The Sungazing practice
How do I practice safe Sungazing?
During Sungazing we look once a day for a certain duration into the rising or setting sun at times which are safe for the eyes and we will not cause any damage. After the practice we observe the afterimage that occurs when looking at bright light sources. We stand barefoot on natural soil. Every new sunny day we practice a bit longer, until we are able to practice 44 minutes in a row. Most people notice the first effects already after a few times of practice. You don’t have to change any of your daily routines or lifestyle. There are no personal restrictions.
Abuna Semai during the Sungazing practice with feet in the water
When can Sungazing be practiced?
The safe times are within the one hour time window after sunrise or sunset (click here to view this for your location). It has been scientifically proven that in these times our eyes are no longer exposed to dangerous UV or infrared rays, because the UV index is below 2, usually even zero. You can even test it yourself with low costs utilities or check out the latest weather news that often include the UV index. You can find the exact times of the sunrise and sunset at the local newspapers, the weather news, the Internet, the weather apps on your smartphone and you can even without using technology determine it yourself, by using the page „Determine the time„. The time window changes, depending on where you are, for example, the sunrise and sunset in Berlin is at a slightly different time than in Vienna. Both times, the first hour after sunrise or the last hour before sunset are good for practice and you can choose one of the two times according to your needs. Do not practice twice a day, even though your initial enthusiasm may tempt you to do so ;).
Tip: I recommend starting in the morning, because if there are clouds at this time, you have another chance in the evening. So, the probability that you can practice at least once a day is twice as high :).
Where can Sungazing be practiced?
During the practice stand barefoot on natural ground facing the sun. This might be in your garden, in a park or as well on sand, pure earth or even a rock. Ideal is pure earth or sand, but also all other natural soils are fine and sufficiently effective. Avoid artificial floors like paving. This is necessary for your grounding. We receive a great deal of energy in a short time through the sun practice, which will start an immediate healthful processes in your body and mind and channel of old energies. This drainage is usually done via the meridian ends with ground contact on the feet. More details about it can be found under „Grounding & barefoot walking„.
Tip: Think about whether you want to practice daily at the same place and time. Following this routine has some advantages as it helps your mind to get used to what is happening. But in the end sensitivity and intuition are much more important.
How can Sungazing be practiced?
On the first day – during safe Sungazing times and while standing barefoot on natural ground – look into the sun for a maximum of 10 seconds. Ideal is a soft gaze, not focused, just relaxed.
Then close your eyes and put your palms on your eyes to darken them. When it is cold outside, it can be very useful to rub the palms together until they are very warm. You will see lights, colors and shapes with your eyes closed – observe everything until this so-called „afterglow“ has completely(!) disappeared, which may take several minutes. This is absolutely necessary to maintain the health of your eyes and to receive the full effect of Sungazing. More details can be found under „Observation of the afterglow„.
On the second day add 10 seconds, so you look into the rising or setting sun for 20 seconds. On each oft the following sunny days you add another 10 seconds. For example, at the end of 10 days of continuous Sungazing you will be looking at the sun for 100 seconds, or better to say, for 1 minute and 40 seconds. It’s a good idea to use a timer that you can find in every smartphone nowadays; there are even apps for Sungazing (but you should definitely check if the times for sunrise and sunset are shown correctly! That’s not always the case.). You are allowed to blink during the practice, to keep your eyes still or especially focused is not necessary. Do not wear glasses or contact lenses during Sungazing. At the beginning, the eyes may burn or tear; if tear drops come up in the edge of the eye, it is best to blink or wipe it off so that no burning magnifying glas effect comes up like a glass lens forms. Burning of the eyes or tears are a cleansing processes and usually lessens rapidly after a few days of practice; this can even happen to advanced practitioners again and again, depending on your mental state and daily routine.
Does it need any preparation?
