I love the sun. I don’t go so far as to worship it, but I am fully tuned into our reliance on Sol as a species. Without this humble G3-class star in the Milky Way, we simply would not exist in the form we do now. At least, not on this planet we wouldn’t.
During my exposure to various healing modalities, including my practice of QiGong, I came to learn of a practice called sungazing. Gazing? At the sun? Surely, you jest, I thought. Alas, no, there are people out there who think that staring at the sun is actually good for you. I won’t get into arguing with these people. I’d rather let you, the discerning reader, read my opinion and come to your own conclusion. That’s called learning.
First off, the general premise of sungazing being a remarkable and accessible source of personal power for humans is not at all far-fetched or ridiculous. In fact, I created my own QiGong style that essentially taps into this – for our purposes – unlimited source. That said, there are all sorts of things that can go wrong if you go staring off at the sun for even short periods of time. There are some sites on the ‘net that instruct you to increase directly looking at the sun by 10 seconds/day until you reach a maximum of 44 minutes. This, people, is almost assuredly guaranteed to result in complete blindness.
In all but the most extraordinary circumstances, do NOT stare at the sun without visual astronomy-grade eye protection. Period. By “extraordinary”, I mean circumstances in which atmospheric conditions filter out most of the damaging UV and infrared radiation from the sun. A normal sunrise or sunset does NOT constitute such filtering. That means that more than furtive glances directly at the sun more than likely will incur photochemical reactions within the eye that result in cumulative damage. It’s simple: stare at the sun and you’ll go blind. Full stop, end of story.
If you’ve any smarts at all, that’ll have you good and concerned. So, now, the question is, how can one engage in any sort of sungazing that could be considered safe? It is possible, but you have to work within the rules of biology. And that means that you don’t look at the sun directly beyond the most furtive of glances.
The idea of sungazing is to use the sun as a means of cultivating personal energy stores. This is a valid idea. Humans may glean the vast majority of their energy needs from the biosphere, but light plays a significant role in our energy systems and in how our immune system functions.
Sungazing The Right Way
The first bit of advice I’d give here is that you do not need to look directly at the sun to reap its benefits. You want to expose yourself to an ideal balance of UVA and UVB light, which means that you’ll want to do your sungazing when the sun is close to its zenith, generally considered to be between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Personally, I face the sun and have the solar disc just outside my field of vision, ever so slightly blocked by my eyebrows. This time of year, that means I often have to tilt my head just a bit forward due to the sun being so low in the south even at zenith.
To reiterate, the idea isn’t to look at the sun, the idea is to stimulate the optic nerve with a significant amount of UVB radiation, minimizing UVA and infrared exposure in the process. Typical sungazing instructions have you sungazing during sunrise and sunset, but that has your UVA and infrared exposure maximized. This is especially true when you’re tempted to stare directly at the sun through a hazy atmosphere.
Stimulating the optic nerve with UVB stimulates a very healthful anti-inflammatory immune response. Stimulating the optic nerve with light balanced more toward the UVA spectrum evokes a more inflammatory response, which we generally wish to avoid. So, keep your viewing during the peak daylight hours, and keep your vision averted such that the disc of the sun is not directly in your vision. This offers the greatest optical stimulation without risk of eye damage. If you can see the sun, you’re doing it wrong.
Another aspect to sungazing is to turn your palms toward the sun. Some like to reach upward with the arms, but to me this seems far too much like work. I like to relax my shoulders, arms slightly spread outward at my sides and palms facing the sun. While focusing on your breathing, concentrate on allowing the energy of the sun to enter you via your palms. The more you relax, the more likely you are to feel a slight circle of pressure in your palm. That’s your palm chakra opening with your intention of energy cultivation.
In QiGong practice, the palm chakras are important points in the body for energy exchange. These points are used to great effect in many hands-on healing systems, such as QiGong, Reiki and Quantum-Touch, to name just a few. Just as important, however, are the use of these points in the cultivation of personal energy. Practitioners of QiGong, T’ai Chi and other internal practices are well versed in this practice.
Sungazing done correctly can be a wonderful practice, especially in the winter months when we tend to be covered up and not naturally getting the exposure we need to remain healthy. Done incorrectly, sungazing can result in permanent blindness. Regardless of what some internet guru tells you, avoid looking directly at the sun! If you experience any discomfort whatsoever, stop the practice immediately and seek out medical attention from a qualified and licensed practitioner.
