We spend a lot of our day avoiding eye contact. Whether it’s because of our technology, our social anxiety, being lost in thought, or feeling strong emotions like guilt or embarrassment.
But now there is a new reason to look someone in the eye, and it’s called eye gazing.
Leading the initiative is Australia-based The Human Connection. In addition to its small intimate workshops, the group holds monthly public events across the globe --inviting strangers to peer into the windows of our souls and vice versa.
The events run for several hours and people sit down and stare silently into a stranger’s eyes for as long as they choose or until somebody gets up to gaze with another stranger. Think of it speed dating, but with no sexual agendas. Only meditative intentions.
As described on the Human Connection’s website, eye gazing is “When you eye gaze you are not just staring into someone's eyes, you are seeing beyond the physical qualities of whom you sit with, your senses allow you to perceive the truth of each moment, showing you the inexplicable unity that exists between each and every one of us. Recent evidence suggests Eye Gazing has been scientifically proven to be therapeutic, and through its experience we open up to new streams of awareness, shifting the way we see and relate to the world around us.”
It is an opportunity to be more present, to be in the moment, and to break down barriers between people.
The Human Connection’s founder, Igor Kreyman, told The Guardian how it has taken off, “We started off with Sydney, and we had 150 people come to the first event in April, and then in May we had 300 people, so we decided to try Melbourne, then Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Wollongong and Sunshine Coast are in the process – and we have events in LA and Mumbai then New Zealand. We’re growing quite rapidly.”
If staring into a stranger’s eyes in the middle of a park sounds strange, you’re probably not alone. However, we could all probably benefit from holding a gaze a little longer than usual. Maybe it is a friend, a lover, or even our pets. There’s a chance you could connect.
Watch the video and look into someone’s eyes.