Open your single eye to yourself, the world, the universe and beyond…with thanks to the late Douglas Harding, whose teaching helped me find myself.
According to the gospel of St Thomas,’there is light within a light man and it lights up the whole world’. (Douglas Harding, Head off Stress)
We simply need to ‘look at ourselves’. If you are prepared to put your heart into this and be honest about what you truly see then you will find your own nature is the simplest thing to discover. This inward gaze reveals an empty awareness that simultaneously contains, and is, everything. If you are prepared for it this capacity is also the doorway to an awareness of your own consciousness that you may not yet know the existence of. This is a theme that appears to run through all spiritual teachings. All that is needed is intent. The methods outlined by Douglas are just a start, this practice can be integrated into everyday life and work with, or alongside any activity, belief or spiritual teaching.
In order to achieve this inner awareness Douglas Harding devised a practical set of experiments that anyone can do at any time. His work is continued by Richard Lang and the many friends of the headless way who can be found all over the world. The excellent workshops do little more than cover their own costs, and indeed those that have ’looked’ and discovered themselves are encouraged to share it with others. This is one teaching with no guru’s or authorized teachers (thankfully), unlike most spiritual groups which seem to require you to have attended a course before you can join them for meditation.
I recently attended the ‘look for yourself’ summer gathering in Salisbury UK with the ‘seeing’ friends of Douglas Harding and Richard Lang, and I loved it for the generosity and spirit of all those involved and for experiments we all shared. Many of the 40 participants had known Douglas since their teenage years and it was clear that he had had a profound impact on them. Several participants had even travelled from as far afield as Australia. These people left me with the impression that Douglas was cherished and sincere, with the sole intent of helping others to find happiness, satisfaction, enlightenment, realization, satori, nirvana or whatever your belief prefers to call it.
If you feel Modern life has sentenced you to stress, restlessness or discontent I would recommend that you attend one of these workshops or at the very least do the exercises on the headless.org website. The most profound of the exercises are the inward and outward pointing exercises and the one eye experiment (also referred to as the opening of the 3rd eye in Douglas’s book- Head off Stress)
Certainly the habits of a stressful life cannot be erased overnight, there is clearly work to do which is enjoyable and will take you on a journey into your inner self and beyond. This centrality is your inside story. It is not what you look like it is what you are. The first step of this process is to really commit to ‘looking at yourself’. Once you have done this the battle with your own ego and dissatisfaction could be won. No one can confront your empty capacity or no-thingness as Douglas calls it.
In my own experience stress thrives on avoidance and this applies both to negative stress (work and life issues) as well as emotional stress. It is also incredibly stressful not facing up to who you are as this (in my case) often has implications within the perceived security of material existence. Many people live this innocent lie (and I include myself in this) Unfortunately it is much like any area of our lives where we choose to be economical with the truth, it quietly and silently and stelthily erodes the sense of who we are along with our wellbeing. The less truth to ourselves there is in our lives the greater the negative effect of this, or at least this is what I have observed in myself
In Douglas Hardings book he likens the one eye experiment to the opening of the 3rd eye. Speaking from my own experience I can say that this particular experiment was a very profound one for me, not only does it reveal beauty in everything it also unveils a certain truth. It has certainly enlightened me as to the need to take a different direction in life. In fact I look through this ‘one eye’ whenever the thought comes into my conscious awareness which is now the majority of the time. I cannot say if seeing though one eye compares with seeing through a 3rd eye since I have never met anyone with whom to compare the two experiences. I would describe my own seeing experience as being through what I believe is my consciousness. According to Douglas Harding spiritual teachings are of the opinion that seeing through the 3rd eye is a much to be desired experience, better known in the east than the west. This mysterious organ is situated, according to eastern practices midway between your eyes level with your eyebrows. According to ancient wisdom 3rd eye ‘seers’ are able to experience an enlightened outlook on life and the universe. To consider how natural this state is think of the wide eyed infant, or the wide eyed and serene animal, according to Douglas Harding they are looking as though through a single eye- they simply ‘see’ and life their lives by ‘being’
My sincere thanks to those at the Salisbury workshop for their sound advice and kind words.
The No-Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/groups/richardlang/
Headless.org website: http://www.headless.org/
The experiments: http://www.headless.org/experiments.htm
And finally the you tube video of Douglas Harding giving a workshop in Australia, the full version is available in the shop on the headless website