When I run shaman circles and workshops there is one technique that splits a group instantly.
A true "marmite" technique that people either love or hate- gazing.
It is a simple thing. Gaze at another person's eyes. let your focus and soften and become fully aware of the other person.
The first part of the exercise is to actually allow yourself to be seen. Eyes open, no words, allowing someone else to look at you.
The second part of the exercise is trusting that you will be able to connect with more than the physical when you gaze at the other person. I use the word connect because it is easy to presume that you will "see" changes. many do, but there are so many ways you can receive information that being open minded is key. here are some of the experiences people have shared with me.
Visual changes in the other persons face is very common. Often their face changes rapidly into lots of other human faces. Sometimes they morph into animals or god like figures, tattoos and markings may appear, or the face may disappear altogether.
Visual changes in the background. Sometimes the focus changes to the background. Spirit guides and animals may be seen, or entire scenes of woodland, ocean, mountains. Sometimes wings seem to grow, the universe can be seen, or the background can fade to nothing altogether. (I once gazed with a client & saw the most astonishing jet black wings grow from behind her. When I told her I was a little surprised as she started to take off her top- and there was a tattoo at the top of her shoulder of the wings I had seen.)
Changes in light- I have often scene auras myself with this technique. From a cone of light emanating form the crown chakra, to colours and strange shadowing's. It is easy to believe this is a trick of the light- until you look again afterwards and realise it just isn't.
A sense of knowing- Some people see nothing change visually but get a heightened sense of connection with the other person. They may feel aches, emotions, or sense certain things that seem strange but the other person understands.
Journeying- At times people seem to spontaneously journey with this technique. It's similar to lucid dreaming, they know they are gazing but seem to see things unfold in their mind. They may go walking through some woods and speak to a guide, or fly as a bird.
And other things! I have had people report specific smells which were then meaningful to the person they were gazing with, hear sounds, or hear a voice inside their head. Tingles, hot, cold, a pressure on the shoulders, or someone holding their hand! I have learnt ot be very open to the sheer range of peoples experiences.
How do you know you are not going slightly mad?
The key to this exercise is to validate it by sharing your experiences openly with the other person. Be careful not to offer them a judgement on your experience "I saw your face morph into an older man's, it was a past life." rather to share your experiences with them "I saw your face morph into an older man"
if oyu are doing this on oyur won I suggest your journal to keep a record of your experiences.
Was it a past life, ancestor, or simply a psychological reflection of the person? Sometimes the other person knows, sometimes they go away and meditate to explore this idea.
This practise really becomes powerful when you gaze with different people, and start to see the patterns in what everyone sees in you. It is curious how people will see the same images when they gaze. Many people have described the same specific male warrior in my face.
It is also powerful to continue gazing (in the mirror, or with the same person) over an extended period of time.
I had the opportunity to gaze fortnightly with the same person over an 18 month time frame. It remains one of the most deeply spiritual experiences of my life, and probably this person knows me better than any other living soul.
If you don't have anyone you can gaze with you can gaze in a mirror. Try over time, it is a strange technique to learn. It is worth being aware of how to ground yourself afterwards as it can leave you feeling a little "spacey". If you work with guides invite them to help you, and if you are anxious then you can have a look at a recent blog I wrote about connection and protection here.
I shall be using this technique in my upcoming workshop in Forest Row on 15th September. I still have 2 places available- if you are interested there are more details here.