The cultivation of the shadow man is another method of concentration. To do this exercise, stand in the sun when the sky is perfectly clear so that your shadow appears clearly and distinctly in front of you, approximately five to ten feet in length. Focus your attention on your shadow at a point at the base of its neck. Hold this view with the eyes steady, the lids slightly opened, for as long as you can.
When the eyes become tired and begin to tear, close and open them a time or two, and then raise the head to look into the clear sky. There you will see a figure, a full shadow which is capable of appearing in many colors. Hold this figure in your concentration for as long as you possibly can. By practicing this exercise regularly, the shadow will become transparent, and then you will see two shadows. The first, an outer shell, will appear gradually more transparent, and eventually you will see features on the shadow. Finally these features will turn to face you and you will realize you are looking at yourself. This is a concentration exercise which may be done as a part of your usual practice. This practice may also be done on a moonlit night. It is only suited to those localities where cloudless skies are available for several months.
For an accomplished one, this shadow may be invoked to determine whether it is an auspicious time for certain important events or actions. The shadow man will reveal the state of the tattvas in one’s body, which will, in turn, reveal the secrets of life. The scriptures say that if the practice is done faithfully for twelve years, the shadow will be with one both day and night. It will guide him concerning his future and give him insights into the depths of the waking, dreaming, and sleeping states.
After a long time the shadow may be made to appear to the practitioner whenever he wishes. It will rise and leave the body through the portal of the eyes. Then the shadow can be projected upon a screen or wall. When the aspirant can perceive every part of his form in the reflected shadow, he obtains perfect control over the breath, and obtains beneficial results from all of his acts.
Thus, seeing his mental body he will develop an understanding of all things about himself. Reaching this stage, his passions will become controlled and he will attain enlightenment.