|Halo with sun dogs, aka mock suns|
There she’ll be: in green sun, on blue earth under warm running water.
–”Martha” Paul Kantner
Happy birthday baby Sun! Tomorrow will be the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. Tonight is the longest night. For some pagans, this time represents when the slain god is about to be reborn from the goddess in the form of the Sun.
There are many deities, both god and goddess, associated with the Sun. The Japanese have the goddess Amaterasu, the Celts have Lugh and Brigid, the Greeks have Helios and Apollo, the Egyptians have Ra, and the Aztecs and Incas have a long history of giving human blood and suffering to their solar deities.
|Eat the Sun|
Mason Dwinell, on the other hand, I have emailed twice, and I’ve never received a response. I don’t know if he’s tired of being interviewed, if he finds my blog socially inappropriate (as some Sungazers have), or if he’s dead. I just don’t know. Mason was the subject of the documentary Eat The Sun. According to the documentary, Sungazing has really altered his life. It broke up a relationship he was in, it caused his appetite to be greatly diminished, it caused him to feel isolated somewhat, and it damaged his eyes. On the other hand, according to his website, it seems to have brought him some spiritual satisfaction as well.
Mason’s instructions for sungazing, which are based off of HRM’s protocol are as follows:
Depending on the weather and the level of commitment this is only a nine month to a year practice. Once you reach 44 minutes of sungazing you are finished. You should not have the need to stare at the sun any longer, your sungazing is complete. Sungazing is to be practiced standing bare footed on bare earth. Without shoes you can stand on sand, gravel, mud, or bare earth. Your bare feet should be in contact with the bare earth. Try to avoid standing on tar, concrete, granite, stone or even on grass (the grass absorbs the solar energy). If you happen to stand on any other surfaces, that is fine, the results may simply be a bit different or arrive a bit slower. While the sun is low on the horizon the intensity of the rays will be at a minimum. During this time, the sun’s rays are tolerable, and the UV radiation is lower, so the potential of harming your eyes is lower. Use common sense within these parameters, if the sun is too bright and it feels as though it may be burning your eyes, don’t stare at it. The best time to learn about your limits is right as the sun rises or a minute or so before it sets. According to HRM the sunrise holds more energy, vitamins and minerals then the sunset. Go figure. Personally I recommend the sunrise, energetically it is a beautiful balance of yin and yang. You only need the sunrise or the sunset, both may be a bit much. By rushing about you will not find what you are looking for any faster. Be careful and always listen to your body.
To Begin As the sun rises over the horizon simply gaze at the whole glowing ball of light for 10 seconds only. The key is to be relaxed, just like in mediation, let go of all thoughts and become immersed in the moment. Simply, look at it. No stress or strain on the face, facial muscles or eyes. Relax your jaw. Stand at peace, knees bent with your arms at your sides. Let go. If you choose to get up with the chickens, and try gazing at the rising sun. Stay relaxed and receptive for greater assimilation of the beneficial aspects of the sun’s rays. Try to become aware of what your body is feeling, how is your mental, emotional and physical state as the sun fills every atom, every electron, and every cell in your body. Feel every tissue filled with the regenerative and healing properties that the sunlight imparts on your body. You may notice an amazing increase in your overall energy as well as your physical stamina and positivism. Be aware of how the sunlight actually cleanses and rebuilds the whole of your being, your mind and thoughts, your feelings and your physical body; total rejuvenation. By completely surrendering to the suns greater power, and as the minutes of sungazing increase, the awareness of your energetic being may heighten dramatically. There is no need to maintain an unblinking, stare. Blink as and when it naturally happens, sort of like watching television. For the first few moments you look into the sun it may be very bright, after about 3-7 seconds of continuous gazing all the brightness generally goes away and you are left staring into a soft ball of pure white light; a beautiful pulsing orb. Don’t squint. If you feel yourself squinting, relax the muscles in your face and eyes. Let the light in. The more open and relaxed the muscles are in your body the more oxygen and energy is able to flow within your cells, and then more light will be allowed in. You have at your disposal an incredible amount of electricity to make things happen in your world. With the aid of sunlight, you can recharge each cell and atom to its full potential. Increase the time you gaze at the sun by a few seconds each day – say by 5 seconds or so per day, until you are comfortable and relaxed with the entire concept of staring into the sun. Once you are comfortable with the concept of sungazing feel free to increase gazing time at a constant rate of 10 seconds per day. You may find it helpful to get a watch or employ a friend to keep tabs on your staring time. Subtle slow increments of time are important for allowing for the rods and cones within the anatomical structure of the eye to adapt to the intense levels light. Increase the sungazing time by 10 seconds each day until you have reached 44 minutes, at which point you should be fully charged. At 44 minutes you are finished with the HRM’s method of sungazing. Depending on weather this may only take nine or ten months.
