So much of our energy is spent through the use of our eyes – reading, observing, watching one or other of the many screens that we are inevitably exposed to today ( like now ; ) Just simply closing the eyes is not alone to block out this external cacophony of stimulation – it is also to allow a moment for our inner world to be acknowledged. Something beyond the physical, material manifest sensory world.
It is here, in the realm of our imagination, our vision, our inner silence – where the thoughts we tell ourselves may be given space, where we can choose what it is that we wish to set our attention on. Here we have a freedom that is rarely acknowledged.
Closing eyes for some may be a fearful experience – associated with submission resignation and even death. Yet, there is so much that we can awaken through arousing the other sense organs : becoming aware of our sense of smell, of how the air feels upon our skin, our sense of taste, our sense of hearing. All of these are allowed to come into finer focus when we withdraw from the realms of visual stimulation for a while. Settling ourselves with closed eyes allows us to tune into our emotional world too. To listen to the currents of movement – what waves of “e-motion” am I riding today ?
Sometimes, without taking this moment to check in, we never realise these undercurrents and therefore are unable to address them : Grief, loneliness, a wish to be held, a feeling of sadness, a longing, all of these are visitors that may need to be received and thus transformed. In the absence of such awareness, we may simply not realise our own needs, or the stirrings of our soul, we forget the infinite from which we came – and drown out the internal “noise” with further activity.
With eyes closed, gently roll the eyes up to the third eye point , in the centre of the forehead about a thumb’s length from the bridge of the nose. Simply doing thing can help the brain to relax.
“The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light” (Matthew 6:22)
Reddish-gray and about the size of a pea (8 mm in humans), this “third eye” is the location of the pineal gland, a small endocrine gland.
In western science the physiological function of the pineal gland has been unknown until recent times. We now know that this gland produces melatonin, a hormone that affects the modulation of wake/sleep patterns and photoperiodic (seasonal) functions. It is located near to the center of the brain between the two hemispheres, tucked in a groove where the two rounded thalamic bodies join. Unlike much of the rest of the brain, the pineal gland is not isolated from the body by the blood-brain barrier system.
Thus the “third eye” as it is known, or 6th chakra, controls the various bio-rhythms of the body. It works in harmony with the hypothalamus gland which directs the body’s thirst, hunger, sexual desire and the biological clock that determines our aging process. When it “awakens”, one feels a pressure at the base of the brain.
It is clear from what we have inherited as Kundalini Yoga and other traditions of the east, that the functioning of this pineal gland was well understood, thousands of years ago. Paramahansa Yogananda has also written about the awareness of this ‘third eye’ within the Christian tradition – he writes:
“by fixing the vision of the two eyes at the point between the eyebrows in the interiorized concentration of meditation one can focus the positive-negative optical energies of the right and left eyes and unite their currents in the single eye of divine light. The ignorant material man knows nothing of this light. But anyone who has practiced even a little meditation may occasionally see it.”
The “pineal gland” is so called because it is shaped like a pine cone. Having two eyes, we are part of the world of duality – left right, this that, up down.. it is a world of opposites. Just as in the vesicapisces, that forms part of the design of much ecclesiastical architecture ( the inner shape where two circles overlap), the third eye offers a point of unity, of indivisibility of stillness in a world of constant dynamic change. Settling our attention here is to venture ever closer to a perception of Oneness that is a basis for true peace and lasting reconciliation.
As quoted above, from the Bible:
“if therefore thine eye be single, thine whole body shall be full of light” (Matthew 6:22)
Some awareness to cultivate for the next time you close your eyes.