‘Seeing’ the bigger picture

In esoteric yoga, the eyes bring awareness to the bigger picture.

‘Seeing’ the bigger picture

In an Esoteric Yoga session, there is a segment bringing awareness to the eyes. Our eyes offer us the incredible blessing of being able to see and receive others and the outer world. But do we see the bigger picture? For those of us with vision, it is impossible to imagine what life would be like if we were blind: although those people who are blind or vision impaired often develop heightened use of their other senses.

In a ‘blindsight’ study,[1] it has been discovered that people who are blind can still sense what is in their field of vision. For example, if a picture of someone smiling (or frowning) is held up in front of a blind person, they will mimic the emotion of the picture. Amazing? Yes, but there is even more.

In this same blindsight research, it was further discovered that those who were responding through blindsight were doing so quicker than people with perfectly good vision. Let’s expand on what that means exactly. It indicates that we are feeling or sensing what is around us BEFORE we are actually seeing it with our eyes. Our eyes are the confirmation of what we have already sensed. Is this what we call our sixth sense?

"We can feel more than the eye can see."

Serge Benhayon

Aligning the mind to what the body is doing, a core aspect of Esoteric Yoga, is a simple way to become present in the body. During Esoteric Yoga there is a part where the participant is asked to return to a sitting position and bring their conscious awareness to the eyes. At first glance this may seem like just another aspect of focussing on a particular part of the body, but much more is on offer. Many of us find it is easier to stay present in our body with our eyes closed. Often our vision can be a distraction to being present. Without realising it, we allow what we see to pull us out of ourselves and into the clamour of the world. In an Esoteric Yoga session we bring focus and presence to the body and with this awareness it becomes more apparent what draws our attention out. We discover we can hold presence with ourselves, even with our eyes wide open, and can learn to observe and receive the world with our whole body.

You’ve no doubt heard the term ‘tunnel vision’ – a colloquialism meaning someone has a limited viewpoint or are focussed on something to such an extent that they miss what else is going on around them. However, there is also a true physicality to it. When we focus intently on something (eg reading a street sign) we actually shut down our peripheral field of vision and thus our ability to see the bigger picture. In the example of trying to read a street sign, if we have tunnel vision we may not see the approaching car at the intersection. We need to use both our central vision and our peripheral vision, in harmony.

“When consciously present in the body, as we are in an Esoteric Yoga session, we have the opportunity to ‘see’, feel and sense the spherical whole”. In the following audio, Dr Carmin Hall offers a short exercise that allows you to experience how your eyes, and therefore vision, act in response to how much you are feeling of the space around you.

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‘Seeing’ the Bigger Picture


  • [1]

    Vision: The Multi-Dimensional Model by Carmin Hall, page 156, #21 Tamietto M., de Gelder B . Neural bases of the non-conscious perception of emotional signals. Nature Reviews 2010;11:697-709

Filed under

Body awarenessConscious presenceYoga

  • By Carmin Hall, Optometrist

    I love people and observing life. My special interest is eyes and vision, learning to understand them from a point of Truth.

  • Photography: Matt Paul