Take care of your eyes. Avert your gaze slightly and open up your palms. Most of all, enjoy.
Much love and light,
In really want to practice this incredible way to connect with your self.
Your completely wrong sir i have been sungazing for years and i have not gone blind i use the hrm method which is essentially looking directly at the sun for ten seonds a day while increasing themtime you look at sun each day for ten seconds the benefits on and physical mental and spritual level is just amazing.
Thanks for the comment. Based on my understanding of physiology, it would be irresponsible for me to tell people to look directly at the sun for significant lengths of time. This is especially true if the sun were to be at zenith. At zenith, UV radiation is being blocked by considerably less atmosphere than it is near the horizon. So, while a look at the sun for a few seconds at sunrise or sunset may not cause problems, a 10-15 second stare at the sun during midday will assuredly cause damage. Possibly even permanent blindness.
Snow blindness and other vision impairments caused by overexposure to intense light is a real phenomenon. Living Intentionally’s purpose here is to steer people in the direction of reaping all of life’s benefits and avoiding unnecessary risks. If people wish to seek alternative information regarding sun gazing or any other topic presented here on the site, they should do so. They need to know, however, that doing it wrong may result in vision loss.
Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.
im doing it too and looking directly to the sun there is no damages till now
I have gazed directly in the ast, but never excessively. I am wanting to renew the sungazing practice and am drawn to your method. I am needing a little clarification. Basically. Are you allowing the sun to shine in yin tang keeping your eyes open but not seeing the disc of the sun. TIA
Thanks for your question. The idea, indeed, is to keep yin tang facing towards the sun. In fact, I also turn my palms toward the sun so that I can open the palm chakras and really open up to the energy. With regard to the eyes themselves, however, I do allow for very slight exposure. The important thing here is to not directly look at the solar disc. (Ever, in my opinion.) Because I’m getting my exposure near the midday zenith, the intensity of the UV radiation is also at its maximum. This means that any glimpses of the sun itself must be via averted vision.
It’s worth also reiterating that any after-image of the solar disc in your vision is a strong indicator of too much exposure. And just as it’s possible to get a sunburn on a cloudy day, it’s important to note that you really don’t need to be looking at the sun to receive its energy. Facing in the general direction with eyes open and having the intention of cultivating energy is quite sufficient.
Just remember: A hint of an after-image of the sun in your vision is a sign to reduce your gaze and protect your vision.
Hi, whats the duration you recommend to “indirectly” look at the sun as explained in your post to get the benefits ? are those benefits equivalent to the ones thousands of folks around the world have experienced using the “direct gazing” methods ?
As a newbie I am confused since most sun gazers say “direct” gazing is key and is safe when done during LOW UV hours of 1 hrs after Sunrise and 1 hrs before Sunset .
and Your post says “indirect” gazing is key …. does your method have documented benefits from real-experiences of practitioners ?
Because indirect exposure to sunshine doesn’t cause any cellular damage to the eye and its sensitive structures, there is no maximum duration beyond that which you’d use to prevent sunburn. There is no minimum and there is no ‘working up to maximum’ as is typically taught. When using averted gaze and not looking directly at the sun, we are behaving as all normal animals do. There are no other animals besides humans that practice staring at the sun.
It’s important to note that there is no such thing as “low UV hours”. When the sun is near the horizon, UVB (the good stuff) is mostly filtered out through atmospheric extinction and refraction. UVA and infrared radiation, however, mostly make it through to ground level. UVA and infrared can cause significant cellular damage over time.
The biggest problem with direct sun gazing during early/late hours is that the inner eye can receive a full blast of infrared and UVA without the usual photo ‘after effect’ experience in the user. That means that you might not notice any issues or problems while looking at the sun even though damage is being done.
As for documented benefits, the benefits of direct sun exposure during peak daylight hours are well noted amongst modern-day Vitamin D researchers (not just metaphysicians engaged in sungazing). Benefits of sunlight during peak UVB include Vitamin D production, improved serotonin output, improved bone density, and more. Specific to eyes, sunlight exposure during or near zenith optimizes the spectrum of light we’re seeing.
Full-spectrum light exposure during peak hours has the optimal ratio of red:blue wavelengths. The high blue component available during peak hours is well documented for helping to reduce or prevent depression, for example.
