Don’t do it! | Photo: 彳亍天下, CC BY 2.0
First off: Don’t. Stare. At. The. Sun.
We clear? Okay. I’m always hesitant to hyperlink anything on these articles because people might actually do whatever I am telling them not to do, or they give the person making the claims website views. And possibly pingbacks. Today, we are going to talk about a form of meditative woo called sungazing.
Sungazing is the act of looking directly into the sun, usually for spiritual or religious practice. The technique we are focusing on for this article was developed by Hira Ratan Manek, a Breatharian. He lives on air and sunlight. His website is actually called the Solar Healing Center.
But thanks to Google SEO, I first stumbled onto Sungazing.com, which is run by Mason Howell Dwinell. And his page “How to Sungaze” was…well…let me pull out some quotes for you.
Yes, you may tap into higher spiritual realms as well as other time and space dimensions. Yes, you can live without food. Yes, you may allow other entities into your space and end up with metallic aliens dancing on your bed (true story).
One, okay to each their own spiritual journey but it puts my skepticism into high gear. Two, no, you can’t live without food. Three, just insert the aliens guy meme here.
You can damage your eyes from sungazing, just as you can burn your feet from walking on fire. I have participated in both practices, my feet and my vision are in perfect working order. We are all wired a bit differently; therefore it is impossible to predict how each individual will process the suns brilliant light.
Walking on coals unscathed is not your special wiring. It’s physics. Can’t explain how this gentleman can stare at the sun with hurting his eyes. Luck? Lies? I mean, plenty of people gaze at the sunset, but for 44 minutes straight? Which brings us to our next quote:
Depending on the weather and the level of commitment this is only a nine month to a year practice. Once you reach 44 minutes of sungazing you are finished. You should not have the need to stare at the sun any longer, your sungazing is complete. Sungazing is to be practiced standing bare footed on bare earth. … According to HRM the sunrise holds more energy, vitamins and minerals then the sunset.
…okay, sunlight does contain an energy, but vitamins? UVB rays start a chemical reaction in the human skin that produces vitamin D. That’s about it. The sun does not have minerals. Sunlight does not have minerals. Minerals that the human body needs are: iron, manganese, copper, iodine, zinc, cobalt, fluoride, selenium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride, and sulfur. None of these are in sunlight. Sunlight is photons.
To summarize the rest of the technique, you stare for 10 seconds on the first day, and then increase this by 10 seconds every day (weather permitting). Don’t squint, but don’t stare if it hurts (which they at least say). Going up to the full 44 minutes will take 9-10 months.
And in tiny text at the very bottom of the wesbite:
Disclaimer: do not ever stare directly into the sun due to the possibility of eye damage and blindness. it is at your own risk that you would participate in such an activity.
Now, the technique says to only do it within the hour after sunrise, and the hour before sunset, because the UV light is close to none. Close to none doesn’t mean none. You can probably get away for a few minutes of sunset gazing, but that’s it. Go ahead and take your sunset photos and enjoy sunlight, but don’t practice dangerous habits.
Happy Mon— Tues— Wednesday.
Katelyn Sweigart is a recovering woonatic and This Week In Tomorrow’s regular correspondent for your weekly dose of woo.
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