How To Raise Your Consciousness With The Spiritual Eye
A yogic technique to aid your spiritual growth
Paramahansa Yogananda, a great yoga master who taught in the west, said that the number one technique to advance spiritually and uplift your consciousness is to focus on the ‘Spiritual Eye’ throughout the day.
Being his disciple, I try my best to follow that advice and have written about it on many occasions.
But what is it and what’s all the hype?
You might’ve heard different names for this in yoga classes like the “third eye” or the “sixth chakra” and so on.
In any case, it’s located at the point between the eyebrows at the frontal lobe of the brain.
It’s not a physical object located in the body, but a light that is actually visible there. Behind the darkness of closed eyes, you can see the light if your energy begins to flow to that point.
When your energy is focused on this point, you feel concentrated and focused. Michael Singer in his book The Surrender Experiment talks about how he clearly felt his energy focused that the spiritual eye during his meditation.
But even more importantly, when he later started learning how to program a computer, his energy would again flow to that point and he could work with full concentration for hours on end.
For a meditator, this point is of supreme importance. Through the spiritual eye, the deep meditator can gaze into subtler-than-material realms.
Yogic science tells us that energy (or prana) flows in our body through the medulla oblongata. This point is located at the base of the brain, just above the starting point of the spine. The medulla oblongata is usually not operated on since even slight damage has bleak consequences. If your medulla oblongata becomes damaged, it can lead to respiratory failure, paralysis, or loss of sensation.
The spiritual eye is a reflection of that energy flowing through the medulla. If you think about it, they’re literally two opposite poles — one at the base of the brain at the behind, and one at the point between the eyebrows.
What Does it Look Like?
When the spiritual eye is seen perfectly in meditation, it is a halo of golden light surrounding a field of deep blue, in the center of which is a silvery-white, five-pointed star. When seen imperfectly, it is seen as a dim violet light with a faint circle around it and even a fainter dot in the center.
I can say from experience that I’ve at least seen the fainter version. And it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. Not only is the light beautiful, but it also fills the mind with peace, love, and calmness.
If you see it in meditation, concentrate on the star or at the center of the blue/violet field.
Gradually, the gold circle surrounding it will expand and form a tunnel. Passing into this tunnel, you will consciously enter the light of the astral world (I can’t help but think how wonderful it would be, as I write this).
Then again, the blue light will form a tunnel that will take you into the light of the causal world, the cosmic consciousness.
And finally, when you penetrate the star in the center, you will enter the Spirit beyond creation.
The five-pointed star in the center is the doorway to the inner kingdom — the Kingdom of God. Interestingly, the five-pointed star also represents the form of a human body.
If you stretch both your arms and legs, you will also take the form of a five-pointed star which shows literally that we all are made in the image of God — it’s not just a maxim to take lightly.
How to Focus on the Spiritual Eye
Babaji (Revered Father), The Great Himalayan Master. Notice the elevation of his eyes (Source)
To focus on the spiritual eye, you don’t have to focus exactly on that point between the eyebrows. That will be quite uncomfortable and will make you cross your eyes. Honestly, it’ll also be quite funny!
Just keep your eyes open and imagine staring at the top of the distant mountain. That’s the level of elevation for your eyes.
Alternatively, you can hold out your thumb, lift it by 45 degrees and then stare at the tip of your thumb. That’s another way to achieve the right elevation.
The elevation in any case should not strain your eyes. Remember that you’re meant to hold on to that position for a long time.
Once you’ve achieved a comfortable level of elevation, close your eyes and keep your gaze uplifted.
Now, practice the simple technique of Hong-Sau:
Inhale slowly, counting to eight. Hold the breath for the same eight counts while concentrating your attention at the point between the eyebrows. Now exhale slowly to the same count of eight. Repeat three to six times.
After inhaling and exhaling completely, as the next breath comes in, mentally say Hong *(rhymes with song). Then, as you exhale, mentally say *Sau *(rhymes with saw). *Hong-Sau means “I am He” or “I am Spirit.” Make no attempt to control your breathing, just let its flow be completely natural.
Be sure that your gaze is kept steady at the point between the eyebrows throughout your practice. Don’t allow your eyes to follow the movement of the breath. If you find that your mind has wandered, simply bring it back to an awareness of the breath and the mantra.
The spiritual eye is seen best only when your thoughts are stilled and your at least in deep meditation. The Hong-Sau technique above was taught by Yogananda himself to his students.
As you focus on this point and your thoughts are still, you may actually begin to see the visible form of the spiritual eye. (Note: It comes with practice! If it’s your first time meditating, don’t be disheartened if you don’t see it.)
It’s important to know that whether or not you see the spiritual eye there, your consciousness will soon begin to rise up to that point.
You may just see a combination of blue, violet, white, and golden light at different points.
Whatever you see, calmly accept it and keep concentrating there. One of the mistakes I make is I get excited when I see it in some form which makes me restless. Alternatively, I try too hard to focus which again creates tension.
The goal is to be as calm as possible — both in the body and in the mind. Thus, it’s best to practice with an attitude of detachment.
Whatever comes, accept with gratitude.
An alternate position to focus on the eye
Some people find it helpful to know from what mental position to focus at the spiritual eye.
The guru of Paramhansa Yogananda’s guru, Lahiri Mahasaya, said to focus on it as if you were looking up at it from the medulla oblongata (the indentation at the base of the skull), which is where our ego, or sense of self, is located.
Since our sense of self is located at the medulla, people find it easier to imagine
Keeping the attention there throughout the day
To take full advantage of the spiritual eye, if I may, it’s best to try to keep your attention there throughout the day.
Now, I don’t mean you should keep your eyes uplifted all the time! That would be weird or even impossible.
To do this focus a part of your attention at that point and keep doing the task at hand.
While I’m writing, I often close my eyes and focus on that point. (Fortunately, typing is something I don’t need my eyes for). This is one of the ways I try to channel higher inspiration into my work. Plus, it makes me focused on what I want to say while minimizing distractions.
To give another example, I keep my gaze uplifted while I’m walking (with open eyes of course) and again, keep a part of my attention on the spiritual eye.
These were just two examples, you can do this too in any activity you undertake.
Talking to the God in others
Another technique I’ve come across (though, I yet have to consciously practice this), is looking at the spiritual eye of others while talking to them.
It helps maintain eye contact with the person. But more importantly, it makes you feel that you’re speaking to their higher Self. That you’re speaking to the God in them.
Each person has their own beautiful, divine nature. But it’s clouded by their egoic desires and behaviors. Yet, the more we speak to their higher nature, the more harmonious our relationships become.
In this process, not only do we uplift their energy, but also are able to see our own divine nature.
There’s a reason why Yogananda taught this technique repeatedly to his disciples — because it works.
The purpose of spirituality and meditation is to live a life of higher ideals. However, we forget those higher ideals when we get off our meditation cushions and yoga mats.
Techniques like these help us deepen our experience and operate from a higher consciousness throughout the day.
I hope you take some time to practice this every day and uplift your consciousness.
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