When I mention the technique of Sun-Gazing to people they tend to look at my face a bit puzzled, so was I when I first heard to heal my shoulder by gazing at the Sun in the evening.
I had to repeat out loud what I had just heard: “ you want me to look at the sun to heal my blocked shoulder? is that right?”
Yes, that was it, and No that was not it, but Sun-Gazing was part of it.
A few seconds after hearing the news, my brain started to search madly through all the memories I had stored in my 42 years of life. Was I ever told to cure anything by looking at the Sun??…. For a moment everything stopped in my brain. Suddenly I hear a voice in my head…it’s my mother’s yelling at me to get back inside and stop looking at the sun or I’ll get blind! WOW Sun = blind, that was the link I had in my head!
That was in Sicily about 35 years earlier, it was 2PM in the afternoon and I was waiting for my dad to come home from work and have lunch and I got stuck looking at the Sun. I still remember the perfect round shape of the sun, it was so yellow and I could see an aura around it moving and dancing, and the more I looked at it the whiter it got…until I got back inside and was completely unable to see anything for a good 10 minutes.
So…that was the only memory I had in my head that looking at the sun, definitely was something NOT to be repeated!
How was I going to react to the new treatment that I was given?
I tried it for a couple of days, but the weather was not that good, or I was coming back home too late to climb on the terrace to gaze the Sun…I found it a bit boring I could not get the point of it. I wasn’t sure about this Sun-Gazing thing. Those days I was in India, it was 2014, and I was sharing a flat with an South African girl who was doing a panchakarma and in her long to do list there was the Sun-Gazing activity. She was very methodical, something that I could hardly be or do those days. To make a long story short, instead of looking at the Sun I looked at her to see if she would get any benefit from it. Everyday she was going to the terrace and coming back after 15 min and I would ask her “how was it? do you feel any different?” I was genuinely interested to hear. Thing is, she had quite a number of problems and during the time we shared the apartment, Sun-Gazing was not doing the magic for her, or at least this is what I thought, so that was enough evidence for me not to ever think again about Sun-Gazing.
I must admit, my research method were not the most scientific.
Today it’s 2016 and I am back to India for the 7th time I am put again in front of this topic Sun-Gazing. Considering the little attention I gave to it few years back I told myself that writing this post was the perfect occasion to, at least, learn bit more about this ancient technique.
In fact it was practiced by Lord Mohair of Jains 2600 years AGO!! But fast forwarding time and history, in 1962 Mother Mira from Pondicherry Ashram suggested HRM (Hira Ratan Manek) to investigate the benefits of Sun- Gazing and sharing the knowledge gathered with the world.
HRM was born in Kerala in 1937 and worked ad a Mechanical Engineer until his retirement. In early sixties he studied and practiced Sun-Gazing for over 3 years. HRM pushed the use of Sun-Gazing to the point that he has spent very long stretches of time without eating anything but only Sun-Gazing and drinking water. He has done this experiment under the supervision of many institutes of health both in India and in the US to actually understand the effect of this so ancient technique.
So how does it work?
First of all the body is not considered in its separate organs and parts but it is considered in its entirety. So the benefit of Sun-Gazing are not limited only to a part of the body but to its wholeness, despite being very good for some specific organs and glands of the body which will be mentioned later on the text.
The method, is simple, but it must be done carefully, as there are some counter indication if not done properly. It’s known to mostly everyone how the ultraviolet Sun rays are not beneficial for the body and its skin let alone the eyes, hence the best time to gaze the Sun is in the first hour of its rise and in the last hour of its setting.
Timing is also a very important factor, it is suggested to stare at the sun starting with 10 seconds and have a relaxed attitude. Observe, blink, feel free to move your head and allow the sun to enter the eyes. The window of the body towards the sun are the eyes.
Every day it is allowed to add 10 more seconds until the maximum length of Sun-Gazing of 44 minutes.
The moment, the hour and the length of time are very important.
At the sunrise and sunset the ultra violet rays are almost in existent and not as harmful, hence the retina and the eyes are protected. By staring at the Sun its rays touch the eyes and through the eyes they reach the brain and then they are absorbed by the body and transformed in Vitamin A which, as a consequence, improves the health of the eye. There are proofs that Sun-Gazing can solve problems such as cataract, glaucoma, far sigh and near sight problems.
