For today’s meditation, I offer to you a gazing meditation. This practice consists of staring deeply and intentionally at a design, pattern, or image, such as a mandala, a flower, or a scenic landscape. This style of meditation can also be practiced with a crystal ball or the flame of a candle or fire. However, exercise caution if using fire as a focal point.
There will be no video for today’s practice.
Here are your instructions:
- Begin by finding an image or object that you will be gazing at. I suggest something beyond a computer screen or phone, even if this leaves you only with the option of staring out your window, watching traffic. I have a lovely mandala tapestry that I gaze at, or I opt for gazing at my collection of crystals or house-plants.
- Settle into a comfortable, seated position with the object of your practice in front of you. Use blocks, pillows, blankets, or a bolster to help support you in your seat. Make sure your head and neck feel strong during this practice; don’t crank or strain the neck unnecessarily.
- Set a timer for your practice. If you’re short for time, or maybe you have sensitive eyes, I’d recommend starting with 5 minutes. However, you can sit and gaze anywhere from 5-15 minutes, or even longer! If you really enjoy this exercise, then all the power to you!
- Take a moment to “check in” with yourself. Notice your breath, the way it moves through your body. Observe the mind and the heart, noticing whatever thoughts or emotions are currently active or arising within you. Don’t seek to change the experience; seek only to observe what is happening with judgement. This mindfulness exercise that you learned earlier in the challenge is a wonderful start to any meditative moment.
- After taking your inventory, turn your focus to your gazing object. This is not so much an analysis of the object as it is simply an observation of the object. Without seeking to identify what the gazing object is, just…. allow it to be and notice what is happening. What sort of experience does the object inspire within you?
- If you feel the need to blink at any point, experience a headache, or if your eyes get tired, sore, or dry, please just give them a break! Don’t hurt yourself during this exercise. Honor your body!
- Focus on the object until your timer goes off. Afterward, close your eyes, allowing your gaze to relax. Pause here, settling into that place of internal stillness. After a few final breaths, open your eyes and return to your day!
I hope you enjoy this meditation practice!
Thank you for continuing to take part in the Month of Mindfulness challenge!