Looking into someone’s eyes is as real as it gets. If you’ve ever been in deep love, staring into your partner’s eyes can be one of the most profound and genuine experiences. Likewise, a teacher or guru’s gleaming eye contact has the potential to communicate heartfelt devotion from across a room.
There are many examples of sayings and proverbs that refer to the eyes as the seat of sincerity:
The eyes have it.
The eyes are the windows to the soul.
Seeing eyeto eye.
The eyes don’t lie.
So it seems that our eyes mirror our truth. On the contrary, what happens when we find it hard to be honest? Don’t we tend to avert our gaze? Or, how about those times when we try to pull the wool over someone’s eyes? Or, turn a blind eye?
Throughout our lives we are subjected to impressions of who we think we should be. We absorb these distorted beliefs and allow them to influence us. A lot of times we even define ourselves by them. Why do we do this?
Because our minds are quick. They receive stimuli and respond immediately. When we instantly react to situations, we are functioning on a purely emotional level. Usually these responses come from a place of fear or conditioning – from sources that are generated outside ourselves. In order to recognize the truth of who we are, we need to provide time and space for inner reflection.
So, when a feeling rushes in, take a moment to observe what has come into your mind. Is this thought really accurate? Is it who you are? This is the first step toward connecting with your authentic spirit.
To gain space for true perception, you’ll need to release those random thought patterns. The ones that spring out of emotion-based thinking. A simple way to remove “mind banter” is to use the technique called Neti, Neti, Neti.
Sit quietly and focus on the space between your eyebrows. Attempt to clear your mind. This will be a challenge as thoughts will definitely arise. When they do, silently chant the words: Neti, Neti Neti.
The first Neti means “I am not this thought”, the second Neti signifies, “I am not this thought that is thinking I am not this thought” and the last Neti points out that, “I am not thought at all.”
Practicing the method on a regular basis will give your mind the opportunity to empty. Clear space will then enable new thoughts to arise, thoughts that give way to the true You that is within.
If you’d like to begin building a steady meditation practice, join me on my July Challenge.
The fifth chakra Vissuddha focuses on the area of the throat – the place for communicating your truth.
To look further at communication, we can consider the ethical quality of the yama known as truthfulness. The yamas (and niyamas) are the first step in the 8-fold path that is yoga. As a moral principle, truthfulness or satya, as it is called in Sanskrit, asks us to convey truth responsibly. Like the other yamas, we should consider truthfulness in thought, speech and action. That includes the manner in which we listen. To be true and clear in communication is to really hear what someone is saying.
To draw out your truthfulness or balance your throat chakra, try some of the following techniques:
Sing, dance or read poetry out loud – express yourself with one of these creative methods
Write – although it’s not the spoken word, it is an act of communication
Try Chamomile tea or essential oil – a natural remedy for sore throats, its relaxing effects release tension
Meditate or marinate under the clear blue sky – blue is the color of this chakra
Ask for what you want
…we should progressively embrace what is real for us, so that we may find health and harmony. As you go deeper into yoga, remember that you are doing this study in order to remember yourself, to come home to all of you… – Rolf Gates