This week I had a flashback moment from a small valley I’d visited in the Peruvian Andes a couple of years ago. During that time I spent some months working on the land of a Shaman in exchange for food and accommodation.
I remember how I’d trekked a beaten up path to get there, built my one-man tent on an ancient Inca terrace, learned how to plant and harvest from the fields, cooked up some local recipes at the community kitchen, bathed in the rivers, delved into the musical instruments, prayed in the temple, sang in the Icaro language and discovered how to connect to the wisdom and spirit of their medicines.
It was an experience of depth and an education of splendour that I carried back home with me to Europe. Of course it was a pleasure to return to my loved ones and the life I enjoyed leading, but at the same time I couldn’t help notice that a significant something was not quite right.
What I began to observe was that so many people were complaining about each other. From the kings and queens to the people at the palace gates, they were all at it. I mean, there are plenty of injustices to complain about across this earth, but what was all the racket about, I wondered. At the time I supposed it was connected to a lack of community spirit so I decided to acknowledge what I saw and leave it there.
Then this week I met with a group of friends at the beach who, somewhat serendipitously, were talking of building a small community outside of the city. That’s when my mind flashed back to the community in the Andes and the observations I had upon my return to Europe.
I asked my friends why they felt they needed to manifest a new community rather than embrace the one they were already living in. Not so surprisingly, their responses came from a need to feel safe, loved, free and connected.
Alarm bells began to prevail in my mind while I felt myself somewhat aligned to their vision. Then I remembered a practice I was taught at that wonderful mountain community in Peru. They called it soul gazing and it felt reasonable in that moment to whip it out and bring it to the table.
So two by two, I instructed my friends to sit in a comfortable place on the sand or in chairs facing each other. I began; “Soul gazing is a technique known to be connected to ancient healing practices that help people engage with conscious communication and a deeper level of intimacy.”
I forewarned them that they may feel a little awkward at first, but urged them to keep up the practice for 15 minutes without looking away.
Then I asked them to close their eyes, take a deep inhale and exhale and when they felt ready, to open their eyes and gaze at each other.
Everyone laughed before they grew silent.
Then, bit by bit, magic unfolded as the partners gazed, relaxed, giggled, cried and touched. As the ego peeled away and the soul grazed around, I could see the partners grow in curiosity while I felt a heightened vibration of love being omitted through the atmosphere.
Fifteen minutes eventually passed and I asked the group to slowly come back into themselves.
What I saw at the end were sparkly eyed souls holding their hands close to their hearts. It was just as I’d experienced it in the community in Peru.
I was about to ask them what they thought about the experience, but before that happened, they each got up and hugged me to say thank you.
I was doubtful that soul gazing would stop them from building their future community, but I was glad to see the value of this practice touch more people.
So on that note, if you’re in doubt, if you’re lost, if you’re lonely or if you’re in need of a human hand, then please explore this profoundly awakening practice with someone you trust. I’m sure your endeavors will be met with some hearty surprises through the eyes of your mate.
Much love, Anneka and Teresa