Q&A re Sungazing
Q: How exactly is it done?
A: Simply relax, get comfortable, get rid of distractions, take off any “corrective lenses” or sunglasses, and look at the Sun. It's best at sunrise, next best at sunset; in general the lower to the horizon, the better. Maybe one might have to settle for a glimpse of the Sun through the trees. If one can get a view of the Sun only when it is high and bright, then one can gaze through closed eyelids; of if through light clouds or not so high, then one can swing the gaze around the Sun; of if through heavy clouds, then one can gaze directly where the Sun would be.
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Advice: take it easy; gradually increase the time looking at the Sun. Hira Ratan Manek recommends ten seconds the first day (at sunrise), twenty seconds the second day, thirty seconds the third, and so on, up to nine months. But I would recommend that everyone find his own pace, taking it slow and being guided by the good feeling. It's supposed to feel good; if it doesn't feel good, stop and cut back. When you get into it, you will get a good feeling from it, both emotionally and physically, and eventually a better feeling will continue even not during the exercise itself.
It is said that the eyes are windows of the soul. That's true, but windows work in both directions, and this fact applies also to the eyes. Just as it is true that feelings can show out through the eyes, so can feelings enter in. And the Sun radiates good feelings with the light; these feelings can shine into the soul through the eyes and make the soul feel good. – It's all so simple, as simple as can be.
Q: What is the effect of this?
A: The immediate effect is that it just plain feels so good. It feels good in the body, and it feels good in the emotions. There are lots of reasons why this should be so, but without trying to explain too much, I'll say this much here:
The Sun isn't really a ball of hot gases, as mainstream science tells us. It is a living Being; it is ensouled, as the living human body is ensouled. The Sun is the center of activity for high spiritual Beings, and it is the heart-center of our local cosmic system. And the heart in the body is not merely a pump for the blood, again as mainstream science tells us, it is, at the least, the primary bodily organ of feeling, of emotions, for the human soul. The sunlight is not merely physical light as science understands it, but it carries feelings with it. These are “good” feelings, the beneficent feeling of the high spiritual Beings of the Sun. When the sunlight enters the human body and soul, through the eyes, the “windows of the soul”, the good, powerful feelings of the high spiritual Beings of the Sun likewise enter the body and soul, bringing joy and health to both. Feelings and bodily expression are intimately connected; this is at the basis of the so-called “psychosomatic effect”. In the body as such, the immediate effect is an increased flow of what might be called “life energy”. This increased flow is powerful; it is usually felt consciously, and it might cause bodily reactions, such as stretching, deep breathing, minor convulsions, laughter, and so on. This whole process is pleasant for a healthy soul-body systems, but might not be altogether pleasant at first for some people, who are not so healthy. And who among us is completely healthy?
Q: What real problems does it really solve?
A: I suppose that most people would like to feel better and be healthier, or at least they believe that they do. It depends on the individual as to how big such problems are. And I suppose that it depends on the individual how much benefit one gets, how much these problems are solved. It would depend on the individual's make-up, how much time one puts into the practice, etc. I couldn't say exactly for everyone; I have experimented only on myself. I know from my own experience that it feels good. I am concerned mostly with the emotional benefits, somewhat with the physical. I could refer to many reasons why it should be emotionally healing. But the real, decisive proof of the problem-solving is in experience, in the activity and its results.
Q: What's your proof of all this?
A: Deep down, everyone already knows that the Sun is good for you. This is common, instinctive knowledge; it needs no special proof. People know that the Sun feels good, at least when it's not too hot; people flock to the beach to “get a tan”, and so on. At some level, everyone already knows the basic truth of the matter, at least in a vague way. But again, specifically for what I'm suggesting, the most decisive proof is in experience. I mean each individual's experience; I'm not asking anyone to take my word for anything. I say: just do it, and you'll find out; the proof is in the doing.
Q: If everyone already knows this, then why do you need to tell us?
