Practically, it entails — for a prolonged period — looking into the eyes of another person, usually your sexual partner, which may be accompanied by Tantric Breathwork, calming music, or burning incense, to give some examples.
Nevertheless, Tantric Eye Gazing can also be practiced with a friend, a stranger, or even with yourself in the mirror — to deepen your connection, friendship, or your self-love — without necessarily having an erotic or sexual intention. It’s an exercise you will often see as part of Tantra Retreats.
In any case, partners or couples who eye-gaze will usually sit silently opposite each other (on the floor or on a bed), in a trusted and pleasant space, hold hands or form a Mudra (or alternatively rest the hands on the partner’s knees or placing the hand palms on each other’s heart center), while looking steadily into each other’s eyes — for minutes or as long as one wants — focusing on being consciously present in the moment.
The goal behind eye-gazing is both an emotional and spiritual one, and aims at opening the heart, creating an energetic connection with another person, really seeing each other without any judgements, concepts or thoughts, cultivating one’s (sexual) relationship or friendship, and coming closer together through silent communication and sacred intimacy. Additionally, the practice can improve self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-awareness.
One of the concepts behind this type of non-verbal communication is that we may come to see other things from both ourselves and our partner, such as certain deeper emotions that normally stay hidden in verbal communication, and as such form a more intimate understanding and appreciation of each other.
Tantric Eye-Gazing may be challenging in a way that specific emotions or traumas can come to the foreground, making one feel uncomfortable, exposed and vulnerable, or afraid. It can also be difficult to keep looking into the eyes of another person for a longer period without feeling shy, awkward, or looking away.