Mirror gazing is both a valuable way for finding emotional targets and for stimulating altered states of awareness. In the area of emotional targeting, it's useful for finding targets related to:
*How we feel about our face and bodies. Sessions with standard mirror gazing work well at about 30 minutes.
*How we feel about ourselves, whether we're accepting ourselves or not.
If mirror gazing is done for lengthy periods, unconscious material and memories will surface.
Mirror gazing is sometimes used as a therapy for persons with Dissociative Identity Disorder and for transforming body image distortions associated with accidents and eating disorders.
For standard emotional targeting, someone could sit before a full length mirror and just watch the reflection. Before long our feelings about ourselves and our body will emerge. (With longer mirror watching sessions, unconscious material and memories may surface due to the entrancing nature of mirror work). Some feelings may be suitable for integration or processing work. Likely the easiest integrators and processes to use in front of a full length mirror would be:
Mirror gazing can also be used as a meditative form. Here's a description of a mirror gazing mediation derived from an ancient European practice:
Warning: Folks with a history of mental illness, PTSD, or panic are urged not to use these techniques without a therapist. If you decide to do these processes you will agree to absolve the webmaster, the webhost, Emoclear.com, and Steve Mensing of any responsibility for the application or misapplication of these processes. There is always in any process the possibility that someone could experience some discomfort.
While sessions with mirror gazing work well for about 30 minutes, you can extend this meditative period for up to 90 minutes every so often. It's good to start off with some left nasal dominance breathing: 12 deep and full inhalations and exhalations using your left nostril only with your right nostril gently pinched shut. A large or full length mirror works well if it's positioned right in front of you, so you can clearly see your pupils. For comfort, if possible, use a straight back chair. Elevate and slightly thrust back your buttocks with a folded towel or thin foam wedge. Keep your back straight – no slouching. This will lead to more comfortable and less distracting sitting.
Turn out all the lights and light a candle that will produce enough light to make out your eyes in the mirror. The candle should be off to the side, not reflected directly back in the mirror. You want to see your face and not the flame.
The first 2 or 3 times out with mirror gazing, go only about 30 minutes. Look directly into your reflected eyes with a soft focus. No straining. Allow whatever happens to happen. You'll experience feelings (sometimes very intense), images, and memories. At times that mirror image might feel like it's you. Fully feel whatever comes up and allow it to be there. Do not attempt to get rid of it or keep it. Just watch the image and feel what comes up.
Avoid blinking. Just maintain a steady gaze. If your attention drifts, gently bring it back. Label where ever your attention drifted as "That drifting". Gently return your attention to your eyes in the mirror. Images and shapes will appear. People's faces will appear. Dream like fantastic images and faces. Just maintain your open and relaxed watching.
Personality Clusters may emerge. Memories from way back. It's okay, just watch them unfold. As you watch you will likely spontaneously integrate. Some may use an integrator like the Emo Integrator to move through stuckness.
Just let it unfold. The faces and the images come and go. At times there will be no images in the mirror. At other times it may be crowded with unconscious material.
When you're done mirror gazing always ground yourself. See the Grounding Exercises page.
Have fun, Steve
*How we feel about our face and bodies.
Sessions with standard mirror gazing work well at about 30 minutes.