DAY 2: 20 Seconds of Gazing

California Sunset
Brian Hogan

This morning Brett teaches a 7 a.m. yoga class so in the interest of time he did his gazing from a little patch of grass down the road from The Golden Bridge. I am partial to the top of the canyon where there is a little more nature and a little less city so today is the first day we did our gazing separately. Nikki has decided she is in this with us for the entire experiment, so she and I made our way to the top of the canyon, buried our warm feet in cool earth and gazed at the globe of heat for twenty seconds as it hovered just over the horizon. I relaxed my face and opened my eyes and for about fifteen seconds I was at ease and just felt a mild intensity radiating through my eye. For the last few seconds my face tensed up and I had to force my squinty eyes to stay open for just a little while longer. The intensity changed from passing through me to bouncing around inside my head and filled my eyes with tears. The giddiness of previous days, however, came on within moments of finishing the gaze again. I thought to myself that I could really get used to this feeling. How often in a day do you feel completely on top of the world, like everyone and everything is on your side? It’s almost as if life becomes a cartoon fable and I could expect the trees to lift me, the birds to guide me, and perhaps a family of mice might even sew me a sweater for the cool mornings. I’m calling it a feeling of mystical euphoria, because it’s beyond just feeling like magic and it’s much more powerful than just euphoria. It’s a feeling that comes from an ancient place, from a grounded place. It’s as if the giddiness will dwell with me as long as I honor how powerful and wise it is. This joy that enters me from the sun demands respect. I feel as if the sun is instructing me in how to interact with it. It has a conscious hand in guiding me through this process. I am beyond a feeling of simple joy, it’s a feeling a comfort, of camaraderie, of being in the presence of something alive, a companion, not simply a scientifically quantified ball of different types of heat and gas. 

I am starting to think the sun is a complex yet accessible form of intelligence that yearns to communicate with us, and to commune with us, if only we would root out the lies and over come our fears of even so much as making eye contact with it. I think how I would feel if every single person I looked at or called to, or freely gave my warmth and energy to would look away, never to meet my gaze again. How would it be to go through life with no more eye contact from anyone, ever? I start to imagine that the sun feels this isolation from us as deeply as we may feel the isolation from it. The sun thinks, it decides, it supports. It is conscious and it wants to make eye contact with us, to get our attention, and then just to warm our chin, hold our shoulders and remind us with it’s deep and peaceful gaze that everything is going to be okay. Well I can’t speak for all of humanity, but I can look up, filled with gratitude that it’s still willing to nourish me, and say a deep and hearty thank you! I agree, Sun, everything is going to be okay. 

SIDE EFFECTS: An intense need to squint around 15 seconds in, and a mild ache in my eye that lasted less than an hour.

BENEFITS: I am beginning to feel like the sun has a personality that is unique and it’s starting to trust me enough to reveal itself to me. Don’t make that face, I am completely sane! 

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About Brian

About Brian

Brian is a Writer, Clarity Coach, Filmmaker and Adjunct Professor who loves teaching and learning, and living in the uncertainty of it all.




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