There are several methods of sun meditation (sungazing), several chat rooms devoted to sungazing, and several websites with related information. Not all of the information is factual and it behooves anyone who decides to practice this ancient and life transforming technique to become informed by reading as much as they can and by talking with other experienced sungazers.
My interest in sungazing actually originated while practicing t'ai chi. Many times, while enveloped in a peaceful, yet very enlivening flow of t'ai chi movements at sunrise or sunset, I would feel this energetic connection with the sun.
At sunrise, I felt invigorated by this connection. At sunset, I felt a deep peace.
Then, during a sunset practice in June of 2005, I intuitively sensed that there must be a way to pull this amazing energy of the suns rays directly into my body. Several weeks later I found a flier in a raw food restaurant advertising a talk by a gentleman from India, Hira Ratan Manek (HRM), who had lived off of nothing but the sun's energy for over 10 years. My curiosity was peaked.
I attended two evening presentations by HRM. While some of the claims he made about the timing of the healing benefits one could expect from sungazing seemed pretty incredible (and in actuality are not truthful) and some of the statements he made, I knew from my own personal experience, were not true, the overall concept seemed to be what I intuitively knew was possible and the results he had achieved could not be denied.
He had been supervised and studied by NASA and scientists from around the world on several fasts (one exceeding 200 days and another exceeding 400 days). During these fasts he consumed nothing but water and sunlight. He also said he partakes of coffee and diluted buttermilk at times. Subsequent to attending these two lectures, HRM was "caught" eating lots of food. His eating after all these years and the more than realistic claims he makes, in my opinion, do not diminish the benefits one can experience with conscientious sungazing.
I began sungazing in July of 2005. At the time, I had been meditating daily for over 24 years, teaching and practicing yoga or t'ai chi almost every day for 17 years, and gradually changing my diet to one that is light and natural.
From the very first day of sungazing for just 10 seconds, my meditations became much deeper and the experience of energy flowing through my body increased dramatically. It was like a new energy was awakened within. And the experience has continued to become more and more profound with each and every day.
My main sungazing practice is standing barefoot on dirt but one of the most powerful experiences I've had came while sitting in a meditation pose in the living room. The energy pulsated so strongly in my body for such a long period of time that my body felt like exploding. Then, suddenly, all vibrations ceased. My body and mind were completely still. My eyes were softly open to the sun's rays-they didn't blink at all. The stillness and peace were beyond description. Only consciousness, oneness, existed.
As one sungazes longer and longer, it's very helpful to be flexible as to when and where one sungazes. If standing, the flow of energy will be facilitated by keeping some bend in the knees. I've also found it extremely important to gaze at the sun with soft eyes. In other words, don't stare at the sun. One's eyes are open to the sun in kind of a blank stare like one sometimes experiences while watching television. You can get this state by focusing your mind inwards at your heart, power center (the dan tien several inches below the navel), or the soles of your feet while your eyes are relaxed and open. In this state, you'll actually be seeing two suns and the sun's intensity lessens. Blink as often as you need to.
It's also very important to not repeatedly sungaze where the wind can dry your eyes out. I started sungazing during sunsets at the beach where the wind was blowing directly into my eyes. Somewhere around 12 minutes of sungazing I had to stop. Whenever I tried to read, my eyes would see a bright white light where the print was supposed to be. White on white is not good for reading.
After several weeks of not sungazing, this condition disappeared. Be attentive. Consider having your eyes checked regularly. All the information I've read and my experience says that sungazing is a very ancient, time-tested, and safe practice if done following certain guidelines.
The safe times for sungazing according to the literature are the first hour within sunrise time or the hour before sunset. I suggest the ½ hour within sunrise or sunset when first starting to get the eyes accustomed to looking at the light. If following HRM's method, one adds 10 seconds every day one can see the sun (free of thick clouds).
The Suryayoga method has a different suggestion. Other people gaze based on their own inner awareness.
Regardless of the method, if your eyes start burning, stop. This is not a race! Don't be the hare! There are incredible benefits to be experienced but they do not come overnight!
Nothing is going to magically happen at 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or 45 minutes! The magic will take place each and every moment you are gazing.
