Also known as sunning or sun-eating, sungazing is “the act of looking directly into the sun during dawn and dusk.”
But gurus like Hira Ratan Manek have taken this idea even further, claiming that people can live off of only sun energy, air and water. You can find his sungazing lecture in this Youtube video.
In the 2011 documentary Eat the Sun, Mason Dwinell attempts to follow HRM’s sungazing protocol, to ultimately disastrous results. (Hint: he damaged his eyes.)
Looks like this practice made it across the spiritual divide. Irish News reported that five people had to be treated for serious eye damage because they “stared at the sun in the hope they might be witnessing religious apparitions.”
They were hoping to catch a glimpse of Virgin Mary and (literally) got burned.
Sunning your butthole
Instagram influencers Ra_of_Earth and Metaphysical Meagen went viral with posts about the benefits of sunning your butthole, claiming that “30 seconds of sunlight on your butthole is the equivalent of a full day of sunlight with your clothes on.”
Healthline and Papermag’s cheeky coverage on this new age trend lead me to a hilarious this Twitter thread.
Here’s what medical professionals think about the practice. While I don’t think a tad of sun on the bum is a big deal, medical professionals like Dr. Diana Gall say that “there is no evidence that sunbathing in this way has any effect on physical well-being.”
Maybe there is a reason why the butthole is a place where the sun don’t shine.
Breatharians live off air, but not really
Breatharianism is a close cousin to sungazing. Also known as inedia, it’s the belief that it’s possible to live without consuming food. For breatharians, consuming just air and sunlight are enough. This Vice article critically looks at Jasmuheen, a Breatharian proponent whose most fervent followers may have starved to death.
The Breatharianism movement was founded by Wiley Brooks in the 80s. Brooks has only been seen consuming junk food, but he’s also claimed that Diet Coke and McDonald’s cheeseburgers have special “5D” properties that make them worth consuming and breaking his fast.
For a hilarious mind trip, skim through the Vice interview with Wiley Brooks.
what is “earthing?”
There’s a practice called earthing, or grounding, the practice of connecting with the earth’s electrical charge in order to balance out the body’s. Companies have capitalized on this to sell grounding products that have conductive layer and plug into the ground port of electrical outlets.
I touched on earthing in my interview with Mountain, founder of a barefoot shoe company. While walking barefoot can benefit foot toughness and sensitivity, earthing proponents have gone further to claim that “the widespread use of insulative rubber – or plastic-soled shoes, has disconnected us from the Earth’s energy” and that this disconnect may “contribute to chronic pain, fatigue, and poor sleep” (Earthing.com).
Mountain has tried earthing mats before but found them to have no perceived effect.
Bulletproof founder Dave Asprey has an interesting post on his earthing experiences, claiming that grounding improved his jet lag and sleep quality.
Tl;dr: you don’t need to buy expensive earthing equipment. But it doesn’t take a far stretch of the imagination to see that walking barefoot in nature can feel good and reduce stress.
Random Corner: Orbit toys are fun
A couple weekends ago, I played with a flow toy called the orbit. It’s fun AF.
Playing with orbits involves “spinning a shining disc of LED orbit lights in circular patterns around their bodies” (EmazingLights).
Check out this light show:
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