Located in the centermost area of the brain, nuzzled in between the two hemispheres, lies the magnificent pineal gland. Known variously as “the third eye”, “the mind’s eye”, “the all-seeing eye”, “the seat of consciousness”, and “the gateway to the soul” – this tiny pinecone-shaped endocrine gland is the stuff of myth, magic, and legends. It is a “stargate” or pathway between the physical and metaphysical dimensions.
The pineal gland produces and secretes melatonin, a serotonin-derived hormone responsible for regulating the body’s bio-rhythms that include, for example, our sleep-wake cycles. It also works in congruence with the hypothalamus gland, which directs the body’s hunger and thirst, sexual desire, and aging process.
But as many wisdom traditions believe, when performing at its ultimate capacity, the pineal gland releases important biochemicals such as Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) a.k.a. “the spirit molecule” which is a prime catalyst for higher states of consciousness, intuition, and even possibly the experience of universal consciousness otherwise known as enlightenment.
According to many esoteric schools, having a calcified pineal gland or blocked ajna chakra (third eye) can result in:
confusion & delusions
an impaired perception of reality
a tendency to over-analyze
depression & anxiety
jealousy & envy
Whether or not you’re a believer in its more mystical powers, a properly functioning pineal gland is synonymous with good health and well-being, while calcification (the build-up of calcium phosphate crystals) and deterioration of the pineal gland can be health hazards. Here are some tips for decalcifying as well as activating this essential gland.
Sans fluoride. Fluoride has come under increasing attack from scientific quarters. New studies are emerging that link the consumption of fluoride to Alzheimer’s. Excess consumption of synthetic fluoride is believed to lead to calcification of the pineal gland and also disturb melatonin production. Since most tap water in the United States contains fluoride, getting a proper water filtration system that takes the fluoride out of tap water can help. So can filters for showerheads: by reducing absorption of fluoride through the pores. Now that fluoride in toothpaste has become a concern, there are many fluoride-free brands, so it’s worth checking the labels.
Give processed foods the boot. Foods with additives, preservatives, chemicals and pesticides are all risk factors for both calcification and premature aging. That goes for GMO foods as well. Always opt for organic, living, plant-based foods.
Ditch the shades. Our eyes need indirect sunlight exposure to function properly. The pineal gland, on dissection, reveals the presence of a photoreceptor, like the ones our two seeing eyes are equipped with—hence the alias, “the third eye”. The pineal gland’s photoreceptor is actually activated by light reflected from the retina. So don’t be afraid of the sun’s brilliance at all cost, and don’t be fanatic about sunglasses.
Try sungazing. To venture a step further down the rabbit hole of experimentation, sun-gazing is an ancient technique believed to improve health, and even induce such states as heightened clairvoyance and the ability to subsist without food or water. But bear in mind that only certain times of the day – specific stages of sunrise and sunset – are recommended for sun-gazing. So don’t go staring at the sun at high-noon and expect to attain super-human powers. (Also highly recommended, though for another topic: moon- and star-gazing!)
Embrace darkness. The pineal gland is activated not only by the sun, but also by darkness – complete darkness. So make sure your bedroom is as dark as possible during your dreamtime. Even the small light of an alarm clock or cell phone can be disruptive to the production of melatonin, the hormone associated with sleep regulation.
Crystal work. Placing a crystal over the third eye while lying down is said to work wonders on activating the third eye. Crystals such as Lapis Lazuli, Blue Kyanite, Blue Jasper, Blue Topaz, Lolite, Lolite Amethyst, Azurite, Blue Obsidian, Blue Tourmaline, Celestite, Lepidolite, Kunzite, Moldavite, Purple Fluorite, Sapphire, Sodalite and Moonstone are all good choices. Basically crystals with indigo and violet hues are recommended and clear quartz will always help to amplify their properties. Leave the stone between your eyebrows during meditation for 15-30 minutes.
Third eye meditation. Drawing your eyes up towards the third eye, softly place your awareness on that center. Next, imagine being able to see out through the third eye (between the eyebrows). This concept alone will have you seeing the world in a new light.
Khechari Mudra. This is definitely not for everyone and should only be tried under the supervision of an advanced kriya yoga teacher. (Yogananda recommends Khechari Mudra only to a very select group of his disciples.) The tip of the tongue is placed on the roof of the mouth, all the way to the soft palate. Some yoga gurus teach stretching the tongue further back to touch the uvula, and even up into the nasal cavity. The aim of this mudra is nothing less than the attainment of deep states of spiritual consciousness that may even reach samadhi. Again, by itself (without the right attitude, proper technique, devotion and spiritual attunement), this mudra would amount to little more than a tongue trick.
Try these natural remedies, all associated with pineal gland stimulation:
Chlorophyll rich foods
Apple Cider Vinegar
Use essentials oils. The nose is a direct gateway to the brain and the pineal gland. To stimulate the olfactory passage to spiritual states of awareness, try sandalwood, frankincense, myrrh, clary sage, helichrysum, pine, pink lotus, and mugwort.
Change your light bulbs. Fluorescent light bulbs are both harmful to health and hard on the eyes. Replace them, whenever possible, with full-spectrum light bulbs, which are more consistent with natural light. Full-spectrum lighting is often used to treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and sleep disorders via “light boxes” that mimic natural sunlight. Not all full-spectrum bulbs are the same, however, so do some research on which ones to choose.
Practice Kundalini Yoga. Specific movements are designed to raise the Kundalini energy, which rests coiled at the base of the spine. Activating Kundalini essentially attunes our bodies to connect the cosmic energy with the physical body and root it to earth. This serpentine energy flows upward, activating the 33 vertebrae points until it reaches the pineal gland and crown chakra. The same energy illuminates the third eye. You know what? Forget about calcification. Activate your kundalini, and you’ll be gazing through your third eye into the truth of existence, into the universe itself.