There's nothing to be gained by skipping ahead. Sungazing is a cumulative practice. Just standing still for this practice is an amazing meditation in and of itself. In fact, even if clouds are obstructing your view of the sun on a particular day, stand and gaze anyway. You won't be able to increase your viewing time to the next 10 second increment, but you will be continuing the practice and getting the amazing benefits of a daily meditation.
HRM also suggests walking on the earth (again, not grass) for 45 minutes a day. This is important for everyone regardless of whether they sungaze. Your mental and physical well being is dependent on connecting with the earth. Walk 30 to 45 minutes every day and at least two of those days each week should be barefoot on the earth. I can't begin to describe the benefits you'll experience.
When you've finished sungazing each day, close your eyes. Imagine the sun's energy you've taken in is revitalizing every cell of your body. Do this while sungazing too. Feel like the sun is healing your entire body. Direct the energy to different parts of your body using your mind. Use affirmations. Chant inwardly or audibly (the vibration of Om is very compatible). Use this as a time to keep your mind focused. You'll find at some point that whatever you are focusing on sort of just melts away into this incredible peace and/or these incredible vibrations pulsating through your body.
I've experienced the illusion of time while sungazing.
I've experienced my brain heating up as if it were an atomic reactor and this heat radiating down the inner core of my being while sungazing. This experience happened on three consecutive days (the intensity lessened a little each day) at a time when I was consciously trying to overcome anger. And to my amazement, anger suddenly and miraculously disappeared from my being as a result of the sun's grace, God's grace, and my intention to free myself of this debilitating emotion.
Not all the experiences one has sungazing are pleasant. You really get to know yourself when you stand still. When there is nothing to do. The sunlight exposes parts of you that have been tucked away, hiding in the shadows from the incredible light you are. Parts you just need to look at and honor. Parts that will be melted away so you can experience who you really are at all times.
I find that meditating quietly for 5 to 15 minutes after sungazing by either sitting silently or walking quietly on the earth (not a time for power walking) is very beneficial. Relish the energy, the peace, or whatever you are experiencing. Let it soak deep within your being.
Drinking plenty of water is important. It's also important that as the minutes of imbibing your nourishment directly from the sun increase (that's what you're getting indirectly by eating fruits, plants, etc. -- the sun's energy) that you pay attention to your diet. You might find yourself eating juicier foods (fruits and green leafy vegetables), more natural uncooked foods, and less cooked or dead food.
Consistently sungazing will change your whole relationship with food. You'll learn what your particular being thrives on and how cultural, corporate, and familial information and habits you've taken on with respect to food do not necessarily serve you.
Hey, what's the use of devoting all this time to sungazing and pulling in this amazing cosmic source of energy if you're going to try to hold on to old habits and patterns that are not yours to begin with and that keep you from experiencing your full human potential in terms of health, wealth, and mental capacity?
And, please know, that being able to live on sunlight and not eating food are not prerequisites for living in our natural state of enlightenment. Giving up the attachment to food is not the same thing as not eating. There are many enlightened beings walking this earth today that eat food.
May we all partake of God's bounty consciously-eating only that which we can digest, eating with love and gratitude, and eating without harming another animal in the process. Our living bodies need living food to thrive (fruits, leafy greens, some vegetables, nuts, seeds, bee pollen, etc.).
Sunbathing during safe hours is also very beneficial to our beautiful bodies. Paramahansa Yogananda said: "Today I will seek God's vitality in the sun, bathing my body in its light to appreciate the life-giving, disease-destroying gift of the ultraviolet rays from the Lord."
Most of all, enjoy the process. You are in for an amazing adventure.
In 1979 I weighed nearly 200 pounds. A daily practice of t'ai chi, yoga, meditation, walking, weights (Total Gym), natural eating (fruits, leafy greens, bee pollen, young coconut mostly) and sungazing keeps me slim (130 pounds), flexible, strong, peaceful, and full of energy. My blood pressure is 100/60, my bones are strong, and my active heartbeat is around 55 per minute.
Infinite blessings on your adventure of life!
Our Store Contains a Treasure Chest of Printed StoryBooks,
Your Children And Family!
Originally shared at my EZine Articles.