A: Again, people already know about this, vaguely, but this knowledge is usually so vague that they don't know how to put it into practice so as to get more benefit. I'm trying to give information about how good the Sun really is for you, about how to get much more benefit from it. It is healthy to get sunlight on the skin, in moderation, but I'm trying to tell people about how healthy it is to get sunlight in the eyes, directly. The fact that people don't know this consciously is proven by the fact that almost no one practices sungazing. If more people really knew about this consciously, then far more people would be doing it.
Q: Why has no one told me about this before? If it's so good, why haven't my doctor or teachers told me about it? Why haven't scientists discovered this already?
A: Well...I suppose because it's not in the curriculum at medical school. And because it's hard to make money from it; no one can put the Sun in a bottle and sell it. Actually, a few physicians, such as the ophthalmologist William Bates, almost a century ago, recommended “sunning” the eyes to improve vision (“sunning” is basically gazing at the Sun through closed eyelids). But Bates was shunned by mainstream ophthalmology. – Science, apparently, has a hard time seeing the obvious. As to exactly why, that's a big question. But so it is, it seems.
Q: How long do I need to do this?
A: I would say: find your own comfort level, according to your inner and outer needs. One will probably find almost immediate benefits, after a few minutes, or even seconds. I do what I do, but I wouldn't try to say that this is right for everyone. Again, Hira Ratan Manek recommends starting with ten seconds, and increasing by ten seconds a day, up to nine months. But he is focusing mainly on the nutritional benefits and only peripherally on the emotional and mental benefits, while I am focusing on the emotional benefits. And again, I have experimented only on myself. I would guess: you can't get too much of it, as long as you take it easy, increase gradually, and do only what feels good.
Q: Is it dangerous?
A: There is a common belief that you'll go blind if you look at the Sun. But no, you won't go blind, if you go about it in the right way, taking it easy, as I have indicated. In fact, you might go blind if you don't get enough light in your eyes. Sunlight, in moderation, is beneficial to the vision, maybe even necessary. I am not an ophthalmologist, but I would guess that it is not dangerous at all for people with normal eyes, or even for those with semi-normal eyes, such as those with ordinary nearsightedness or farsightedness. I wouldn't try to extend this dictum without further ado to people with eyes diseases, such as cataracts or glaucoma; I don't know. As I say, I have experimented only on myself, and I am not an ophthalmologist. I would think that the real dangers, if any, have more to do with circumstances other than the eyes. For instance, some people might not be able to take much sunlight on the skin. Those with rare skin diseases might not be able to take any, but even those with fair skin might not be able to take much without getting sunburned, especially on the nose and face. Sunlight is gentle when the Sun is near the horizon, but when the Sun is well up, fair-skinned people can burn quickly, even in the winter. Even those who have gotten a tan could sustain skin damage over the long term. Again I would say: moderation is the key, and the exact level of exposure that is healthy varies greatly for each individual, according to all circumstances. It is up to each individual to find what is healthy for him, and I would suggest to err on the side of caution, if to err at all.
Hira Ratan Manek has been promoting sungazing, in a special way, for many years, at least since 2003. He has done much research, and many people around the world have used his method. He recommends gazing at the Sun only during the hour after sunrise or in the hour before sunset, and he is mainly concerned with the physical effect, and only somewhat with the other benefits. But I realized that most people can't get a view of the sunrise or sunset every day, as I can't, and I found, from my own experience, that adherence to the strict HRM method is not necessary for emotional and other benefits. So, I am promoting a modified practice (modified, that is, from the HRM method) that is more available for more people. Yet again, I am not an ophthalmologist, and I have experimented only on myself. For more information, based on more experience, I would suggest reading up on Hira Ratan Manek's website, the Solar Healing Center.
It is possible that some people might experience some general discomfort at first, mostly because sungazing increases the flow of life energy in the body, and many people are not used to such a powerful flow. Some people have painful emotions stored in the body (yes, emotions can be trapped in the body), and the new flow of life energy from sungazing might release these painful emotions, so that they are experienced anew. The body might react to the flow of life energy with stretching, reflexing, laughing, or such. Some people might feel rage, or panic, etc. I would recommend in such cases that these people not give in to the negative emotions, and hold on to the thought that this process that comes from the Sun is healthful, natural, and righteous. The negative emotions should pass with time, and only positive reactions, such as joy and laughter will remain. If anyone really does experience serious emotional distress, I would suggest that he seek competent, professional psycho-therapeutic help.