According to Mason, “Sungazing can be used as a tool for tapping into your human potential. Some change will occur to reach these peaks; your perceptions may alter circumstances, you may begin to change from the inside out. Change can be uncomfortable. Nonetheless, when we release our physical and emotional energetic blockages these changes will become trivial relative to the incredible expansiveness of the universe. If at least three months are committed to the sungazing practice (reaching 15 minutes of staring time) some sort of change of your perception of your world will occur. We are all energetic beings, vibrating at different frequencies, so we should be comfortable with the concept that all of us are different. There may be many different reactions, sensations and experiences. Remember, whatever happens to you is perfect. It is yours and yours only. At every turn there are lessons to be learned. It may be helpful to become objective in your approach to life, awareness may prove to be an essential ingredient. Be positive and open-minded; feel all there is to feel.”
Let’s say you pick as a target a tree or an electric pole on one side of the sun and another one on the other side of the son. The two targets are low intensity light. If you “swing ” between the two targets, brushing over the sun, the eyes have to adjust from the low intensity of one target, to the high intensity of the sun and again to the low intensity of the second target. The “travel” between the two target should be about 1-2 second long at the beginning, later can be slowed down as desired and as it feels comfortable. The exercise can be of 10-15 minutes or more, as desired. The exercise can be done anytime of the day, as relaxed as possible.
My opinion is that this type of exercise should be a “must” before starting sungazing, and it is only too bad that it is not recommended before “parking” the eyes and staring at the sun.”
If one relaxes the eyes right away, the afterimage or the spots will not be lasting, but if the sungazing continues, the overloading might be of a longer term. For example, after a sungazing pause of a few months, when I restart, I get a reddish or a yellowish big spot in the visual field. If I stop and relaxes, the spot goes away after a few seconds, if continue sungazing it might take minutes to go away. If I stop and try again next day, the eye are already trained, no more spots. Not all the persons are the same, I am giving you this info just as a reference. Normally, if the eyes are in good shape, there should be no afterimage.
The idea is that a trained eye, adjusts instantaneously both to the strong sunlight and to the dark.
An additional comment : If the spots LAST after sungazing is different from the spots APPEARING a little time after sungazing. The later might be a case for concern, the former is only an afterimage.”
|Real life Sungazers on a commune somewhere in the US|
summer solstice while standing on my head. I found I could stare directly into the sun without blinking. Then I did a bit of gazing while lying down and it was a bit easier to not blink. While
standing, I had to blink much more. However, as a result of this I gained a blurry spot in the center of my vision which has still not totally resolved. I believe this also caused some perturbations to my
energy body as well, as I cannot see as clearly as I used to. Previously, I had excellent long-distance vision and I could steadily gaze into the distance. This is rare for people today who mostly look
at books, computers, and things within the range of indoors distances. Our ancestors would have gazed and searched Nature more often.
In the months of September and a bit in October, after I had returned to the lakes of upstate New York, I found my favorite practice of sungazing to date. I would float, mostly on my back, in the
lake–therefore totally grounded–and look all around the sun. Not directly at it, but above it, to the sides, and below it. And I would look around it at different distances to the above, sides, and below.
This allows the light to enter my vision at an angle instead of directly through the focused center.I always prefer to gaze, then look at the sky away from the sun for a bit, then relax with closed eyes for a period of time. If I gaze for too long, I might end up with a tension headache, perhaps from too
And, I always look around at other parts of the sky after I finish gazing. I also like to look at the earth’s landscape in far-off vistas–for example, across the lake but below the sky, which I also
look at–after sungazing.
I determine the requisite time by my inner guidance/impatience. And I often wish for more patience and love which produces patience, stillness, and happiness with choosing either way to gaze or not,
when, and for how long. Sometimes, sungazing seems to help thoughts to slow and quiet. When they start back up again, or when calm interest gives way to a feelingof willful force to continue, is often when my body and mind and inner guidance know it is time for the practice to stop for the moment or
Sungazing sounds very Pagan, doesn’t it? Maybe the Druids did it. A brief look at the rising Sun on the morning of the Winter Solstice could be a very powerful tool for meditation and energy work. In theory, it could energize you for the coming year. What better way to welcome the infant Lord (if you’re following a Wiccan or Neo-Pagan belief about the Sun’s death and rebirth at the Solstice) than to gaze lovingly upon it?