“Sun gazing is a practice that involves looking at the sun during off-peak times. Medical experts don’t recommend this type of practice due to the risk of permanent eye damage”

Sun gazing is a method of meditation that tries to harness the healing power of the sun. Participants look directly at the sun during sunrise and sunset in an effort to connect with its energy.

Sun gazing can cause permanent eye damage, and there is no research that supports any health benefits.

We will look at the risks and benefits of sun exposure and meditation, as well as the risks of practicing sun gazing.

Warning: The consensus in the medical community is that looking directly at the sun can be damaging to the eyes, potentially causing irreversible retinal damage and vision loss. This is not a recommended practice.

A person sun gazing as a form of meditation.
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Color therapy expert Momtaz Begum-Hossain explains that sun gazing is similar to other meditative practices like moon gazing meditation.

This type of meditation uses a focusing object to enhance the benefits, which can be gained without looking directly at the sun and its harmful UV rays.

While gazing at the sun can be harmful, gazing at other objects without UV radiation can be beneficial.

An older 2014 study connected focusing on an object during meditation to an enhanced focus of the mind. Though this could include focusing on any kind of object instead of the sun.

However, the benefits of meditation, such as stress reduction, self-awareness, and improving sleep, can be seen in many different practices.

“Most healthcare professionals don’t recommend sun gazing.”

Studies have shown that ocular diseases like cataracts, certain eye cancers, and photokeratitis are associated with exposure to radiation from the sun. It can also cause immediate damage to the retina.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) advises to never look directly at the sun and to always wear sunglasses that provide 100 percent UV or UV400 protection when outdoors.

The benefits of meditation that focuses on an object could be harnessed without looking at the sun. Consider outdoor meditation that focuses on an object in nature.

There are lots of meditation apps that can help.

There are many benefits to safe meditation. Here are a few.

Stress, depression, and anxiety reduction

Reviews of studies on meditation suggest it can help improve measures of anxiety, depression, and pain.

It has the potential to be a low cost method of support for those living with anxiety.

Emotional health benefits

Studies show that meditation can improve emotional processing.

A 2019 study of brief mindfulness meditation showed improvements in certain elements of emotion processing such as intensity, emotional memory, and emotional attention bias.

Sleep improvements

A 2019 review of studies suggested that those with sleep disturbance may benefit from mindfulness meditation, though more research is still needed to confirm the benefits.

Ultimately, meditation could prove to have benefits for all kinds of conditions and situations and is considered safe for most healthy people. But gazing at the sun does not have to be a part of it to see these benefits.

There’s no scientific research to suggest that sun gazing meditation offers any benefits. However, limited and safe sun exposure without looking into the sun can be beneficial.

Evidence suggests that general sunlight exposure can happen.

  • Combat fatigue and sleepyness.
  • Improve sleep quality.
  • increase vitamin D and bone health
  • Mental health can be improved or maintained.

Additionally, a 2018 study found that just being outside has numerous health benefits, including perceived benefits for mental health. This means that a meditative practice outdoors could be beneficial even without gazing at the sun.

Improve sleep and circadian rhythms

Vitamin D plays an important role in maintaining many functions of the body, including circadian rhythm and sleep duration. More research is needed to fully understand the relationship, but low vitamin D levels can be a cause for concern.

A study from 2014 also found that exposure to sunlight could be an effective countermeasure for fatigue and drowsiness.

Benefits for mental health

Sun exposure has mental health benefits.

  • Increased dopamine and serotonin levels.
  • An improved mood.
  • A reduction in symptoms of depression.

An older 2011 study of 68 adults found that those who received the most sun exposure in the 30 days prior had the highest density of dopamine receptors in the reward regions of their brains.

A 2019 review connected sun exposure with a decrease in seasonal affective disorder, or depression provoked by seasonal change.

A 2021 study also found that people who enjoyed daily sunlight over a 30-day period experienced a decrease in depressive episodes.

The studies all refer to sun exposure, not the practice of sun gazing.

“Medical experts don’t advise this practice, but you can incorporate a meditation practice that includes nature and focuses on a safer object.”

How to meditate in nature

Take some deep breaths. Take the time to stretch. Follow these steps.

Meditation steps in a natural setting

  1. Try to use a visual focal point that is not the sun. Consider looking at a tree, flowers, or scenery.
  2. Relax and focus on your breathing.
  3. Let your meditation come to a natural end and finish with a few body stretches.

You can also move your body.

If standing stationery feels too intense, then introduce stretches. When your meditation comes to a natural end, it is best to end with some stretches.

There is not much research into sun gazing meditation and how it could benefit your body and mind.

The benefits can be gleaned from being outdoors, enjoying nature, and general non- sun gazing meditation. Many people believe that connecting with natural forces can be very healing.

“Doctors don’t recommend sun gazing at all and suggest other meditation practices because of the long-term risks to your eyes.”

Is sun gazing good for your eyes?

“No. The sun’s UV light can be harmful to the eyes. Exposure to the sun’s radiation can cause eye diseases, such as cataracts, and immediate eye damage.”

“Most medical professionals don’t recommend looking into the sun for any reason and to wear protective sunglasses whenever you are outside.”

What are the benefits of looking at the sun?

There are benefits to being outside and using a strong SPF sunscreen, but there are no proven benefits to eye gazing.

During non-peak hours like sunrise and sunset, looking directly into the sun can permanently damage the eyes. It is better to look at other objects that are not harmful to the eyes.

What is the purpose of sun gazing?

“Some people think that staring into the sun can have health benefits, but it hasn’t been proven to be a safe practice. There are no studies that show any benefits to sun gazing.”

Victoria Stokes is a writer from the United Kingdom. When she’s not writing about her favorite topics, personal development, and well-being, she usually has her nose stuck in a good book. Victoria lists coffee, cocktails, and the color pink among some of her favorite things. Find her on Instagram.