Special instructions on eyes' movement in Sri Lanka, Thailand and Burma

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sphairos
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Special instructions on eyes' movement in Sri Lanka, Thailand and Burma

Post by sphairos » Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:13 pm

Dear Dhamma friends,

I wonder if you could elucidate to me one special issue. Do you know if there are any special instructions/ways of treatment of eyes' movement during satipaTThAna/vipassanA and jhAna practice ?

In my personal practice over the years I've found that stilling, stopping and calming down entirely the eyeballs is crucial for successful practice and entering the jhAna. After complete stilling of the eyeballs and establishing firm mindfullness, I find that the attention to the micromotions of eyeballs helps the progress of meditation immensely.

Do traditional teachers teach/recommend anything like that ? I have a feeling that in Myanmar the teachers place special emphasis on this aspect of practice, not really sure where and when I picked this up. :broke:

I find it curious that the scientific study of expierenced vipassanA meditators show significantly increased REM (rapid eyes motions) phases in sleep

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10. ... 16.1159949

Could those things be connected ?

Any comments much appreciated !!!
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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Special instructions on eyes' movement in Sri Lanka, Thailand and Burma

Post by JamesTheGiant » Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:43 pm

Six years in monasteries, never saw it mentioned.
But if it works for you, great! Anything that works for you is good.

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rightviewftw
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Re: Special instructions on eyes' movement in Sri Lanka, Thailand and Burma

Post by rightviewftw » Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:59 pm

one could ignore it but if it takes the central stage of attention one can note; "moving, moving" or just "knowing, knowing" to the extent that one knows that one moved the eyes.

dharmacorps
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Re: Special instructions on eyes' movement in Sri Lanka, Thailand and Burma

Post by dharmacorps » Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:22 pm

Outside of some teachings related to nimittas, I don't know of anything on eye movement, and I have kept a proverbial eye out for that. I'm not really sure what it means but I get a lot of weird stuff happening with my eyes. Usually about 30 minutes into meditation my eyes begin rolling back or twitching. Eventually it calms down and they become still. No idea what its about but sometimes I see little circles or something with the eyes fluttering/twitching. I mostly just ignore it, occasionally just observe "the eyes are doing their thing".

sphairos
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Re: Special instructions on eyes' movement in Sri Lanka, Thailand and Burma

Post by sphairos » Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:47 am

dharmacorps wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:22 pm
Outside of some teachings related to nimittas, I don't know of anything on eye movement, and I have kept a proverbial eye out for that. I'm not really sure what it means but I get a lot of weird stuff happening with my eyes. Usually about 30 minutes into meditation my eyes begin rolling back or twitching. Eventually it calms down and they become still. No idea what its about but sometimes I see little circles or something with the eyes fluttering/twitching. I mostly just ignore it, occasionally just observe "the eyes are doing their thing".
Exactly !!! "Eyes are doing their thing" ! That's how it appears in actual practice (to me).That means I m not the only one getting that.

But is there any recognition of the phenomena in/by the authentic meditation traditions ?

My theory is we are experiencing REM-sleep phases being awake/mindful, the phases which are said to be essential for brain and psychological trauma recovery, as well as some extraordinary, supernormal and paranormal experiences.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rapid_eye_movement_sleep

There is a very effective modern psychotherapy method called EMDR

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye_movem ... processing

See also here p. 139

http://www.atpweb.org/jtparchive/trps-28-96-02-129.pdf
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sphairos
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Re: Special instructions on eyes' movement in Sri Lanka, Thailand and Burma

Post by sphairos » Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:50 am

rightviewftw wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:59 pm
one could ignore it but if it takes the central stage of attention one can note; "moving, moving" or just "knowing, knowing" to the extent that one knows that one moved the eyes.
Sure, I'm well aware of labelling techniques.
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dharmacorps
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Re: Special instructions on eyes' movement in Sri Lanka, Thailand and Burma

Post by dharmacorps » Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:39 pm

Those are interesting ideas, and I am aware of EMDR so there may well be something to that biologically. But my experience has been that paying attention to the eye "experience" is fairly distracting and not fruitful especially because its transient. It happens for a little bit and then goes away. My first teacher meditated with his eyes half open and if you waved your hand in front of his face he wouldn't flinch. Everyone is wired a little different. Best advice I have gotten was hearing Thanissaro Bhikkhu say that what we are doing here is focusing on the breath. Not nimittas, not jhanas, but the breath.

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Pseudobabble
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Re: Special instructions on eyes' movement in Sri Lanka, Thailand and Burma

Post by Pseudobabble » Sat Jul 28, 2018 4:40 pm

sphairos wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:47 am
dharmacorps wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:22 pm
Outside of some teachings related to nimittas, I don't know of anything on eye movement, and I have kept a proverbial eye out for that. I'm not really sure what it means but I get a lot of weird stuff happening with my eyes. Usually about 30 minutes into meditation my eyes begin rolling back or twitching. Eventually it calms down and they become still. No idea what its about but sometimes I see little circles or something with the eyes fluttering/twitching. I mostly just ignore it, occasionally just observe "the eyes are doing their thing".
Exactly !!! "Eyes are doing their thing" ! That's how it appears in actual practice (to me).That means I m not the only one getting that.

