I Unintentionally Grimace When Looking in Other People’s Eyes


I have been on the path for 3 years. Have been doing Kriya for about 2. For the last 6 months I have been unable to look people in the eye. When I do make eye contact i get this nervous jolt through my body, and my face grimaces. It's becoming very awkward at work when I have to communicate with people. People are noticing this and it must make them feel like I dislike them. Daily life is becoming very uncomfortable. Could you help me understand what is going on?

—Patrick, Australia


Dear Patrick,

I sympathize with your situation; I understand how it would be extremely uncomfortable.

It seems that a previously hidden subconscious tendency is coming to the fore. Interestingly, it seems not to be triggered by any specific individuals but by human eye contact in general. Well, such things can happen on the spiritual path, because we’re working with the inner energies, and that can stir things up.

You didn’t ask what to do about it, but I’ll offer a few suggestions anyway. Above all, keep up your Kriya practice. Kriya didn’t create that tendency—it was there already, and it has to be released sometime. Furthermore, Kriya will give you the strength, not only to endure this episode, but to transcend it.

I’m sure you’ve been praying a lot about this to God and Guru, but I’ll mention it nevertheless. You don’t even need to pray that this tendency be taken away from you (although you can). In any case, pray for the strength and wisdom to get beyond it. Then offer it the guru: “I offer this situation to you, Guruji. I am your child. Guide me as you will.”

Here are a few additional things you can experiment with in order to lift yourself above this tendency (and above subconsciousness in general):

As much as you can, practice japa: continuous repetition of a mantra, whether aloud or silently. Paramhansa Yogananda recommended this one: “AUM Guru.” Try to feel your repetition happening at the spiritual eye. As you repeat the mantra, try to feel the guru’s presence with you, guiding you throughout your day—and especially as you turn your gaze toward another person. You might add to that the practice of bringing a smile to your lips as your turn your gaze toward someone, feeling that it’s the guru smiling through you.

Keep your awareness at the spiritual eye more and more. To help you in this, occasionally touch your right index finger to your spiritual eye for 15–30 seconds. This will help incline you toward superconscious awareness, so you’ll less open to subconscious tendencies.

Try to look at people’s spiritual eye (i.e., look at the point between their eyebrows), not their physical eyes. Then your connection will be more on a spiritual level, and you’ll be less open to subconscious tendencies. Better still, try also to feel that you’re gazing with your own spiritual eye. It might sound strange, but it’s not difficult, they won’t be able to tell that you’re not looking at their physical eyes, and you will feel a big positive difference (they probably will, too, depending on their own spiritual sensitivity).

I suspect that, if you’ll do any of these regularly, you will soon see a positive shift. And you’ll certainly feel a lot closer to God and Guru.