Sky Gazing Exercises

The practice of Sky Gazing is at the heart of spiritual practice in the Tibetan Dzogchen and other ancient shamanic traditions.  During this exercise you leave behind your mundane affairs and your seemingly all-important to-do lists and enter the silent inner world where all healing takes place, where your body’s natural rhythms – pulse, respiration, brain waves, and energy systems – synchronize with each other.

Sit in a comfortable chair with your hands resting gently on your knees, eyes open, gazing straight ahead into the horizon, at the sky.  Relax your jaw and allow your eyes to look with a soft gaze.  Take deep, gentle breaths.  Relax your belly, keeping it soft.

As you follow your breathing, observe your feelings, thoughts, and moods.  Simply witness everything that surfaces in your awareness as if it were a cloud in the sky that appears and disappears of its own accord.  As you inhale, note how you are the observer.  As you exhale, notice how easy it is to get lost in thought.

With time, you will start to realize that you are none of your feelings or your thoughts but that you are the Seer who observes all.  Notice where your mind wonders off to, and the bring it back gently to focus on your breath as you gaze at the morning sky.

Rest calmly in this awareness and notice the vast spaciousness that opens up before you.  Observe your mind, nature, your body, and even the sky floating by.  Clouds come and go, thoughts come and go, sensations come and go.

With practice, as you invest the Seer with attention and awareness, all the busyness and worries of the mind dissolve and you witness every object, feeling, and thought with a smile on your face.

To succeed, you must practice this exercise daily, the first thing in the morning for fifteen minutes.

  • Still your mind
  • And all clouds disappear.
  • Contemplate a single truth
  • And clear sky appears.
  • Patanjali

Be sure to practice Sky Gazing this week before the next installment of this month’s Finding Your Purpose series.