But is there any recognition of the phenomena in/by the authentic meditation traditions ?

My theory is we are experiencing REM-sleep phases being awake/mindful, the phases which are said to be essential for brain and psychological trauma recovery, as well as some extraordinary, supernormal and paranormal experiences.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rapid_eye_movement_sleep

There is a very effective modern psychotherapy method called EMDR

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye_movem ... processing

See also here p. 139

http://www.atpweb.org/jtparchive/trps-28-96-02-129.pdf
There is Kasina practice, and a yoga practice known as Tratak, both to some degree involve stilling eye movement by focussing on a visual object.

Do you meditate with eyes open? I will try this method you've mentioned.

And you also mentioned Vipassana meditation and increased REM - I don't know if its related, but whenever I meditate right before bed, I remember my dreams vividly. I suppose because of the increase in mindfulness.
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sphairos
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Re: Special instructions on eyes' movement in Sri Lanka, Thailand and Burma

Post by sphairos » Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:23 am

Thanks guys ! :heart: :heart: :heart:

It seems that there are no instructions openly taught. Might be secret, I'll ask my teacher from Thai and Myanmar.
How good and wonderful are your days,
How true are your ways?

sphairos
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Re: Special instructions on eyes' movement in Sri Lanka, Thailand and Burma

Post by sphairos » Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:30 am

Pseudobabble wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 4:40 pm
sphairos wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:47 am
dharmacorps wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:22 pm
Outside of some teachings related to nimittas, I don't know of anything on eye movement, and I have kept a proverbial eye out for that. I'm not really sure what it means but I get a lot of weird stuff happening with my eyes. Usually about 30 minutes into meditation my eyes begin rolling back or twitching. Eventually it calms down and they become still. No idea what its about but sometimes I see little circles or something with the eyes fluttering/twitching. I mostly just ignore it, occasionally just observe "the eyes are doing their thing".
Exactly !!! "Eyes are doing their thing" ! That's how it appears in actual practice (to me).That means I m not the only one getting that.

But is there any recognition of the phenomena in/by the authentic meditation traditions ?

My theory is we are experiencing REM-sleep phases being awake/mindful, the phases which are said to be essential for brain and psychological trauma recovery, as well as some extraordinary, supernormal and paranormal experiences.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rapid_eye_movement_sleep

There is a very effective modern psychotherapy method called EMDR

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye_movem ... processing

See also here p. 139

http://www.atpweb.org/jtparchive/trps-28-96-02-129.pdf
There is Kasina practice, and a yoga practice known as Tratak, both to some degree involve stilling eye movement by focussing on a visual object.

Do you meditate with eyes open? I will try this method you've mentioned.

And you also mentioned Vipassana meditation and increased REM - I don't know if its related, but whenever I meditate right before bed, I remember my dreams vividly. I suppose because of the increase in mindfulness.
Hey Pseudobabble,

thanks for the reply!

Know the Kasina practice, but don't know any special instructions about eyes. Don't know Tratak, but will dig it.

No eyes are always closed or barely open when reach the deep concentration (it doesn't matter at that point).

Sure , try it.

Yes, that's exactly what they say - the REM is connected to mindfulness, and REM is responsible for vivid dreaming.

MettA,
:anjali:
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How true are your ways?

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DooDoot
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Re: Special instructions on eyes' movement in Sri Lanka, Thailand and Burma

Post by DooDoot » Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:17 am

sphairos wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:13 pm
...entering the jhAna.
When jhana is entered, I imagine the hindrance of doubt ends.
sphairos wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:13 pm
... significantly increased REM (rapid eyes motions) phases ...
The Buddha taught about how to overcome stressed eyes caused by outflows of defilements (asava):
So if a monk should wish: 'May neither my body be fatigued nor my eyes, and may my mind, through lack of clinging, be released from fermentations,' then he should attend carefully to this same concentration through mindfulness of in-&-out breathing.

Dipa Sutta

sphairos
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Re: Special instructions on eyes' movement in Sri Lanka, Thailand and Burma

Post by sphairos » Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:31 am

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:17 am
sphairos wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:13 pm
...entering the jhAna.
When jhana is entered, I imagine the hindrance of doubt ends.
sphairos wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:13 pm
... significantly increased REM (rapid eyes motions) phases ...
The Buddha taught about how to overcome stressed eyes caused by outflows of defilements (asava):
So if a monk should wish: 'May neither my body be fatigued nor my eyes, and may my mind, through lack of clinging, be released from fermentations,' then he should attend carefully to this same concentration through mindfulness of in-&-out breathing.

Dipa Sutta
Why is is this posting here ? It is a complete meaningless rubbish.
How good and wonderful are your days,
How true are your ways?

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