And of course there are other, more ordinary considerations; for instance, it might not be safe in some circumstance to go outside and let one's guard down. I would recommend that one be aware of one's surroundings and take reasonable precautions. One might, for instance, go out in groups, or find a place where plenty of people around. And so on. And of course, the weather is always a consideration. I wouldn't go out in the rain or sleet. If the weather is chilly, one can bundle up; if it is really cold, one can use common sense. And it is natural that one wouldn't want to spend much time in the hot “sun” in summer. One might stay indoors and gaze at the Sun through a window; even though most windows don't pass the full spectrum, that's still better than nothing, and it's better than getting frostbite, or sunburn, or sunstroke. – In general, I would suggest: don't be a fanatic about it; use common sense; do only what feels good. Otherwise, I would suppose that sungazing is safe enough.
Q: How did you get into this?
A: I was mulling over a socio-political problem, namely: Why don't people in general, in the USA especially, stand on their own two feet as free individuals in the socio-political realm; why are people so manipulable? And, for somewhat esoteric reasons, I came to the thought that a mass awakening of reverence would enable people to stand more on their own two feet. I had some experience of sungazing, and I knew that generally good feelings that come from it, and that a feeling of reverence is naturally evoked.
I don't recall the exact sequence of events, but I was not afraid to look at the Sun, for I had done some of that about forty years ago. This was when I had first read some writings of Dr. Bates, and I was trying to improve my vision. I had been nearsighted, having worn eyeglasses almost constantly since I was about fourteen years old. And I did improve my vision, enough to get an unrestricted driver's license. I might have overdone it a little, since I got “floaters” in my eyes. About that time, I read about the ancient Egyptian practice of meditating by gazing at the rising Sun. I did that, once, but it was a lot of trouble. All things considered, I pretty much got what I wanted, so I let the practice slide, and eventually stopped it completely.
But more recently I took it up again, almost daily. And I rediscovered that it is very healthy for the emotions and even for the body. I thought: “This is so easy to do, it is applicable to the masses, and it is the solution to that socio-political problem. Heck; it feels so good that it is worthwhile in many ways besides the socio-political.” So, I wanted to tell people about it. I'm getting older and have some health problems, and I don't have the experience or the means to do much public speaking, so I tried to find another way. I formed a non-profit foundation, and I put up a webpage, and sent out a few e-mails and posted to a couple of e-groups. But eventually I had to admit to myself that I wasn't reaching many people, and that this idea needed more publicity. I didn't know how to “do” public relations, and I tried to find someone else to take on that task. But no one did, and I decided that if it was going to get done, it was up to me to do it.
Q: Why you?
A: That's what I was leading up to. It needs to be done, and, as far as I know, no one else is doing it. I know about it; I know how good it feels, and I have at least an inkling of its benefits. I want other people to know about it too.
Hira Ratan Manek is telling people, but he is concentrating mostly on the nutritional aspects; he even says that direct sunlight can substitute for physical food. I don't know about that; I haven't really tried to follow Manek's practice. He recommends gazing at the rising Sun, increasing by ten seconds every day for nine months, and walking barefoot in the dirt every day after that, for a year or more. But most people can't get a view of the sunrise or walk barefoot in the dirt every day, and I am concentrating more on the emotional and mental benefits anyway. I am suggesting a practice that most people can do, for benefits that most people can attain.
I am now getting old; I'm getting Social Security and have a little income, so I don't have to get up and go to a job every day. I have some time to spend, and I haven't done much that is socially useful, and I don't have a lot of time left in this lifetime. So...if not me, who?
Q: What do you hope to accomplish with this?
