The first time I really became aware of my third eye was at my first Vipassana 10 day retreat.
I remember sitting in the meditation hall hour after hour with this pressure between my two eyes. It wasn’t exactly between my eyes but a little higher somewhere on my forehead.
As soon as I would close my eyes and start meditating, a buzzing pressure would arise. As S.N. Goenka teaches us to do, I would observe this bodily sensation as it arises and passes away. But the thing was it wasn’t really passing away. It just kept getting stronger and stronger to the point where it was actually hurting and distracting me. It felt as if there was something under my skin trying to get out.
On day 4 of the retreat, I decided to talk with the teacher about this. When I asked her about this pressure I was feeling on my forehead she told me that I had to relax my eyes while meditating… I sat there looking at her thinking : “but my eyes are relaxed ! It has to be something else” and I think she saw the interrogation on my face because after a moment of silence she said .. Well, it might be that your third eye is awakening, but this is not part of the Vipassana teaching.
I was so intrigued … yet I had to wait for the end of my Vipassana retreat to learn more about this mysterious third eye that seemed to have appeared on my forehead over night.
So what is the third eye ?
In the field of science and modern biology, the third eye is referred to as the pineal grand. This little gland gets its name from the latin word ‘pinea’ which translates to pinecone, because it strongly ressembles one in shape. It is no bigger than a pea and is located in the geometric center of our brain. Although the function of this tiny gland has been unknown for a very long time, we now know that it produces the hormone melatonin which regulates our daily and seasonal circadian rhythms, the sleep-wake patterns that determine our hormone levels, stress levels, and physical performance. But is it really all it does ?
A sacred symbol through time
Seventeenth century, French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist René Descartes was fascinated by this tiny gland in the middle of our brain and dedicated much of his time to its study. After years of research he named the pineal gland the ‘principal seat of the soul’ and came to the conclusion that it was the link between the physical and spiritual world.
But really, he wasn’t the first to suspect the great spiritual powers of this tiny tiny gland. As a matter or facts, throughout history, pinecones have been used to represent the third eye, the seat of the Soul, and the doorway to Enlightenment. This sacred symbol can be found in the ruins of many civilizations such as Babylonians, Egyptians, Buddhists, Romans, Greeks and Christians.
For example, The sacred symbol can be found throughout Egyptian’s hieroglyphs and even os Osiris’s staff who is always depicted by two cobras rising up to meet a pinecone. If we look at the eye of Horus from Ancient Egypt we can clearly see that it looks exactly like the placement of the pineal gland in the profile of the human head.
Similarly, in Greek and Roman history, Dionysus, was continually depicted carrying a fennel staff woven with ivy leaves and topped with a pinecone.
And even today, we can find many references to the third eye pinecone in for example the Pigna a sculpture that sits in a Vatican courtyard called the Court of the Pine Cone, and is know as the largest pine cone statue in the world.
Same goes on for the Freemasons. It is widely believed that the Freemasons have a clear understanding of the spiritual power of the Third Eye which is the reason why pinecones figure so often in their architecture and symbolism. For example, next to the Whitehall building in New York’s financial district you can find a sculpture depicting two giant intertwining snakes spiralling up to a pinecone.
Awakening the third eye
The Third eye, seat of the Soul and sacred symbol of the Human Enlightenment has fascinated many cultures throughout time. Even today, it continues to be prevalent.
In the spiritual community, the third eye is referred to as the inner eye, the eye of the soul, the eye of reason and is associated with the 6th chakra. It is believed that awakening the Third eye allows us to access higher states of consciousness, attain a sense of bliss and peacefulness, acquire a deep understanding of life and death and even to gain extrasensory, intuitive psychic abilities.
Although we are all born with a third eye, for many of us this tiny gland’s spiritual powers are dormant or even blocked. Such a situation results in a person being deprived of one important sense and can cause uncertainty, pessimism and overall confusion.
It is valuable to every being to develop his Third eye. The first step towards this ‘awakening’ is to start going within and to observe. It could be through yoga, tai chi, Qi Gong or even meditation. That is in fact what I was doing the first time I felt my Third eye. I was learning to meditate, bringing my mind to the present moment and this observation of Self started waking up my mind’s eye. I could literally feel this energy on my forehead. Of course, the third eye’s awakening is not something that happens over night, it is a process that requires patience and practice. It’s a relationship that has to be remembered and patiently built. So be patient beautiful souls and start observing, listening to this long lost sense. And I promise you won’t regret this new relationship.
Lots of love & light