Above the Eyes

June 27, 2016

“That the birds of worry and care fly over your head,
this you cannot change,

But that they build nests in your hair,
this you can prevent.”

~ Chinese proverb



Recently we’ve been bombarded with news of mass shootings, forest fires, politics and the consequences of xenophobia (throwing the UK into chaos and nominating a candidate for US President).  Lately, it seems as though we have been weathering one storm after another.  The media, whether on television, internet or print, contributes to the general panic by pushing the “clickbait” of negative news to the forefront, all in the name of page views, ratings and advertising dollars.  Some days it is difficult not to get swept up by fear and a general feeling of helplessness, especially if you make the mistake of reading comment sections.

The key to surviving successive storms is located within the make-up of a storm itself.  The area in the center of a hurricane or tropical cyclone is known as “the Eye”.  Circling the eye is the area of the storm containing the most severe and powerful weather.  However, within the eye of the storm there is typically no wind and the sky above is clear.  In fact, the area just above the eye is the calmest section of a hurricane.  So, hypothetically, if one were caught in the middle of a tropical storm, one would simply need to “rise above” to find serenity.

The metaphorical and energetic symbol of this place of calm in the midst of chaos is what is known in meditative practice as the “Third Eye”.  Referred to in yogic circles as the Ajna chakra, it is an area of energy and focus, just above and between the eyebrows, through which one can access the realms of one’s higher consciousness.

Aligning oneself with these higher states of consciousness can be like comparing the view from the top of a tall building versus the perspective from the ground floor.  Imagine a serious car accident in the street out in front of a high-rise.  At the earthly level, people are hurt, frantic and feeling helpless.  However, from the top floor there is a wider view and one can look further down the road, see an ambulance speeding toward the scene, and know that help is on the way.  Tuning into a higher state of consciousness from our everyday earthly existence is like someone at the ground floor calling someone on the top floor to ask for help, guidance or perspective.

Whether you call this guidance God, the Gods, the Universe, or believe it is simply your own state of wisdom that resides beyond the noise of every day life; whether you believe this area of energy and perception exists, or simply use it as a visual tool during meditation,  focusing on the area of the third eye, along with conscious breathing can help one find the calm within the center of any storm life may stir up for us.

Here’s how:

  1.   Find a quiet place to sit or lie down.
  2.   Breathe in slowly, through the nose, allowing your belly to rise first and your chest last, as you fill your lungs.  Placing your hand lightly over your solar plexus, just below your rib cage, can be helpful in training yourself to do this.
  3.   Let your abdomen expand and your lungs fill with air completely.
  4.   Exhale slowly, also through the nose, squeezing out the last bit of breath using your solar plexus muscles.
  5.   Begin again with a new inhale.
  6.   As you continue to breathe in and out, close your eyes and imagine a lavender rosebud sitting above and between your eyebrows.  As you inhale, imagine breathing in its sweet and lovely fragrance.  As you exhale, see the rose opening, petal by petal, into full and glorious bloom.
  7.   Inhale the rose back into a fresh, new bud.
  8.   Exhale it into full bloom.


Repeat this visualization, along with conscious breathing, for at least three minutes and up to twenty minutes or more, whenever you need to find your calm center in the middle of a stormy day.
Alternatively, here is the lovely Lena Horne singing the perfect soothing soundtrack for stormy times:


Give your taste buds and spirits a lift with Banana Tiramisù.  Tiramisù means, “lift me up” in Italian.  More colloquially, the dessert’s name can be translated as “pick-me-up”, probably named because of the espresso in the recipe.


Banana Tiramisù
Mashed banana replaces the traditional raw egg in this recipe.  This tiramisù is equally delicious with or without the rum.  I chose to leave it out.  Called “biscotti savoiardi” in Italian, lady fingers are the traditional cookie used for tiramisù.

1 medium banana, not too ripe
1/4 cup organic brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 oz mascarpone cheese, softened
1/2 cup organic heavy cream or whipping cream
8 oz lady finger (biscotti savoiardi)
1 cup very strong coffee, cooled
2 tablespoons rum (optional)
1 tablespoon sugar

To decorate:
Fair Trade Certified organic cocoa powder, for dusting
Ground chocolate, chocolate shavings, crushed banana chips or toffee bits


In a medium bowl, mash banana well and combine with sugar, vanilla and cinnamon.  Stir in softened mascarpone until thoroughly combined.  Set aside.

Using a chilled bowl and chilled beaters, whip cream to soft peaks with an electric mixer.  Then, using a chilled whisk, beat to stiff peaks by hand.

Fold 1/4 of the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture and stir gently until combined.  Fold remaining whipped cream into that.

In a shallow bowl, combine coffee, rum (if using) and sugar.  Stir until sugar dissolves.

Begin with half of the ladyfingers.  Working one at a time, dip each ladyfinger briefly into coffee mixture and then arrange them side by side in an 8-inch square glass baking pan or serving dish.  Spread half of the mascarpone cream over the top of the ladyfingers.  Dust with cocoa powder.

Now dip the remaining ladyfingers in the coffee mixture, one at a time, as before, and place over the mascarpone layer in a cross-wise pattern in relation to the first layer of ladyfingers.

Top the second layer of ladyfingers with the remaining mascarpone cream.  Dust the top thoroughly with cocoa powder and/or chocolate shavings, ground chocolate, crushed banana chips or toffee bits.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.

Serves 8



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