Eye contact occurs when two animals look at each other’s eyes at the same time. In human beings, eye contact is a form of nonverbal communication and is thought to have a large influence on social behavior.
Eye gazing is one of the most powerful practices on this planet, allowing us to experience a deeper connection to ourself and others. Many people, including myself, have had indescribable experiences while eye gazing, such as seeing auras, past lives, and other images. By simply looking into another person’s eyes, you can discover more about yourself, humanity as a collective, and our roles as spiritual beings.
What causes us to experience these intense feelings and visions by doing something as simple as eye gazing? Why does verbal communication all of a sudden become so difficult when we make eye contact? Scientists from Kyoto University decided to study this ever-growing phenomenon.
Eye gazing is the practice of simply looking into another being’s eyes. You could gaze into the eyes of a stranger, a family member, an animal, or a romantic partner. The eyes are often referred to as the gateway to the soul, meaning they can be used as a tool to look beyond the physical world and into the spiritual. While looking into another person’s eyes, it’s common for people to experience intense visions or see non-physical matter such as auras.
Italian psychologist Giovanni Caputo researched eye gazing and found that it can induce a drug-free altered state of consciousness. 90% of the participants in his study claimed they saw deformed facial features, 50% said they saw their own appearance in their partner’s face, and 15% said they saw a relative’s face.
One explanation for these experiences is neural adaptation. Our neurons can slow down and even completely stop their response to stimulation that is constant. This happens when you stare at anything — your perception changes until you blink or something within the scene changes. However, this does not account for the more spiritual aspects of eye-gazing, the powerful feelings people report, or why so many people find it so difficult.
Numerous people find it difficult to look into another person’s eyes, especially while conversing. Not making eye contact is widely frowned upon and it’s often associated with shyness, a fear of emotions, disrespect, and other cultural or social constraints. We look at so many different things every day, so why do we find it difficult to look into another person’s eyes?
Scientists from Kyoto University in Japan studied this by observing a group of volunteers staring at different faces. The participants would have to either make eye contact or look away while simultaneously playing word association games.
Participants were asked to identify verbs associated with particular words; for example, the word “knife” could be associated with cut or stab. When making eye contact, the participants had greater difficulty finding words, specifically when more difficult word associations were involved. For example, “hand” could be considered a more difficult word because there are many verbs associated with it, including write, play, point, wave, and so on.
“Although eye contact and verbal processing appear independent, people frequently avert their eyes from interlocutors during conversation. This suggests that there is interference between these processes,” the study explains.
The study showed that making eye contact does take cognitive effort to maintain and that there is a relationship between spoken word/mental thought and eye contact. If someone looks away while they’re talking to you, ignore your ego by thinking it’s rude; their cognitive system could just be overloaded.
Perhaps that’s why when you’re practicing eye gazing, no words are needed. The non-verbal communication that takes place is much more powerful than any spoken word, so it’s simply unnecessary.
The first time I practiced eye gazing with a former partner of mine, it was intense. His face transformed right in front of me, bringing us both to tears. I explored it more and mixed it with elements of tantra and I found that each and every time, it deepened my spiritual connection to myself and others.
It wasn’t until I practiced eye gazing with a stranger earlier this month that I had the most profound experience to date. We both attended an event and the first “icebreaker” exercise was to practice eye gazing with the person seated beside you. I didn’t know the woman beside me, so we briefly smiled at one another as the facilitator instructed us to stare into one another’s eyes for a few minutes.
The awkwardness of the situation dissipated after only a few moments as we looked intently into one another’s eyes with serious expressions on our faces. I felt a sense of comfort looking into her eyes, as if I had met her before. The thought came into my mind to send her love as I started repeating “you are beautiful and loved” over and over in my head.
I stared in awe as a bright white light formed around her body, which I knew was her aura appearing. I couldn’t help but smile as warmth filled my heart and tears rolled down my cheeks. This woman who was once a stranger to me now felt like a lifelong companion.
When the presenter told us our time was up, we both embraced each other. We each vocalized the beauty we saw in one another as we sat there crying and hugging. I was surprised by the ease with which I could vocalize my feelings to her, as I often have difficulty putting my true feelings into words. I didn’t think anything could be more magical, but then she said something to me that I’ll never forget…
She went on to explain that while looking into my eyes, the universe had given her a message. She felt a strong urge to remind me not to give up on my path and that I’m in alignment with my true purpose. She continued to tell me how it’s okay to “go against the grain” and detailed aspects of my life regarding my belief systems, my family, and my inner struggles at the time.
The most incredible part of all of this was that only a few days prior to this experience, I had asked the universe a very specific question about my purpose. At the time, I was feeling fairly lost and like I was an outsider to society, my family, and even this planet, a feeling I’ve learned isn’t uncommon amongst people who are “waking up.” I begged the universe for confirmation that I was on the right path and that my convictions were justified.
I believe that her words were in response to my prayers and I am, and always will be, so grateful for that experience. To those of you reading this article, I hope that all of you are confident that you are in alignment with your true path, because you are. You are always doing exactly what you’re meant to be doing; please don’t ever doubt that.
If you’re someone who has difficulty making eye contact, know that you’re not alone and that science even has an explanation to justify it! However, don’t let your discomfort discourage you from practicing eye gazing. If you’re not comfortable enough yet to practice it with a partner, try practicing it on your own in the mirror.