Updated: Sep 9
I was just outside for a quick sun bath before sunset and I felt inspired to write a post. What is your relationship with the sun? Do you have one? What ideas do you have about the sun? Do you have a fear about “sun burn” or have you ever called yourself a “sun worshiper”? I thought it could be fun to do a quick exploration!
I have also been reading a bit lately about sun gazing. It is an ancient practice that I feel is somewhat unknown in the west, though I did a quick web search and see that there are articles available. Some people gaze at the rays of the sun as it is rising and setting—times when the rays most harmful to the physical eyes are not as prevalent. It is said that benefits include increased energy, lightness, and perhaps even a reduced intake of physical food.
This last point is interesting to me because I also read about a sun practice in the book The Gabriel Method. Jon Gabriel was an overweight executive living in NYC who changed his entire life and lost approximately 200 pounds. Since this achievement more than 10 years ago, he has developed a business to help people lose weight with compassion, with a focus on emotional, mental and spiritual health.
In his book, Jon mentions a “Technique for Vitality—Eating the Sun.” The technique comes from Chinese Taoists and has been around for more than five thousand years. Essentially, the practice involves standing in the sun, opening the mouth and swallowing a gulp of air into your stomach as if you are ingesting the sun itself. I am not listing Jon’s full practice here but you can find his book on Amazon if you are interested; it is included on pages 97-98 in my copy. I also did a quick search online and there are many variations of this this practice found in qigong. (I enjoyed a blog post called “Absorbing Qi from Nature.”)
There is solar qigong, just as there are sun salutations in yoga. Many religions also stress performing rituals or saying prayers at the times of sunrise and sunset. At the famous Incan Temple of the Sun in Machu Picchu, researchers hypothesize that priests were tracking the sun's movements over time. These practices have been handed down by our ancestors; what did they know about the significance of the sun? Do you have any ideas? Do you think you could benefit from a more conscious relationship? I wonder how the invention of electricity has affected our awareness of the sun as our light source? What else comes to you as you consider the sun?
Whatever the answers, I wanted to send some love and gratitude to the sun for the amazing light, energy and life it provides to us all!
With love, Orianna