In the practice of Yoga, we often use what is know as a Drishti, a single point of focus on which to turn our gaze. In Sanskrit, of course, it can also mean vision, a point of view, or intelligence and wisdom. This makes sense, as when one begins to deepen ones practice it becomes more apparent that Drishti is in fact much more than a place to turn our physical eyes.
Not only is it a place to turn the “internal” eye, but you may say that it is the internal eye (I). It is a place of peace, and it is a place of knowing. It is a point of view with which to see the world around us, and it is also a place to turn our gaze amidst a world that is tumultuous, constantly shifting, and often uncomfortable.
The internal eye, or source of focus is ultimately the essence of the Universe, and as a result, everything seen and unseen, including ourselves. It is the Ultimate, Supreme, Absolute One-ness that is the Self and the Universe. This is God, if you allow yourself to name it so.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to gaze upon such immeasurable beauty then you aren’t alone, and you probably aren’t even reading this article. In fact, many of us on the spiritual path are seeking just this. A simple gaze or even a glimpse of the Divine. On the other hand, we have all had SOME form of experience with or ‘gazing’ upon the Divine; whether thru an experience of Human Love or Enjoyment of Life, even if we weren’t really aware of what was happening on the “spiritual plane.”
Whatever YOUR experience of the Divine may be, you can use this as a platform for maintaining a focal point or gaze upon your Divine nature and the nature of the Universe. There are, of course, also a number of techniques, or prescribed focal points we can focus our gaze upon to Ultimately turn our attention inward. These are techniques that have been used for centuries.
One such technique is to simply focus on the breath.
Another technique or means of placing our gaze would be to imagine a single point of white light in-between our brows or in the center of our heart. These points correspond to the third eye chakra and our heart chakra. Either choice is a very effective means of focusing ones gaze upon the Divine.
In our physical yoga practice we often use the Drishti as a form of literally focusing our sight on a specific point in the room or on our bodies. In the Ashtanga tradition, there are, in fact eight different types of Drishti, or places to focus our gaze. These are places of focus on the physical body which correspond to points on our energetic body, or along our chakras points. Some are also certain directions in the room depending on the pose. Whether the point of focus is external or internal, the ‘point’ or intention is really the same – to find and connect to a more deeply seated alignment with an embodiment of our true nature.
Eventually one will find themselves fixating on this place of Drishti amidst many of life’s circumstances, be it work, in our relationships, or simply running errands. It is the internal flame, always lit and always guiding us to a deeper perspective of ourselves and the world we are participating in. Whether we are in an incredibly stressful yoga pose or burrowing through one of life’s obstacles it is always there, waiting to give us a sense of Peace and Perspective. We simply have to turn our gaze to it.