Studies have been carried on to show that increase of vitamin D could even prevent the development of Diabetes type 1. A particular experiment done in Finland showed an increase of diabetes type 1 from 1964 to 2010. The study looks at many variables that might show that the lack of vitamin D is one of the major cause of developing Diabetes type 1. If you are interested in watching the 48 minutes video that explains the study please click this link (https://youtu.be/wTtmvMvgfl0)
Some other positive effects of this practice are:
The brain receives the benefit of the sun through the optic nerves and it reaches directly the Pineal Gland.
The Pineal Gland (also called the pineal body, epiphysis cerebri, epiphysis or the "third eye") is a small endocrine gland. It produces melatonin, a hormone that affects the modulation of wake/sleep patterns and photo periodic (seasonal) functions. It is located near to the centre of the brain between the two hemispheres, tucked in a groove where the two rounded thalamic bodies join. Unlike much of the rest of the brain, the pineal gland is not isolated from the body by the blood-brain barrier system. It is reddish-gray and about the size of a pea (8 mm in humans).
Moreover, Sun-Gazing Enhances the production of melatonin and serotonin. Bombarded by fluoride, toxins and electromagnetic pollution, the pineal gland shrinks and calcifies as we age - compromising melatonin and serotonin production. Sun-Gazing has been shown to enlarge the gland. Brain scans of a long-term, 70-year-old practitioner revealed a pineal gland three times the size of an average man.
In the study done on HRM his pineal gland was expanding and not shrinking which is typically what happens after mid fifties and its maximum average size is about 6 x 6 mm, however for HRM, it has been measured to be at 8 x 11 mm (http://solarhealing.com/about/)
Sun-Gazing also increase the energy in the body - Sun-Gazers report heightened vitality, Dr. Group believes this is due to the release of melatonin and serotonin.
Other benefits of Sun-Gazing are listed below.
Not very sure what they mean by increased human potential but this is what the collective evolution webpage reports on Sun-Gazing. (http://www.collective-evolution.com/2014/07/10/sun-gazing-why-you-should-be-doing-it/)
So, no doubt that this practice has scored high on benefits, but are there any downside?
There is a lot of controversy out there on this topic. The very scientific brainy based people, would never ever agree to any claims of the benefit of Sun-Gazing (https://sciencebasedlife.wordpress.com/2011/07/22/people-stare-at-the-sun-on-purpose/) . They would disagree with the fact that at first and last hour of the day the UV rays are not dangerous, since they are still there and the UV are still present, in much less degree but still dangerous for the eyes.
At the same time, there are proofs of people that have been doing this practice long enough t have noticed improvements and are not willing to give it up.
If you are wondering how to practice Sun-Gazing in adverse weather conditions, the answer is, it depends. If it’s a cloudy day but but it is not raining the Sun-Gazing can still be done, in fact the clouds will just filter the sun ray but the effects are still there. But of course in some countries, where the weather conditions are very adverse and the hours of light are reduced then the Sun-Gazing activity might only be possible on specific seasons, such as Summer and Spring.
One of the many testimony on the subjects says:
September 17, 2012 at 5:06 am
I have been Sun-Gazing for a few months now and am up to 24.minutes and 40 seconds. Before I started, my eyes were so light sensitive that I couldn’t leave the house or drive without sunglasses. I now never wear sunglasses because my eyes love the light. I also have severe fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and PTSD along with major depression. I have no more depression now and I am overcoming the post traumatic stress disorder. My panic attacks have almost ceased altogether and I am finding myself so much more centered. The fibromyalgia is the best its been in four years. I rarely seem to be plagued with pain as I was before. I still have food allergies which sets it off sometimes and this is one reason I began Sun-Gazing to eliminate food allergies through the cessation of food intake. My eyes are better than they ever were before. I am totally addicted to the positivity that Sun-Gazing brings into your life and I would encourage anyone who can gain self mastery enough to complete this program of Sun-Gazing, to do it, it is well worth the results.
Western medicine would disagree with this practice, mostly because it's not lucrative enough, so it is down to each individual to try or not the technique of Sun-Gazing.
I believe that an open mind and and accepting behavior are necessary to feel and receive any benefits.
Approaching Sun-Gazing with a negative attitude or with prejudgments would not help.
Try and let me know how it feels, I will certainly try myself too!
#yogainmysore #atmavikasa #yogatherapyteacherstraining
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