This week in my series on caring for our sense organs (ears, skin, eyes, tongue, nose and mind), we focus on the Eyes and Vision. We take in millions of impressions each day and consciously or unconsciously our organism has to process all of this information. This is going on all the time in the background of our minds. If we make space for meditation, we give room for all of that mind chatter to calm and ultimately to self-liberate.
What we feed our senses, and how we care for them is an important, often overlooked form of self-care and a direct way to cultivate mental calm and peace. Think of the baby whose senses we protect so carefully so as not to overstimulate, and then consider for a moment how many impressions you have taken in so far today. Notice the quality of your mind right now—how dull, stimulated or quiet/peaceful?
Caring for our sense organs is a way of relieving them of excess stress and strain as well as keeping their pathways clear and nourished. We can care for our eyes in the morning with a quick rinse with cool water. You can also use a neutral eye solution like Similasan homeopathic drops or Rose water or, for a stronger effect, Triphala eye wash (1t.triphala powder with 1 C hot water—let cool, strain, and rinse eyes with the solution—refrigerate any extra, and use within a week). These eye washes, refresh, cool and in the case of triphala, clean/scrape the eye to keep them clear and free of any impediments.
Repeat mid-day, before you sleep or any time your eyes need refreshment.
For Dry or Hot eyes, you can place a few drops of ghee or castor oil in them before bed. You can do this as often as once a week. Castor oil is sticky and hard to work with, but the effects are wonderful. When I do this, I have a wet cloth by my bed to wipe the excess off of my eyes, and in the morning, my eyes feel cool, clear and moist. Very refreshing.
Always check with your physician before putting anything into your eye besides pure water.
Physical and emotional strain can be relieved from the eyes by making circles. Circle 9 or 10 times in one direction and then repeat in the other direction. Then, close your eyes and imagine your eyeballs moving back in their sockets. Finally, rub your hands together until you feel some heat, and cup your warm hands over your eyes and feel the heat penetrate the skin and relax your eyes.
We can cleanse more subtle thought impressions by gazing at a candle flame (ideally a ghee lamp) for 5 minutes or longer. Gazing into any natural fire is similarly cleansing and purifying for our vision. This purification of the senses supports more clarity of vision, both inner and outer, and less accumulation in the subtle mind at the third eye and center of the brain near the pineal gland. Cleansing our eyes and purifying our subtle sight, allows us to see the world anew and to perceive our reality clearly and directly.
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