Communication is something that occurs on many levels. Most frequently, we think of communication as being a two-part exchange. There is the receptive communication of listening, and the active communication of speaking. Yet we intuitively know that communication goes far beyond what we do with our ears and mouths. Communication occurs on many levels, the majority of which are nonverbal.
Soul Gazing helps exercise one of these nonverbal communication channels, by opening up an energy connection between your eyes and the eyes of your partner. Eye contact, particularly when it is prolonged and intimate, can be very challenging. As with many challenges, however, the payoff to fully submersing oneself in the exercise can produce profound results for both participants.
Purpose of the Exercise
The Soul Gazing exercise in Tantra is a method of communicating with your lover that is completely nonverbal. As such, it may open new doors to intimacy in your relationship that were previously unexplored. Use this exercise to communicate on a deeper level with your partner, and to awaken new lines of exchange. Soul Gazing harmonizes the energy of both partners, creating an open heart space where deeper intimacy may be achieved.
Soul Gazing can be difficult for some, because people are usually shy about looking directly into another person’s eyes for any length of time. Glances are exchanged for only a few moments. When another person looks at us intently for any period of time, it may feel like an intrusion, and we may label it a “stare” rather than a friendly “gaze.” The eyes are often called “the windows of the soul.” Through the eyes you may see your partner’s hidden emotions, perhaps even thoughts or emotions that remain hidden from your partner.
In this exercise, you may feel uncomfortable, confronted, exposed and even afraid. You may judge yourself or your partner in your thoughts. You may feel difficult emotions. Resist the urge to look away when confronted with these thoughts and emotions. Observe these thoughts and emotions if they arise. Feel your feelings during the exercise. Allow your thoughts and emotions to pass, as they certainly will, until they give way to an inner peacefulness and calm.
Preparing the Exercise
Create a Sacred Space
Prepare a space for the exercise. This is one of the keys of Tantra. Before any Tantric exercise, always prepare a space that will enhance and expand the exercise.
Your space should be clean and tidy. Remove any objects that are not in there proper place, and put them away. Pick up any trash. Vacuum the carpet. Put the laundry into the laundry room. Clear your space.
Adorn your space with objects and art that hold a sacred meaning for you and your lover. These may anything from flowers to pictures of your children and family, or even personal mementos you purchased on a romantic getaway. Place these objects of personal significance around your sacred space.
Supply some form of natural lighting. Candles are a favorite of many couples, as is a fireplace. You might also consider oil lamps, or simply draping a decorative silk scarf over a lampshade.
Sound is an important element in creating a sacred space. Soft and romantic music can be uplifting. A small fountain may supply the gentle sound of bubbling water. Wind chimes hanging next to an open window can provide a delicate sound.
Scent can be equally moving. Incense and oils can create a subtle scent for your sacred space. Many aromatherapy stores have oils in spray mist bottles. A few sprays of fine mist can add a beautiful scent to your atmosphere. Favorite erotic scents include mint, eucalyptus, lemon, ylang-ylang, patchouli, sandalwood and vanilla.
Make your sacred space comfortable. If the floor is uncomfortable, put down a rug or carpet. Place pillows of various shapes and sizes around your sacred space. Make certain the room temperature is neither too hot nor too cold.
Do not rush into the Soul Gazing exercise. Take time beforehand to unwind from your day. Relax with a warm drink or a good book. Take the time to let the emotions, thoughts and actions of the day melt away before diving in.
The Soul Gazing Exercise
With your partner, take a minute to stretch and relax your bodies. Especially focus on your spine, neck and head. Contract and relax the muscles around these areas. Wiggle your jaw back and forth and side to side. Allow the muscles to become fully relaxed and fluid. Before you sit, say the sacred greeting “namaste,” which is Sanskrit for “the divine within me honors the divine within you.”
Sit down with your partner, either on the floor or on the bed. Sit facing each other, either kneeling or cross-legged. If you are sitting cross-legged, place a thick pillow under yourself to support your spine. You may also wish to sit in chairs facing each other.
Touch each other lightly in a way that is pleasing to both of you. You may want to hold hands, or simply allow your hand to rest on your partner’s knee. To create an energy circuit with your hands, place your left palm up and right palm down, and join hands with your partner’s palms touching yours.
Close your eyes, and begin to focus on your breathing. Allow yourself to breathe deeply, with a long inhale and a long exhale. Look within yourself. Feel your feelings and listen to your thoughts. Notice any physical tension or feelings you may have. Experience each of these in their fullness. Acknowledge and accept each of these, but do not be distracted from your breath. Continue to breathe deeply.
When you feel these thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations begin to ebb, send a signal to your partner. Keep your eyes closed, but lightly squeeze your partner’s hand, or brush her shoulder to let her know that you have reached a place of stillness and are ready to begin the Soul Gazing. Wait for her response to your signal. She should respond in a similar manner. When she does, both partners open your eyes slowly.
Open your eyes slowly, and allow them to focus on your partner. Look into the left eye of your partner. In Eastern tradition, the left eye is considered the feminine or receptive eye. Gazing into the left eye allows each partner to let the energy in, and to be in a receptive mode.
Direct your complete attention to your gaze. Allow all distractions to melt away. Continue to breathe deeply. Be drawn into the present moment, where all thoughts of past and future melt away. See how it feels to be intimately connected with another while staying aware of your breathing, and centered in yourself. Let your eyes truly be the windows of your soul.
The stillness of your gaze will gradually quiet your mind. In this quiet moment of stillness, you cease to identify with your body, mind, thoughts and become aware of the observing, centered self that quietly, dispassionately watches all you do.
Here, beyond the concerns of your ego, you may also witness your partner beyond the concerns of her ego. For the man, see in the eyes of your partner the universal female. See in her the manifestation of the divine feminine goddess on earth. For the woman, see in the eyes of your partner the universal male. See in him the manifestation of the divine masculine god on earth.
Notice the rhythm of your breath and that of your partner. Begin to synchronize your breathing until you are inhaling and exhaling together. Let your breath be subtle, but charged with the energy of your life force, and the energy of this moment of intimacy.
Continue the Soul Gazing exercise for five minutes or so. When the time has expired, again say “namaste” to your partner. Enjoy the feeling of honoring your partner, and the intimacy you have just shared.