from"The Bedside Kama Sutra"
By Linda Sonntag
The head is the closest part of the body to heaven, and the way you hold your head shows how you feel about yourself in relation to heaven. Learn to hold your head like a dancer. Stand in your bare feet and feel their connection to the ground. Now bring your mind up your body to your pelvis. Imagine it as a dish of water. Feel your spine growing upwards from this dish like a plant shooting towards the Sun. Imagine a flower blooming at the top of the stem; this is how you should hold your head.
The women of the East who carry water jars on their heads move with grace and dignity. Imagine you are carrying life-giving water from the well in a clay pot made in your own kiln. Feel your head centered above your belly as you glide forward against the blue sky, walking so your toes make contact with the sandy road before your heels. You are learning your body all over again through walking with sensual awareness. When you stoop to pick up a bangle that has slipped from your wrist, watch it glinting from the corner of your eye and bend from the knees to keep your water jar balanced on your head. This is an exercise you can practice anywhere, any time.
The Hair, the Gods and Sexual Energy
Because the hair springs from the head, it is thought to be the dwelling place of the soul. It concentrates its owner's personality, vitality and sexuality and has magic powers as a love charm. Lovers all over the world and throughout history have exchanged locks of hair as pledges. In some cultures the hair of a bride and groom are shampooed in the same basin at their wedding, then their hair is twisted together into one strand to unite the pair for life. The same idea lies behind braiding dances, often seen embroidered and appliqued on Indian wedding cloths. The men move sunwise or clockwise and the women dance in the opposite direction, moonwise, so that the sexes are woven together. In the maypole dance, the ribbons stand in for the rays of the Sun and the Moon and also for hair braided as a fertility charm.
Tantric sages believed that women could activate forces of creation and destruction by binding and unbinding their hair. The goddess Kali unleashed violent thunderstorms by freeing her long tresses into wildly writhing serpents, and calmed the skies again by combing them. Her partner Shiva is a hairy god - his unruly locks represent the creative and sexual energy of the universe and must on no account be cut, or he would be castrated like Samson. Even to this day Indian men keep their hair long and wrapped in a turban to preserve its vital essences.
Students of the Kama Sutra learned the arts of beautifying their hair by colouring it with henna, dressing it with perfumes and unguents, making braids, chaplets, turbans, crests and topknots of flowers. While the hair on the head was celebrated, men shaved their beards and both sexes removed all body hair. If a wealthy courtesan wanted to asses a potential new client, she would send shampooers, singers and jesters to his house. The shampooers would rub the mans body as well as his hair. If she liked what she heard, the courtesan might then seduce him with an erotic hair dance, in which her hair was rubbed with perfumed oils, then swung loose with passionate movements of her head.
Your eyes are worlds of feeling distilled into colour and light. They bring messages direct from our soul, unedited by thought processes, faster, deeper, truer, more subtle and fleeting than words. The first sparks of instant sexuality pass unconsciously through the eloquence of the eyes. Later, they become a channel of desire - one glance can set two bodies on fire, and in the conflagration that follows, the naked power of the eyes fixes the act of love in eternity.
Some people train themselves to hide the feeling in their eyes. Thereby they lose beauty and character and become less true to themselves. Real eye contact takes courage - you reveal vulnerability as well as strength, and it is easy to get swept away on diving into the eyes of another. Take your time. When you are overwhelmed, remember that seeing is a two-way process - you are giving power as well as receiving it.
Of course, for most of its waking life the eye does not transmit intense emotion, It is cool rather than warm, the organ through which we perceive the world around us. The eye stands for intellectual perception - "I see" means "I understand." The eye is a judge that discerns, distinguishes - and condemns.
The Evil Eye
Because of its power of condemnation, the evil eye strikes terror into those it watches. The people of India used yonic symbols (symbols of the vulva) to protect themselves against the evil eye. A cowrie shell was a most effective amulet that could be carried about a person or worn as a necklace, but even a simple triangle daubed on the door of a house would do. Still today in northern India farmers protect their crops by hanging Kali's black pot, a symbol of the goddess's vagina, in their fields.
In ancient India the two eyes were identified with the Sun and the Moon. The right eye belonged to the Sun and was concerned with actions and the future; the left eye was a child of the Moon, linked to the passive and the past. To resolve this duality was the function of the third eye, the eye in Shiva's forehead. Our eyes create a distance between us and what we look at; they observe limits, defining the world which is not the self. But our inner eye - the third eye - destroys boundaries, it unites and synthesizes. This is the eye of the heart and the recipient of spiritual enlightenment. To reach the vision of your inner eye is to see and understand yourself.
The Inner Eye
The inner eye is the place where revelations occur. These often happen in that mysterious dream world between waking and sleeping . Who has not mulled over a problem for days without making progress, only to have the answer leap up fully fledged at the moment of waking? Train yourself to hover on the verge of consciousness, and stay in this colourful, fluid zone where you will discover your most creative thoughts and feelings. Try doing this with your partner as you fall asleep together; and share your dreams and visions when you wake up.
To throw off staleness or release stress and revive yourself after a wearing day, lie down and close you eyes. Relax, breathing deeply. Focus your attention on the place where your third eye is situated - just above and between your eyebrows. Let it fill with coloured light and roll out a bright carpet before you. Now step out onto it and imagine you are in a magical forest where the laws and limitations of the everyday world have been suspended and you can be entirely yourself for as long as you like. Allow yourself to wander freely in the wilderness of your imagination. When you wish to return, roll in the carpet and focus your attention again on your third eye. Lie still for few moments before rejoining the world outside.