Finally, sungazing is only one means of cultivating personal energy stores. QiGong has been around for thousands of years, as have many other meditation-oriented energy cultivation practices. One of the easiest means of cultivating personal energy from the sun is to turn your palms towards the sun and imagine energy coming into your palms and filling your body with every breath. Try it. The feeling is delightful.
The key in any energy cultivation practice is intention. Where thought flows, energy goes. I’d be delighted to answer any more questions you may have.
I have just learned about sun gazing today to help my vision. I’m trying to learn the best way to correct my vision without glasses. First I want to know, do you know of anyone who has had a negative result from the 10 second look directly at the sun method?
I would not recommend looking directly at the sun for 10 seconds. Plenty of people have had negative results from looking directly at the sun, including permanent blindness. Read the article carefully and thoroughly again. You only want to use averted vision. Additionally, I am doubtful of you improving your vision through sungazing. I would be more inclined to study The Bates Method for vision improvement. I have had extremely good results with that system!
Best of luck with your pursuit. 🙂
hi robert im trying it to to heal my vision im in 14 min im using the HRM method im getting good results every day my eyes are getting better and better you should try it too
How long would you do this method at one time?
Because my directions involve not looking at the sun at all, there is no minimum or maximum duration required. The way I describe this, you are NOT looking at the sun. If you see any afterimages of the sun after even the shortest glance, you’re doing it incorrectly and risking your vision. Any discomfort or aftereffects must be immediately addressed.
Most importantly, if you have any doubt about it at all, DON’T DO IT.
You don’t actually need to sungaze to be able to cultivate solar energies in your practice. Energy flows where attention goes. In other words, your intention to take in and store that energy is what matters. The ‘vehicle’ of that intention matters not a jot.
All the techniques in the world are all just interpretations to focus our intention and suspend our disbelief. You can skip all of the nonsense just by intending that you’ll take in the sun’s healthful energy and not take in anything that is harmful to your health and well-being.
Much love. Namaste.
What do i do if i dont live where i can see the sun go down, i mean it dissapears behind threes, do i just look toward the direction the moment it goes down or….?
Looking towards the sun (not at it) is fine. If you read the article again, you’ll notice that I never recommend looking directly at the sun. The higher the sun, the more important it is to avert your gaze. I generally prefer to imagine taking in energy via my palms. The practice then becomes a form of QiGong.
Enjoy and protect your eyes.
Hi! I read that sunglazing should be done with bare feet on the natural ground, means no grass, no floor, no ceramic, Is it essencial or just nice to have? In the middle of the city it is mission impossible;)
What a great question! Grounding (or earthing) is a practice that has a large number of benefits. I disagree with the ‘no grass’ idea, which should open things up for you. Standing barefoot on any natural surface, including bedrock, hillsides or even a manicured park lawn is just fine. The idea is that we want to expose ourselves to the flow of free electrons in the earth so they can bind with free radicals in our body. In this fashion, we enjoy a 100% natural antioxidant effect.
I do agree with the idea that it’s nice to avoid flooring, cement, ceramics and the like, but, like you, I’m in a city (Tokyo). As such, I do most of my practice from my roof balcony. There’s a little trick you can employ that will make your practice even more successful!
Energy Flows Where Attention Goes
When you’re sungazing and unable to stand on natural surfaces, imagine an energy circuit moving bi-directionally through your body between the cosmos and earth. When we imagine the creation of such a circuit, we naturally create one. This means that even though we may not be physically in contact with the earth, we can reap at least some of the benefits as if we were. We just need to expect it!
The more you practice Conscious Creation in your life, the more miracles you’ll begin to see. As you begin to accept that miracles are a natural expression of our belief system, you’ll refine your beliefs and your power to create will expand.
Have fun with it! Enjoy your sungazing safely. Employ the power of mind whenever you’re unable to connect with natural surfaces (and even when you are).
Namaste and much love,
Namaste, You are dealing out a lot of wrong information, you are being very negative about something that has proven to tens of thousands to be very positive. There are rules to sungazing and they must be complied with, UV rays from the Sun vary by time of day from 0 to 11 as a factor, sungazing should be done when the UV rays are 2 or less, sunrise and sunset. Standing on grass is negative because the grass has already absorbed the energy transmitted by the sun. Barefoot on earth to absorb the earth energy.