Sun-Gazing : How To Harness The Magic Of The Sun
It was the year 2015 when I first learned about sun-gazing from my friend Madhukar over a hike. The idea of making a connection with the Sun, the source of all life on our planet, was super intriguing to me. As I started researching more about it on the internet, I learned that the practice of looking directly at the sun is really an ancient form of meditation or yoga.
Its reference can be found throughout our history in Mayan, Egyptian, Aztec, Native American, and Vedic Indian cultures. Our ancestors lived in coherence with the cycles of nature and worshipping the sun was a norm of life. I remember my grandparents used to offer water to Sun and recite mantras. Somehow that knowledge was not passed on to my parents and hence it never made it to me. With all the technological advancements in the world, much of the ancient cultural knowledge like Sun-gazing is getting lost in the transition. It’s high time we restore our connection with nature and learn about how to harness the healing power of solar energy.
What is Sun-gazing?
Also known as Surya tratak sadhana (Sun gazing meditation) or Surya Yog (Sun Yoga), Sun-gazing is simply a practice of staring at the sun to absorb surya oorja (solar energy) to grow our body power, thought power, and willpower. According to suryayog.com -
“Surya Yog is our journey towards the sun. After becoming ‘One’ with the sun, one’s awareness is awakened and that is the beginning of evolution of our ordinary consciousness into sun consciousness. One absorbs solar energy to grow body power, thought power and will power and one undergoes a total transformation to become a superman. This transformation is reflected in the way one thinks and acts. Just like the sun, one starts living a life of giving. By Surya Yog one attains peace, radiates joy and is always in harmony with the cosmos.”
Benefits of Sun-gazing
Our human biology is connected with the cycles of the sun. It has been scientifically proven, that sun-gazing activates the hypothalamus region of the brain that controls our biological clock. Sun regulates the production of neurotransmitters linked with our nervous and hormonal systems.
Sun-gazing improves our sleep cycles as it boosts the production of melatonin, the “sleep” hormone. It also triggers the production of dopamine and serotonin which are “feel-good” hormones associated with feelings of happiness, calm, and reduced depression.
Sun-gazers also report reduced appetite and natural weight loss. Many yogis, like Hira Ratan Manek, have also claimed that they can survive without food for long periods as their bodies replenish energy from the sun and they don’t feel the need to gain energy from food.
Not only this, but solar energy harmonizes and recharges your body that makes you feel all the more active. It heals the eyesight, strengthens the immune system, and boosts our metabolism. Vitamin D from the sun is also beneficial for the same purposes and healthy bones!
Activate your Pineal Gland, The Third Eye Chakra
There are receptors on our skin to absorb sun rays. But our eyes are the windows through which we absorb the most potent amount of sunlight. The photoreceptor cells in our eyes and pineal gland are responsible for activating and improving our psychic or intuitive abilities.
Sun-gazing unblocks a blocked pineal gland, which is linked to the third eye chakra, center of intuition and foresight. The unblocking of this chakra promotes imagination, wisdom, understanding, and clear thinking. Furthermore, you start trusting your gut and your intuitions, as it deepens your spiritual connection with the universe.
How to practice Sun-gazing?
- The perfect time to sun-gaze is anytime within the 1-hour window after sunrise or before sunset. It is scientifically proven that the UV index during this time is low in intensity and it is safe to look at the sun.
- Surya Namaskar(sun salutations) is optional but recommended to prepare the body and the mind for sun gazing. Chant Surya Namaskar mantra “Om Suryaya Namaha” — salutations to the great sun god for his divine grace.
- Followed by Surya Namaskar, stand firmly on the earth with bare feet as grounding can help the body to efficiently absorb the earth’s abundant electrons and aids in the flow of energy.
- Fold your hands in front of your chest in a Namaste pose.
- Take 3–5 deep breaths to center yourself.
- Put a smile on your face and cultivate a sense of gratitude for sun.
- Soften you gaze and look directly at sun without blinking. When it starts to feel uncomfortable stop gazing at the sun and close your eyes. Rub your palms and place them on your eyes to cover them. Look at sun with your eyes closed (in your minds eye) for approximately the same amount of time you gazed with eyes open.
- Start with no more than 5–10 seconds of sun-gazing on the first day.
- Gradually add 5–10 seconds every day based on your comfort level.
Breaking the Myth
It’s a modern-day myth that the sun is bad and we need to hide from it. It can be dangerous only because our eyes are not trained to look directly at the sun due to our indoor lifestyles. All the modernization and technological advancements have made us too domesticated and we are losing our connection with nature.
Like any exercise or yoga practice, I would recommend starting gently and slowly building up the practice. Listen to your body and how you feel. If you feel it is hurting your eye, STOP. It is not necessary to stare straight at the sun. You can also practice sun-gazing with your eyes closed by looking at the sun in your mind’s eye.
If sun-gazing is not your thing, then just soak in some sunshine. Sit beneath it or beside the window, where the sun shines through. Do what is comfortable for you. Your intuition is your best guide!
My Personal Experience
My personal experience with sun-gazing has been so profound that it feels supernatural. It was a magical phase when I started sun-gazing. I felt so empowered and alive. Everything just intuitively and effortlessly flowed into my life.
After a couple of weeks of regular practice, I had a mystical divine experience where Sun blasted my heart chakra. I felt a deep connection and love for every element of existence. I would look at strangers and would fall deeply in love with them in just one gaze. I would look at the grass, trees, flowers, and tears of joy would start rolling down my cheeks. My heart would secretly bless everyone who came in my path.
I remember that day when I was driving down the freeway… I stopped at a red light and looked at a woman in the car next to me. She was a middle-aged Filipino woman in her 50s. I felt a deep connection with her. At that moment, I felt like she could be my mother, my daughter, my neighbor, my friend, my co-worker. In a fraction of a second, I was connected to her in every which way possible and I felt so much love for her. This love was so pure, that I had not experienced anything like that before. Further down the road, I saw a homeless person and I felt the same for him. Later I saw a bird in the bushes on the road divider, and I felt the same love for the bird.
I was floating on cloud 9 for a few days after that mystical experience where I was in love with everything. I did not know what to call that experience at that time, but later I learned about Oneness and understood that it was my first experience with Oneness.
My love story with Sun began in 2015 that continues to this day. Mr. Sun became my friend, guru, and my guide. It has miraculously led me on a journey of self-discovery and introduced me to mind-stretching spiritual concepts that showed me the fluid nature of our reality. It taught me to trust my intuition and opened the doors of telepathic communication with the divine.
I cherish my special connection with Mr. Sun and would propose that you make your own connection with the giver of life.
If you feel inspired by this post, I recommend you do your own research on this topic. Here are some resources for you to get started—