Using the Tantric practice of Eye Gazing to find deeper connection in long-term relationships
Updated: May 1, 2018
Eye gazing can be a fantastic tool to use within intimate relationships to re-connect, break down emotional barriers and close the gap created by all the things life throws at you.
There are a million articles online describing in detail how eye-gazing works, it’s benefits and the different ways you can practice it, but this is not one of those articles.
I would rather people tried this technique in its simplest form, perhaps imperfectly at first, experienced it’s benefits themselves and then researched it more if they felt lead to than build it up in their heads and never get round to actually trying it!
So here are the absolute basics, no airy-fairy woo-woo stuff, no science-y jargon.
Just the instructions.
1. Create space somewhere quiet and peaceful, and preferably tidy, to do this practice. You can light candles or incense, spray yourself with your favourite perfume, scatter cushions and blankets or whatever feels best for you. Keep the lights dim but allow enough that you will be able to see each other’s eyes clearly.
2. Get comfortable. You can do this practice naked or fully clothed, whatever is best for you and your partner. Clothed is probably best to start off with to remove feelings of self-consciousness or pressure to be intimate afterwards. Settle into a position where you can face each other comfortably. Legs entwined is preferable, however cross-legged with knees touching is fine too. Many people like to use the tantric pose Yab Yum for eye gazing, with the woman sitting in the man’s lap, wrapping her legs around his back so both participants sit-bones are on floor (Google 'Yab Yum tantric pose' for examples).
3. Choose gentle, soothing or sensual music. My favourite is this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mmez5HtdSiY because it isn’t too demanding. It’s my go-to music for massages, baths, meditation and eye-gazing! I wouldn’t recommend Spotify for this unless you have a pre-made playlist ready, there’s nothing quite like ‘The Pina Colada Song’ to kick you right out of your meditative state!
4. Set a timer for 10-15 minutes.
5. Get settled. Make sure you are supported with cushions if you need them, decide if you are going to hold hands, leave your hands on your knees or place one hand on your partners heart and the other over their hand on yours.
6. Press play on your music and start your timer!
7. Look into your partners eyes. You can choose one eye or switch, whatever feels natural. Allow your gaze to soften to encompass their whole face. See them as the best version of themselves, in their purest form. Allow feelings of deep gratitude for everything they are to come forward, everything you have been through together. See their soul through their eyes.
8. Feel whatever comes up. It’s very common to cry, or end up in fits of giggles, feel embarrassed, or anxious, or start sweating. Whatever your body and emotions decide to do, go with it, don’t judge yourself or get stuck in those feelings. Just let them move through you, be expressed, and then move on.
9. Don’t talk. No matter how much you want to fill the silence, just let it be whatever it is in the moment. Awkward, sad, painful, frightening, vulnerable. Whatever. You are safe in the space you have created between you.
When my partner and I first did this practice, I expected to be fine with it, I’m an open minded person and I figured it would be like every other self-help technique I’ve tried. I ended up spending the first 5 minutes laughing hysterically, feeling crazy awkward and uncomfortable with the situation I’d got myself into. On the opposite side of the spectrum, my partner who expected to get very little out of it found himself crying.
We cried together, laughed together, cry-laughed together, and everything in-between.
Once I got over the feelings of silliness, I felt a deep sense of gratitude and connection looking into his eyes and just being present to witness our relationship in total stillness. I felt like I could feel his emotions towards me and feel the love pouring out of him.
Afterwards he said he didn’t think he had ever spent that much time just looking into my eyes before, and not feeling like he had to say or do anything.
This is something A LOT of couples say the first time they eye-gaze!
Afterwards you can talk, cuddle, or have sex. Eye-gazing slows everything down, it creates space for vulnerability and openness. See what feelings come up, and don’t be afraid to share them.
I’ve found it is a good practice to use as part of your wind-down routine before bed, as a way to connect on a deeper level before intimacy or to use before having important conversations - as a way to break down the barriers that are created when bickering or spending a lot of time stressed out around each other.