect that I was happening. Then I realized that one’s emotional state often is the determining factor in what one experiences as one’s reality. I saw that when I started sungazing some mornings, if I got up late and didn’t have some stretching time before or time for a juice, but rather rushed to do it, then I was agitated inside. As the sungazing progressed I noticed that the agitation got less and less as the gaze time went by. I also noticed that if I wasn’t aware about the agitation and left it go without dealing with it, then the sungazing session was difficult. I would be looking at the time and just hoping that it would get over soon, wondering how I could continue because the sun was so bright. Knowing this now, I watch more closely the whole emotional response going on inside of myself, and realize I can just be aware of it and when needed focus on my breath to calm it down. When I’m engaged in this process of active observation and not getting all caught up in the sideshow, then I can easily maintain a calm relaxed state and just gaze at the sun. More and more I am sinking into just looking at the sun and the time goes by quickly. A few weeks ago I didn’t think it would ever be possible that I could just relax and look at the sun – but now what I thought was impossible is possible.
I think the EFT I’m practicing daily has helped me to notice my emotions and learn about them. Through this practice it becomes more clear what it the root cause of emotional reactions. Recently it occurred to me to use the EFT and aim it at a strong emotional reaction I was having at the time it was happening. Sun meditation practice gives a good opportunity for this, because one is more aware of one’s thoughts and feelings. When I started doing this, insights were coming to me about why I was having that emotional reaction and also how often I was having these kinds of internal flare-ups. I then realized that I could use the EFT whenever I was feeling something strong and just try to observe and see what was behind it. I saw behind nearly every reactive cycle the same reason: I don’t love myself unconditionally or I don’t love others unconditionally. There are so many conditions, and when what I experience on the outside doesn’t meet ‘my conditions’ – which is nearly all the time – then I’m emotionally rocked. I realize I don’t have to cling to these emotional reactions, I can use EFT or breath them away, as they arise. I see that it comes down to a choice to feel myself in this way or not. I’m finding that I don’t like feeling myself in this way anymore and am more than willing these days to kiss it goodbye whenever it arises.
Now I’m at 38 minutes and next week I start at 39. Today I slept in as I was up late on the computer and started an hour later. I found that I had no problem doing the full amount of time at a much stronger sun that I’m used to. That was a milestone. I also started a fast on the first of January and had initially intended to only go 10 days with it. Then later I heard about 30 days and had never before considered doing a fast of that duration. I did some research and the more I read about it, I convinced myself that I should give it a try to get a deep cleanse of my body. So I am fasting. Then I think that I could also fast through February and then maybe I won’t need or want to eat again when I reach the full 44 minutes.
But at this time it doesn’t look possible…
January 17, 2004
I finished the 44 minutes of Sungazing! It took me one year to do it, with a 3 month break in the middle, but I am glad to have accomplished it. At the end it was very easy to do the sungazing, and I continued on for many months after, just enjoying the long gazing time. My body would energize just from doing it, so this is why I continued with it. Over the years, I have continued to sungaze when I feel like it and also like to do energy healing sessions sitting in my chair soaking up sunshine in the early morning hours.
In Early 2006 I experienced a full blown kundalini awakening and have been going through an entire remake of my body which is called: kundalini transformation. I have found a few others who have experienced this phenomena in this intensity and both of them did sungazing and also reiki healing. It was after I started with the self-healing using reiki and acupressure treatments that my energy started to rise significantly. (See my Quicken Touch article for information about my technique.)
As of 2009 my eyes start to improve, first it has been with my long range vision. I start to notice a slight improvement in the close up vision, so I fully expect to have that completely restored as well. This is appears to be happening due to expansion of the nervous system and increase in my body vibration and awareness level. I notice most healing happens while in the meditation state. Because of this I think one of the most important aspects of sungazing and why it works to raise people’s awareness, is it’s a strong standing meditation. Not only do you soak up sun energy, but you are also standing which is strongest position of spine energy, because your spine is like a lightening rod when upright, channeling energy between earth and the sun. Also sungazing has single meditation focal point of gazing at the sun. Too often people don’t get a benefit out of meditation because they get lost in the tricks of the mind. By simplifying to simple focal point of sun gazing, the instructions cannot be misunderstood. In order to complete the process or go further, you simply have to learn how to let go and that’s the genius of this technique. When the mind is quiet, then healing happens.
Back to the Past, right after finishing sungazing: What I can tell you about my vision is that it didn’t get better. It got worse, but I think not more than what is normal with loss of eyesight for reading close up. For sure, I have to move the book a little further away from my nose to be able to read the small print than I did a year ago when I started sungazing. I can’t detect any difference in my long range vision, it still seems to be 20/20 or better. I was hoping that the Sungazing would correct my close up vision, but it hasn’t. I would still like to try something to improve my close up vision, so I investigated and found out about other techniques to help with vision improvement. These I will try soon and report about them at a later time.
Vision Improvement Resources: