If you are familiar with the Waking Up work, you know about the action of connecting the eyes to the heart. This practice is based on the Indian experience of darshan, or “seeing the Master face to face,” in which a Master or Guru sits in front of the satsang and gazes into the eyes of the assembled satsangis. The guru is the face of God in the world. God is love, and the experience of the darshan is like being bathed in love. It is quite extraordinary.
While most of us do not claim divinity, we can all access love, although many of us need to clear a few obstructions before we can do this successfully on a regular basis. Because the darshan practice requires ignoring automatic first judgment (a favorite tool of the ego’s), it aids us in our work of ignoring the ego and going to the heart in its place. The darshan practice helps create new neural paths, more positive and skillful ways of being in the world. On top of this great benefit, it is also a wonderful way to spread loving energy in the world without fanfare or the need for approbation. For a full description of how to activate your own darshan practice and experience the loving energy it often engenders, please read “The Eyes Have It!” in the book.
Like Rumi, we are often “forgetful”, and we spend much time unconscious, but, when we remember to be aware, we can use this practice as one of the most wonderful ways of changing the world into a more loving and compassionate place and ourselves into more loving and compassionate human beings. I very seldom encounter someone giving me the darshan, but, by giving it we often trigger love in another. This wonderful transaction is completely visible in the eyes. This is a practice that uses the eyes to manifest and enjoy the energy of love.
Babbie and I were walking through the Pike Street Market in Seattle, enjoying the abundance of color and plant life and people. We stopped at a counter at which a young man was selling small paintings. I would call them “poster art” styled, solid colors and bold characters, folk art in a way. As I leaned over to look at a painting, my awareness was triggered by something, and I looked back at the man who was sitting in a chair behind the counter. He had light brown skin and golden eyes and was definitely pouring love out of his eyes. He was doing the darshan practice! It felt good to receive and respond in kind. An woman with short gray hair came over to the table and spoke with him and then turned to us. She had clear blue eyes that were also radiating unmistakable loving energy. We gazed at each other deeply for a knowing moment and then finished our transaction. Of course, Babbie picked up on it too. No one said anything about what was happening, no need for words, and we went on our way, mysteriously refreshed by the indelible nature of love.