This exercise is designed to create a sense of ease and well-being by altering the lens through which we look at the world. You can do this sitting or moving when you are not directly engaged in any other task.
Begin by simply noticing the way you see the world. Become curious about your habitual way of looking. Do your eyes and head scan and dart around a lot? Do you look without seeing? Do you tend to get lost in thought? Do you pay attention to what you see around you? How much detail do you notice?
If there are thoughts in your mind shift your attention from thinking to seeing. Next, looking directly ahead, begin to soften your eyes and allow your gaze to become diffuse. Then experiment with the following (try each for 10 seconds or so):
- Instead of focusing on one point allow your field of vision to expand and begin to notice the periphery. Softly say the word ‘periphery’ in your mind.
- Allow your awareness to move fully into the space of your field of vision. Softly say the word ‘spaciousness’.
- Notice how, like sound, sight happens through information coming to the eyes. See if you can begin to ‘receive’ the world around you through the eyes. Explore the idea that ‘seeing is receiving’. Softly say the word ‘receiving’.
- Rather than focusing on objects in space see if you can become aware of the space itself in which objects appear. Softly say the word ‘space’.
- Finally, inquire, ‘Who is the one seeing?’ and see if you can become aware of the looker or the seer, the presence or awareness inside that is doing the seeing. Does this presence have any identifiable characteristics? A shape? A size? A colour? Don’t analyse or intellectualise, but simply experience directly.
What did you notice from this exercise? Did any shift occur in your consciousness during or after this exercise? Have you noticed any change in your mind and body?