Are you aware when you make eye contact with someone? Do you really see that person? If it is a stranger, perhaps the cashier at a grocery store or restaurant, do you notice the color of their eyes? Are you aware of their Inner Being or just their outward appearance?
We’ve all heard it said that the eyes are the windows to the soul. It is true. In yoga we do eye gazing as part of our practice. For many people it is extremely uncomfortable. For some, it is an opportunity to connect with another without words. You simply soften your face, your eyes and your gaze and look, without interruption, into that person’s eyes.
As you stand or sit across from each other in silence, barriers begin to fade and a gentle awareness arises. This is a soul manifesting in a body. This is a Being seeing you through the portals we call eyes. You become aware of your own eyes as portals. You feel the Being, the soul that you are, seeing through the portals of your own eyes. The two of you are allowing your True Selves to see and to be seen.
Mindful eye contact or eye gazing done in a group or with a loved one prepares us for those momentary opportunities to look into the eyes of a stranger in a way that lets them know they have been seen. Once on a very busy day, I looked softly into the eyes of a cashier and simply said, “Good morning, Susan.” Yes, I had read her name tag. Because I said her name, she looked at my face and then into my eyes which, of course, were softly focused on hers. She whispered, “You are the first person since I was hired here to actually say my name!” She stood a little taller and smiled at the customer behind me as I left.
Oh, how we all need to be seen, to hear our names spoken with respect, to know that we are not invisible.
There were several effects of this type of mindful interaction that were a surprise for me when I first began to practice with others. When I look softly into the eyes of another person and have the intention of seeing the Being inhabiting that body, I am incapable of doing that person harm in my behavior or my thoughts. I see myself in their eyes as well. I cannot look into your soul without connecting with my own. When I allow myself to see you, I see myself as well and the love that wells up within me is for both of us. In the moment I experience this depth of connection, I know the Oneness that We Are. I cannot harm you without harming myself. Feeling love and compassion for you is feeling it toward myself because everything that touches you also touches me.
In the Oneness of All That Is, We Are.