The Art of Drishti

Drishti is gazing at a focal point in a meditative state. At the retreats I attend, we do this with each other. Taking our time to gaze into each anothers eyes. The activity usually starts with a meditation for about ten minutes, where we come back to ourselves. We focus on our inner selves, our true selves, pushing outside influences away and reconnecting with our soul. We then wander the room, approach another and gaze into their eyes. At intervals, a facilitator will chime a bell. At each chime, we find more eyes to gaze into. The space created has to support the activity, so this is normally done in silence.

I always find this activity interesting. It is something many people would be terrified to do with the people close to them in their lives. They may feel awkward and try to laugh it off thus reducing the effectiveness of the act. With strangers it becomes a lot easier. Somehow the fact you don’t know each other reduces the spotlight of judgement. I always find it fascinating watching couples get married or speaking to one another. So many of them never look into each other’s eyes, even when exchanging vows. How often do you look loved ones in the eyes, especially when communicating something of importance?

Drishti is viewed as an important and powerful component of a retreat. The ritual of meditating to come back to ourselves, and then gazing into another’s eyes brings an abundance of knowledge. First we are preparing ourselves to be really seen by another. We are opening ourselves up, becoming vulnerable. Allowing another person to really look at us, our flaws, our fears, our raw selves as we stand in silence in front of them. Secondly we are putting ourselves in the position to really see another soul. As we gaze we gather a lot of information about who this person truly is. So often as we see another person as vulnerable and raw, we feel an overwhelming sense of love for them. What was a random stranger a moment ago, suddenly becomes incredibly beautiful. The connection between you both becomes one of respect, appreciation and love. All from one look and no words.

I encourage you to try this with someone. Take the time to really see someone in your life. See them as they are, unconditionally. Be willing to allow them to see you as you are. Through activities like these, we can transform our inner selves.

By Clair Michna Inner Transition Leader

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