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Note: For the complete lessons,
with additions, see the AYP
Easy Lessons for Ecstatic Living Books.
Lesson 189 - Q&A Where is the third eye?
Date: Sun May 16, 2004 3:50pm
New Members: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the web archive, as previous
lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why
Q: You said the 3rd eye was between the eye brows but many say it is the pineal gland area
and some say the 3rd eye is actually the medulla. Could you clarify?
A: It is all of those, and more. The third eye is the spinal nerve (sushumna) going from
the medulla oblongata through the general areas of the pineal and pituitary glands, and
out the front at the center of the brow. It is more of a functioning zone in and around
the spinal nerve than a specific organ. It could even be considered to extend down the
spinal nerve below the medulla, because inner seeing is there also, but that is stretching
it. Traditionally it is looking outward, as an eye would be, so that is why the external
point between the eyebrows gets labeled as the third eye most often. The ecstatic
relationship between the pineal gland, pituitary gland, and brow is probably the most
common esoteric labeling. The medulla often gets labeled as part (or all) of the third eye
too. It is pretty fuzzy yoga because labeling physical counterparts for the spiritual
neuro-biology is not precise.
There's nothing fuzzy about the experience of the ecstatically awakened third eye though.
When it happens there is no doubt about what it is, or where it is inside. It is just a
little difficult to describe it in physical terms.
The awakening of the third eye is an awakening of the entire spinal nerve all the way down
to the root. As mentioned in the previous lesson on mantra design, the awakening third eye
also is awakening the crown. So, awakening the third eye is ecstatically awakening the
entire nervous system. That is why the sanskrit word for the third eye, "ajna,"
means "command" or "control."
Q: So are you saying it is just as correct to put your attention on the medulla where you
say attention in between eyes?
A: No, the eyes go to the point between the eyebrows (gently favored), with a slight
furrow of the brow in the middle. This is a physical positioning of the eyes to create a
particular stimulating effect in the brain, which reaches instantly down the spinal nerve
all the way to the root. At the same time, our attention goes with our practice, up and
down the sushumna with spinal breathing. See lesson #131
"Coordinating Sambhavi and Spinal Breathing" for a detailed discussion on this
separation of the physical eyes from attention.
There are no instructions anywhere in the lessons to fix the focus of our attention in the
medulla oblongata. The medulla is a "pass though" during spinal breathing, and
is also stimulated by the resonating effect of the mantra in deep meditation, without
deliberately focusing the mantra there. So the medulla is constantly being stimulated, but
not by a sustained focus of attention on it in practices. The medulla is part of the
greater whole of the awakening nervous system, and that is why it is addressed the way it
is in practices.
We have been discussing the several ways how the third eye has been labeled in relation to
the physical body. No particular techniques are intended in the labeling. The lessons
themselves are very specific on techniques. Pardon me for any confusion on that point.
The guru is in you.
Note: For detailed instructions on spinal breathing, see the
AYP Spinal Breathing Pranayama book.
For detailed instructions on
sambhavi mudra, see the AYP Asanas, Mudras and
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