Sungazing needs no preparation. However, it has been helpful to calm down your mind, which is mostly churned up by the daily routine. Although this is normal for most people, it makes the contact with the sun more difficult. As calmer, quieter the mind is, as easier it will be to let light fall into your eyes and into you. I and other practitioners have discovered some useful preparing meditations for this; try them out and choose as needed and up to your liking. If you want to pray, you can use any prayer that suits you. No special prayer is recommended and it is not necessary. Simple honest gratefulness for what is given to you by and through the sun and earth always and everywhere unconditionally is the ideal state of mind for everyone at practicing Sungazing. Trust in the sunlight you take in with your eyes that it will bring great benefits and will not hurt you. The sun, together with the earth, guides the entire life on this planet in an ideal way and can do this for your life too. A smile helps a lot ;-). So you will get better results faster and earlier. But even without believing, these results will show, if you follow the practice conscientiously, it might just take a little longer.
What to do if there are clouds?
In cloudy weather, it is worth practicing when you can see the sun disk through the clouds or parts of the clouds clearly reflect the sunlight. So it may be that you do not see the sun directly, but you practice with the brightest spot in the sky. On such days you do not add 10 seconds, but take the duration of the previous day. Add only 10 seconds if you have a clear view to the sun for the total time. If the weather is such that no sun or at least a bright spot in the sky shows up, then Sungazing is impossible. If you still want to do something meditative for you on such a day – which I highly recommend to you – then ideally practice Vipassana after Goenka or one of the practices we show in our workshops, such as the Spontaneous Movement „SAM“. If you currently have no access to this, you can also use the preparatory meditations and just practice a little longer than just for the Sungazing preparation.
How about if I can not practice for a while?
If the weather has been too bad for a long time, or if you decided to do other activities that you considered to be more necessary, then proceed as follows: If you have only been out of practice for a few days, then just continue as usual. If the break lasts longer, for example, a week or two, then I can recommend you to get used to it again with a little less time. Eyes, nerves, and your entire physical and energetic system have to adapt to the enormous amount of energy; and, like a muscle that is not used for a while, the ability is weakened. For example, if you’re on 10 minutes and 30 seconds and have paused for two weeks, then try out how it feels to do it for 8 minutes and increase it by 30-60 seconds on each sunny day. So take bigger steps.. Once you get back to the time you left off earlier – in this case 10:30 minutes – then continue with the regular protocol and add 10 seconds on each sunny day. Sensitivity is needed, so some persons can take bigger steps than others. A few can even continue to practice where they left off. Be careful and gentle with you and your body. The longer the break lasted, the more time you should reduce for your restart. For example, if you’re at 18 minutes and you’re only taking a week off, you’ll need to reduce significantly less, as if the break would have taken a month.
How long does die whole Sungazing practice take?
Ideally, the Sungazing practice takes 9 months; this applies to areas where the sun shines every day. Since this is not the case, for example, in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and therefore the days on which practicing is not possible because of clouds must be added, the duration is extended to about two years. So you can expect that with sufficient persistence in the first year, you will get a direct view of the sun for about 22 minutes. This is reasonable and you will definitely experience a very positive effect on your entire life. What you can expect as a result of your efforts, is explained under the next pages dealing from 0 to 44 minutes.
Is there a way to support the Sungazing practice?
Yes :). Any form of meditation that works with devotion, just as Sungazing is. These are, however, rare forms of meditations; nowaday most meditations offered work with the sheer willpower. If you have heed the grounding through barefoot walking, the drinking of sun water and perhaps even the preparation of the mind through appropriate meditation, I can as well recommend sunbathing to you. Ideal sun warming of the body is not primarily for the cosmetic effect of tanned skin (even if that is a nice side effect), but rather for vitamin D production. Simply put, you can summarize that the body uses the UV rays of the sun to convert stress hormones into vitamin D. Therefore, it is not only advisable to practice Sungazing with as much naked skin as possible (if the temperatures and the social environment allows it), but also specifically take a daily short sunbath. My recommendation, which comes from this source: Lie as naked as possible into the midday sun, let it shine on the backside for 10 minutes and the front of the body for another 10 minutes. This is enough for your body to produce 10,000 to 20,000 IU of vitamin D3 for you within the next 24 hours :). It is important that you do not take a shower after sunbathing for as long as possible, but for a maximum of the mentioned 24 hours, as water contact with the skin can partially rinse off the nicely produced vitamin D, especially if you use soap. If you can only sunbathe every other day, then your vitamin D level in your blood should be optimal with 80-100 ng/ml. The benefits of a high healthy vitamin D level are discussed in detail in my blog article specifically designed for this purpose. Just use Google for translation ;).