A: If you feel good emotionally, you naturally want to spread the good feeling around. I've gotten that way, and now I want to help people be happy and healthy, and I want to help society. I'm sure that this information would help people, if only someone gave it to them in plain language. I live in the world, and I am connected with it, so the state of the world affects me, even in this lifetime. And I just plain want to help people. What I was already attempting with this effort apparently wasn't very effective, so now I'm trying a different, or supplemental, approach. I hope to reach more people with this information. Then, what they do with it is up to them. I don't know exactly, completely what the consequences will be; as far as I know, the possibilities are unlimited, and they are all good.
Q: Is it pagan, un-Christian, Sun-worship, etc.?
A: It is certainly not un-Christian; to my understanding it is deeply Christian. But I realize that other people might have different understandings of Christianity.
What I am proposing is simply a matter of experience, and it does not depend much upon any beliefs or unbeliefs. As far as I know, no religion has a commandment against looking at the Sun. All that is required is that one allows the experience to work and that one does not fight against it. Then the inherent potentials in the practice will manifest Some form of this practice goes back at least to ancient Egyptian times, and some kind of what we might now call “religious belief” was associated with it. But in ancient Egyptian culture, religion and science were not as separate as they are now, and the whole consciousness of the people is different from the present, usual consciousness. A deep appreciation of the Sun was widespread throughout many times and places in the world.
Many of these cultures were what might now be called “religious”, but again, human consciousness was different, and religion and science did not have quite the same significance as they do now in modern culture. The connection with the spiritual nature of the Sun was lost during many centuries of European development, but now it could be recovered. Some kind of belief in the spirituality of the Sun might enhance the process, but, as far as I know, it is not necessary. I would think that all that is necessary is “openness” to the experience, and then the results will depend on the individual and his character.
Q: Does ancient Egyptian practice work today?
A: Much has indeed changed since the ancient Egyptian culture, and I would not expect sungazing to work exactly as it did then. But is still does work, and it is good. This is proven by experience in modern culture. I'm not proposing a simple revival of an ancient practice; I'm proposing that a similar practice be put to work in the ways that it can work today, for modern people in modern society. Again: the proof in in the results.
Q: What are the ultimate consequences of this practice?
A: I don't know all the ultimate consequences; the possibilities are almost endless. The human being is capable of much more development than is ordinarily supposed. The immediate consequences are that it feels good, and that it enhances emotional and, to some extent, intellectual and physical health. There are so many possible effects. For instance, one might find that one no longer needs anti-depressants, such as Prozac or the like. (Caution: drugs in the Prozac family can be addictive, so one can’t just stop them “cold turkey”; one must stop them gradually. I would suggest working with an understanding physician.) – This is only one example of many possible.
But one need not stop with the practice of sungazing itself. One might find that the sunlight itself, even diffuse and indirect, maybe even artificial light, contains joy and upliftment. One might say to oneself: “How did I live my whole life up to now and not notice this before?” New worlds might open up. One might discover a source of radiant happiness with oneself, even without any outer light. One might discover that the power of thinking is like a Sun within oneself, or that one actually becomes like a little Sun. And so on; but such further developments require more inner self-control than outward sungazing; at the least, one must stop one's mind from running away, and be persistent and morally worthy. But sungazing itself does not require such inner effort, only a little outer effort for most people. Sungazing is comparatively easy; the Sun is made to shine on the evil and the good alike, as well as on the scatterbrained. And the Sun is readily available for most people. One need not stop with sungazing; it might only be a beginning, but it is worthwhile in itself, and if it became a widespread practice, it would change the world – so I conceive.
Ultimately, or near the ultimate, one can become a little Sun oneself, and radiate. As one receives freely from the Sun, so likewise one can give freely. If one has nothing to give but good, loving thoughts, these are not nothing; they are worthwhile. As it is said truly: “Thoughts are things.” Anyone, with normal mental faculties for modern society, can at least create thoughts of the wish to spread happiness. If one does nothing else in this regard, one can do this much. Rather than do nothing, one might do something that one can do, and one can send out good thoughts. (And this radiating to others also suffuses oneself with Sun-like goodness. This is an effect, even when it is not the goal.)
Really, I could hardly imagine all the possible consequences, and I would not try to put any limit on them. Right now, I'm trying only to give people this information, and I say: “Take the ball and run with it.” I expect that much good would follow.> Back to Top