Healing through our eyes
Outward vision…inward awareness
We build our lives based on the verbal and non-verbal experiences ingathered in each moment. Through behaviors, responses, and patterns of repetition, we craft our perception of reality. As the Buddha said, “All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we create the world.”
When we repeat and reinforce positive images, chemicals are released that heal and soothe us allowing our body AND our mind to heal in the moment. And there is this sweet halo effect that keeps the positive energy flowing through every cell in our bodymind.
Here’s how it works. Let’s say you are watching a feel good movie – the couple makes up and lives happily-ever-after; or Babe – the pig makes your heart sing; or beautiful images of nature take your breath away. In those moments, your emotions generate feelings that turn into physical sensations. In these instances you receive positive suggestions through your eyes that produce emotions of happiness, lightness, expansion, and fulfillment, which turn into the physical act of smiling and the nourishing sensations of comfort.
Visual meditation uses positive images to produce positive emotions that manifest into positive physical sensations in our body. When we practice visual meditations, our sex hormone, our growth hormone (DHEA), and oxytocin (our feel good chemical) surge into our body – and your stress hormones (adrenalin, cortisol, glucagon) get suppressed. Even your immune system is boosted!!
The reverse happens when you repeat and reinforce negative images. Duh. Watch a horror movie or a painful image, and you suppress all those nurturing hormones and instead – chemicals are released that induce fear and anxiety – pushing us further away from healing. When we have the emotion of fear – EVEN FROM A MOVIE, A TV SHOW, OR A PHOTO…the flow of adrenaline trickles begins and we kick into the emotional version of fight-flight stress response. Yes! Even from a picture.
Where attention goes, energy flows and wherever your thoughts go, there is a body chemical reaction. Your hypothalamus – the emotional command center of your brain – turns your emotions into physical responses controlling your stress responses, appetite, sleep patterns, blood sugar levels, body temperature, food and water intake, immune system, adrenal and pituitary glands, heart, lung, digestive and circulatory systems.
The two sides of our brain respond differently to the world around us: the left side of our brain deals with life logically and with reason. The right side of our brain deals with life in a creative and heart-based way totally oblivious to logic, math, or science.
The right side of the brain automatically steers you to your goal. It totally accepts what you want to accomplish without giving an opinion and acts upon it without judgement. That is why visualization targets the right, creative side of the brain and not the left, logical side.
Each day ask yourself questions and then question your thoughts and feelings. Become aware of yourself and of all that you see around you.
Here are some examples of questions to ask yourself:
How often are you aware of your sense of sight?
Are any feelings triggered?
Are there memories associated with these sights?
How often do you experience positive sights?
How often do you experience negative sights?
How often do you catch sight of yourself?
What do you look like, and what do you see when you see yourself?
What do you see when you close your eyes?
Experiment with writing down your thoughts and feelings and see how acute your sense of sight develops when placed in your awareness.
A picture is worth a thousand words.
On page 67 of Secrets of Meditation, I explore the practice of visual meditations – specifically drishti meditation.
The practice of Drishti is a gazing technique that develops concentration and teaches awareness. With our eyelids half closed, we focus on an object of our attention and gaze outward while bringing awareness inward – essentially, outward vision and inward awareness. You can experiment with objects such as a candle’s flame, night time stargazing, cloud drifting, water, or flowers in your garden.
This principle is core to the exploration of the five realms. We can apply this outward vision and inward awareness to our development on a physical, emotional, material, relationship, and spiritual realm, For example: the fusion of the inner and the outer can apply to values, business decisions, matters of the heart, and even the union between ourself and others.
Join me in Tulum, Mexico this winter (summer if you live in Oz) for a deep exploration of these five realms and how you can take your life to the next level.
Now, open wide and enjoy with awareness the many wonders that await you! Peace – davidji