By the way It should be obvious that sunglasses and sunscreen quite fast become pure nonsense, if you decide to become a Sungazer ;). Alternative possibilities of protection for too intense solar radiation can be found at the bottom of the page „Earthing & Barefoot walking„. A high vitamin D level, along with natural tanned skin and sensible sunbathing is the best and most natural protection anyway.
Ideally, Sungazing is practiced completely and with the greatest benefit for you if you:
- stand barefood on natuaral ground
- practise Sungazing once a day
- always observe the afterglow until it completely disappears
- often drink sun-charged water
- take a healthy sunbath as naked as possible more often
- include some time for barefoot walking into your daily routine
- during cloudy times choose other useful meditation techniques
- stay persistent and enjoy
In order to stay joyfully with the practice continue and fully understand the process. It might help you to communicate with likeminded people. Therefore I have opened up a special group:
Since this group is german speaking only, check Facebook for other Sungazing-groups who may be in your language. If not, you are welcome to open a new group for your country :).
You’ll find information on Sungazing.de that you probably will not find on any other Sungazing page. These information in particular the changes to the original Sungazing process, are all results from experience, good sense, intuitive inspiration, and intense communication with other practitioners. The original guide by Hira Ratan Manek is a standardized one, based on his own and ideal procedures. The process presented there and also the effects do not correspond to the perceptions of most. After ten years of experience in sun practices such as Sungazing, Sunyoga, and Sunmeditation, along with the experiences of many practitioners, I have adapted the guidance of Hira Ratan Manek to the actual experience of Sungazers. This concerns the following differences:
• The „standing on earth or sand“ during the practice has been improved in „standing on natural ground“, as it makes no significant difference from experience, for example, if you stand on a meadow. You can find more about this under „Earthing & barefoot walking„.
• Focusing the sun. Many Sungazers focus on the sun, as if they were on the hunt… quiet driven and unrelaxed. We’ve found that the soft gaze is far more helpful than a focused one.
• The uniqueness of this exercise. Originally it is communicated that you must approach the Sungazing process only once, in order to receive lasting effects. Experience shows that this is only partially correct. You can compare this to how long the sunlight takes to melt an ice block. Every effect and every inner blockage is such an ice block, some bigger than the others – and most important: these are different in size for each individual. Once a log has completely melted, the effect is permanent. But If it is only partial, the effect is either temporary or not fully apparent. It even happens that some accomplishments begin to recede when you stops practicing, much like weeds spurt again, if the roots have not completely been removed. Most practitioners report that after a few weeks of practice break, hunger and need for sleep increase again. This suggests that Sungazing is not always enough to completely remove the roots of all topics. This was also the reason why I started my own experiments, looked for other methods and found what I was looking for.
• The possible effects of 0-44 minutes may be different for everyone, while in the original description these are shown as absolute. One of the highest effects, living on light, for example, is only possible by means of Sungazing in the ideal case. Most Sungazers, who have reached the process for up to 44 minutes, report that their food intake and need for sleep are significantly reduced, but not completely or only temporarily stopped. The very different manifestations, from a reduced need to complete light nourishment, are due to the practitioners‘ different ways of life and their individual karma weight. This is explained in detail in the Sunmeditation workshops.
Earthing & barefoot walking
Please note that no promises of healing are made here.
All content is for information only and each application is at your own risk.