DAY 31: 5 Minutes & 10 Seconds of Gazing – Month 1 Complete

Sunset ripples on water
Brian Hogan

With one month and over five straight minutes of gazing under my belt I’ve decided to take stock. Is this really working? What changes, if any, have solidified and become regular additions to my life. Am I healing physically? Mentally? Emotionally? I’m not really sure. What I am certain of is that something real and visceral has been initiated between the sun and myself. Prior to day one of my gazing adventure I had taken up another new practice in my investigations into the spiritual/invisible side of life: early morning chanting, called Sadhana. For the forty days leading up to the gazing I began a ritual of waking up before the sun at 3:30 am in order to do a yoga set followed by 92 minutes of chanting and meditation. By the time it’s all over at 6:05 am the sun is peeking up. Necessarily, I am exhausted by 8:30 at night, so taking after all the ten year olds I know I go to bed soon after the sun goes down. I realized after the first few weeks of chanting that one effect of this new schedule is that I have adjusted my bodily rhythms to be in sync with those of the sun. I am awake for every single hour of daylight, every single day. This makes the days feel bigger, not longer. I can get more done, and I have more fun. My experience of life has expanded as my rhythms set themselves to the natural rhythms around me. 

I think this rhythmic adjustment to the daily dance of the sun has aligned the many aspects of me with each other and with the earth. What I mean by this is that even though I still have a million and one things to do every day, I don’t feel like I am going in a million and one directions. I feel like I a going in one direction, and that direction is forward. The part of my nature that finds conflicts and bathes in the drama they reward me with is being sanded down by sunlight, smoothed over and polished. The Toltec say that we all have within us a part of our mind called the Judge and part of our mind called the Victim, and they work against us, tearing us down and stirring up the most destructive parts of our nature. As the sun has washed my brain I picture the Judge on his bench, staring down at the Victim, but this time he slams down his gavel, now glowing with the light of the sun and pronounces “charges dropped, case dismissed.” Whatever the latest thing was that I trotted into the courtroom of my mind to hang myself with, it has lost its power. They all have. Because when I bring these faults or inadequacies into the courtroom now I find the Judge in a good mood, the Victim gets released, and me, the Prosecutor, well I find myself for the first time thinking I should be a defense attorney. Because when I give myself shit, I finally come to my defense now. 

SIDE EFFECTS: I have no night life to speak of any more because my night life is spent sleeping. But my nightlife didn’t consist of that many constructive things anyway so this may be a benefit in disguise. 

BENEFITS: I am awake for every hour of daylight, so now when people say “if only there were more hours in the day,” I smile to myself because I know that there are. 

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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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