Updated: Feb 12, 2022
One of my coaching colleagues posted a video on our WhatsApp group recently, which got me thinking about my 3rd Eye. You see, the person in the video began talking about the pineal gland as the real "3rd Eye", and as a neuroscientist from way back ... I got to wondering!
So, first the pineal gland. What is it and what's it do?
I'm glad you asked! It's a little structure that's full of calcium in the centre of the human brain, near where the two halves of the brain meet. It's big function is to produce melatonin, so we can sleep soundly when it's dark, and awake with the sun's rays at dawn. I find it very cool, that the pineal gland is easy to spot in X-rays and magnetic resonance imaging because of it's calcium content: like a bone in the middle of your brain, it shows up easily.
Here's a great (computer-generated) picture, with a link to it's source:
If you know anything about anatomy, you'll see that the pineal gland is nowhere near what's commonly thought of as the 3rd eye - in the centre of your forehead, just above or parallel to your brow-line (depending on who you listen to). This picture (above) shows the front of the brain at left, and the forehead would be a little more left (once the skull, muscles, skin and other tissues had been added). So, anatomically, the things you might find on the internet might not make sense. The following diagram might help, though:
The diagram (above) gives a little more context, and you can see the pathway that light takes when it enters our brains, to get to the pineal gland. Light enters through our eyes, travels along the optic nerve to the suprachiasmatic nucleus, and then heads over to the pineal gland. The name of the pineal gland comes from pine nuts, because that's the typical shape it takes.
Light goes deep into a very dark place indeed!
There have been suggestions that the Eye of Ra picture has some relationship with this structure, and that other ancient civilisations have made similar connections. The idea is that the 3rd eye is all about your intuition and clarity of purpose, and somehow your pineal gland is important in all that. Well, the pineal gland can get you up in the morning, so I guess that's a "sense" of purpose!
All I know, is what I know (and it could be different to what you know!), so ... what is right? What is real? Does it matter?
In this age of Q Anon, and coming from a diet of The X Files, this New Agey stuff fascinates me. I'm definitely a fence-sitter, because the science is not supportive of the pineal gland relationship with a 3rd eye or intuition centre, but I'm imaginative enough to try out a 3rd eye meditation for a while - just to see what happens.
Would you like to give it a try with me?
First, just make sure you won't be distracted or interrupted (make that phone silent, and put it in another room). Get yourself comfortable. I won't make you sit in any awkward positions or breathe in any strange ways. You do you.
Now, I want you to be aware of any source of light. Line yourself up with that light, as if there is a direct line between your light source, and the centre of your forehead. Still, be comfy!
Take a nice deep breath in, and as you exhale, gently close your eyes.
Breathe deeply but naturally, and just get into an easy rhythm, so you don't have to feel like you're constantly correcting yourself. Make it so that you breathe comfortably.
I want you to imagine that your belly is full but light; it's full of gentleness. Feel the gentleness permeate your organs, fluids, fats, skin. Feel your gentleness overcome you and become part of every cell of your body. Feel the gentleness of your arms and legs, the gentleness in your fingers and toes. Gentleness.
Come from a place of total gentleness.
Now, focus on your breath as it comes in through your nostrils, and out through your nostrils. Feel it in the sinus that is located just behind the middle of your forehead.
Imagine that, on your inhalation, you are taking in the light through your closed eyelids, as though your breath was a vessel, and the light was a revered guest.
Feel the light fill the cavities behind your forehead, and the space between your ears. Feel how it might feel if the light was to clean your ears from within. Feel how it would feel to have that treasured light carried up along the optic nerve, and into the suprachiasmatic nucleus.
Feel how it would feel as the light gently caresses the hypothalamus, thalamus, and lateral geniculate nucleus.
Now allow the light to circulate around your pineal gland, penetrating, caressing, embracing, enveloping.
Feel the light in the sinuses of your face, making them relax. Feel the light in the cavities inside your ears, helping them to loosen up. Feel the light swirling and pulsing inside your head; and now notice, that you see light before you, even while your eyes are closed.
If you would like to start your day this way (and why wouldn't you?), you could download the meditation recording for your mobile phone or other mobile device. Instead of waking to an annoying alarm, why not set this to be your alarm sound?
Here is the link you're looking for. There is more to the download, too ....
If you like the way I write, you will definitely enjoy my books, meditations, and meditation school. Maybe, a tarot and oracle card reading is more your thing; it's very personal (just you and me, over WhatsApp, followed up by your own summary email).
Either way, if you wish to consider what kinds of strategies you need in your life, I am a Certified Results Coach so a free strategy session over the phone, anywhere in the world is always a great start.
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