A video recently posted by 60 Second Docs features Braco the Gazer—a faith healer who does not speak but simply gazes.
Braco claims only to be a gazer and not a healer, and for the past 15 years, he has gazed at 10,000 people a day who claim that his gazing has profoundly impacted their lives.
Eight years ago, Braco stopped trying to explain to others how and why he does what he does; he only knows that it seems to get results. It’s his form of spiritual expression, and he does not attribute its effectiveness to any particular religion.
While some comments were skeptical (to say the least), I watched the video and thought about how this just might be possible. It’s undeniable that when we are fully present with others, it has a positive impact on our relationships. Simply being mindful and present can be powerful.
People often just want to feel like they are seen and acknowledged. For a “gazer” to make eye contact is a simple way to say, “Hello. I see you. I’m here with you.” It’s like a physical representation of the term namaste—the divinity in me recognizes the divinity in you. It’s like Braco has this gift of soul gazing, and people leave feeling healed and affirmed as individuals. It’s also often a collective experience, and even the brief eye contact feels impactful.
While scientists and skeptics can debate if Braco’s gift of gazing is actually healing, I think there’s another takeaway from this: we can all benefit from being more mindful when we spend time with others.
We can put down our phones, make eye contact, and truly connect with others. We can listen silently, without speaking, but also without allowing our gaze to wander. We can let others know with our eyes that we see them, even if we just make eye contact at the grocery store or when we pass someone walking down the street. We can let our interactions with others say, “Hello. I see you. I’m here with you,” no matter how brief or inconsequential it may seem.
Does Braco heal others? Is it just the placebo effect at work? Is this simply a big scam to make money? I can’t answer those questions.
But I think I’ll try putting a little more effort into mindful presence with others. I think I can stand to invest more of my time and attention in being present and less of it in scanning social media or sharing memes.
Wouldn’t we all benefit from more actual eye contact and presence? Isn’t soul gazing with our loved ones amazing all by itself, even if it doesn’t “heal” us?
Braco’s gift is lovely and strange and sure to elicit a variety of responses.
But the idea of it gives me hope.
Author: Crystal Jackson
Image: YouTube screenshot
Editor: Leah Sugerman
Copy Editor: Khara-Jade Warren
Social Editor: Khara-Jade Warren