Gazing is useful to us no matter what our current level of entry into the conscious exploration of intimacy:
1. We may still be on a solitary journey – have intended a conscious exploration into intimacy with another – but not yet received the gift of a companion from the universe with which to undertake such an exploration. Consequently, we may gaze with ourselves using a mirror.
2. We may have identified another as a possible intimacy companion, have approached them and verbally initiated our intent, and received a favorable reply. Consequently, we may suggest gazing to them as a practice to initiate an immediate deepening of our intimate exploration.
3. We may already be in the midst of a relationship with another in which we have both agreed to the necessity to awaken or reawaken intimacy between us. Consequently, we may use gazing as a means to kindle or rekindle the flame of intimacy within our shared experience.
Gazing as a practice is very simple, but like consciously connected breathing, do not let its simplicity lull you into applying it without due respect. The consequences are deeply impactful and so its application is recommended administered with a good dose of careful attention.
Once again, it is emphasized here that like the breathing technique in THE PRESENCE PROCESS, this practice moves according to its clearly stated intent. Some of you may have already gazed with another as a means to ‘clear karma’, or to ‘perceive reflections of past lives’, or any other number of its applicable intents. Like a magnifying glass, this tool exaggerates whatever its intent directs it toward. So, the label on the gazing box, just as on the consciously connected breathing box, is, ‘Handle With Care’.
Gazing, like consciously connected breathing, is not a toy.
And, just like consciously connected breathing, gazing is so simple that we may be inclined to add to or adjust the practice so that our mental body is impressed enough with what we are doing to become interested in attempting it. However, like consciously connected breathing, what we are doing is ‘nothing’. Less fiddling with it is therefore more. Through our gazing practice we are entering ‘a deliberately initiated active nothingness designed to reveal where we are resorting to mindless doings in our daily encounters with each other [or with ourselves] because we are unable to be’.
To commence the practice, we sit comfortably facing each other [or if we have no other yet to work with – then facing a mirror]. Do not be too close and do not be too far away from your companion. Experiment to ascertain what is a practical distance. The posture of our body is irrelevant other than making sure we are comfortable enough to sit without shifting for 15 minutes – and that if we are experiencing this with a companion – that our heads are at exactly at the same height. We do not want to be gazing down upon our companion, or have them gazing down upon us.
We then commence gazing into each others eyes. As a point of focus, we pick one of our companion’s eyes, be it the left or right, and fix our gaze upon it. Or, we place our point of focus where the bridge of their nose touches their forehead. Then, there is nothing else to do. Once our attention is fixed upon our companion, we remain in this position and gaze with them for 15 minutes. After a few moments, or minutes, of commencing the practice even the physical necessity to blink becomes unnecessary.
Just like consciously connected breathing, whatever happens as a consequence of sitting together while we are sitting together, or with ourselves, is required.
For some this practice is immediately, deeply uncomfortable. This is because we are not used to looking at another in the eye for so long. Nor are we used to allowing another to gaze at us for an extended period. Accordingly, we may chuckle, giggle, look away momentarily, shift within our body, feel a flush of what we perceive as embarrassment, etc. All of these experiences are valid, unfold at one time or another, and are a natural peeling away of our energetically imprinted barriers.
A very important recommendation regarding this practice is, ‘no speaking’. Once we commence, and until we are completed the 15 minutes, complete silence and stillness [as best as one can manage] are the elixirs which deliver the medicine. Within the parameters of actively carrying out this practice, as it is applied to consciously activate the experience of intimacy within and between us, speaking serves no purpose – not matter how much the metal body believes it necessary.
Speaking while gazing is an attempt to avoid ‘being'.
The longer we sit and gaze, the more we notice powerful, visual, perceptual shifts moving like weather conditions across our companions face and around their physical presence. Our companion’s face [or ours if we are using a mirror] undergoes alteration. Although it is initially impossible to do – these movements are all to be ignored. There is no value in anal-i-sing what we are seeing, or even discussing what we saw during the practice with our companion afterward. It is fun though, and can lead to laughter. However, do not use this part of the experience as a palette upon which to try and paint ‘understands’ about anything.
Whatever we see during the gazing practice is ours alone to be with on a level of felt-perception. In other words, it is not the visual distortions which are of any significance to us – it is the emotional states triggered within us as a consequence of perceiving them which are significant. Our task is to be with these triggered felt-aspects of the experience without condition – not to turn them into stories and mental body vomits.
Once we have moved through 15 minutes of this practice, it is recommended we remain within each other’s company, sitting quietly for a while, now placing our attention elsewhere. DO NOT ENTER A SEXUAL ENCOUNTER AFTER GAZING! Rather have a cup of tea, take a quiet walk, or something else that does not entail any physical contact. Continue to honor the radiance of ‘being with each other in the silence and stillness’ for a few moments. Again, as already stated, it is not necessary or even advisable to rush into a discussion of our personal experience of the gazing practice with each other. No matter how much importance our mental body places upon what happened while gazing - our personal experience of it has zero relevance for our companion – and vice verse.
Like the breathing practice in THE PRESENCE PROCESS, whatever happens while we are gazing is required, but not that relevant. The relevance only arises once the practice is completed and we reenter our daily experiences alone and with each other. The revelation of gazing is in the subsequent consequences unfolding within our daily experience. As already stated – the primary benefit of gazing is, ‘the weeding out of where we are doing stuff together because we are unable to be together’.