Eyes Open Or Closed During Practice?

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
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Saengnapha
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Eyes Open Or Closed During Practice?

Post by Saengnapha » Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:12 am

I am just curious how many people open or close their eyes during Samatha or Vipassana practice. Personally, I have always kept my eyes open.

Dinsdale
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Re: Eyes Open Or Closed During Practice?

Post by Dinsdale » Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:16 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:12 am
I am just curious how many people open or close their eyes during Samatha or Vipassana practice. Personally, I have always kept my eyes open.
I mostly meditate with eyes open, but sometimes with eyes closed. There are pros and cons really.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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Sam Vara
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Re: Eyes Open Or Closed During Practice?

Post by Sam Vara » Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:06 am

I keep my mind open but my eyes closed.

Saengnapha
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Re: Eyes Open Or Closed During Practice?

Post by Saengnapha » Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:29 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:06 am
I keep my mind open but my eyes closed.
Why not both?

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Sam Vara
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Re: Eyes Open Or Closed During Practice?

Post by Sam Vara » Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:35 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:29 am
Sam Vara wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:06 am
I keep my mind open but my eyes closed.
Why not both?
Well, if I close my mind I might miss something of importance, and if I open my eyes I might get distracted.

Saengnapha
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Re: Eyes Open Or Closed During Practice?

Post by Saengnapha » Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:37 am

Dinsdale wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:16 am
Saengnapha wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:12 am
I am just curious how many people open or close their eyes during Samatha or Vipassana practice. Personally, I have always kept my eyes open.
I mostly meditate with eyes open, but sometimes with eyes closed. There are pros and cons really.
Were you originally taught to keep your eyes open?

auto
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Re: Eyes Open Or Closed During Practice?

Post by auto » Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:36 pm

one idea of eyes open and closed is that you can connect to psychic equivalent of sleep and wakefulness without sleeping or being awake. In short eyes themselves if they are open or closed doesn't mean a lot without knowing the pathways what they can be used to affect.

befriend
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Re: Eyes Open Or Closed During Practice?

Post by befriend » Sat Mar 17, 2018 3:49 pm

Closed eyes creates more concentration if that's what your looking for.
rest

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ryanM
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Re: Eyes Open Or Closed During Practice?

Post by ryanM » Sat Mar 17, 2018 3:54 pm

I close my eyes for the same reason I close my mouth (of course, probably different if my nasal passage is clogged!). However, I don't think either way is better. Most important is what's going on in the mental landscape.
sabbe dhammā nālaṃ abhinivesāya

"nothing whatsoever should be clung to"

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bodom
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Re: Eyes Open Or Closed During Practice?

Post by bodom » Sat Mar 17, 2018 3:55 pm

Both are viable practices. I generally close my eyes but will open them if I notice I'm starting to get drowsy. If you sit with your eyes open you will find that when you reach a certain level of Samadhi that the eyes will naturally close on there own.

:namaste:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

Saengnapha
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Re: Eyes Open Or Closed During Practice?

Post by Saengnapha » Sat Mar 17, 2018 4:14 pm

bodom wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 3:55 pm
Both are viable practices. I generally close my eyes but will open them if I notice I'm starting to get drowsy. If you sit with your eyes open you will find that when you reach a certain level of Samadhi that the eyes will naturally close on there own.

:namaste:
For me, that is a different reason for the eyes closing than keeping them closed throughout.

Nobody has stated whether they were taught to keep their eyes closed or open during practice. I'm curious how people decide.

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bodom
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Re: Eyes Open Or Closed During Practice?

Post by bodom » Sat Mar 17, 2018 4:24 pm

Saengnapha wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 4:14 pm
bodom wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 3:55 pm
Both are viable practices. I generally close my eyes but will open them if I notice I'm starting to get drowsy. If you sit with your eyes open you will find that when you reach a certain level of Samadhi that the eyes will naturally close on there own.

:namaste:
For me, that is a different reason for the eyes closing than keeping them closed throughout.

Nobody has stated whether they were taught to keep their eyes closed or open during practice. I'm curious how people decide.
I was taught by my teachers to do what was most comfortable to me.

:namaste:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

dharmacorps
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Re: Eyes Open Or Closed During Practice?

Post by dharmacorps » Sat Mar 17, 2018 5:29 pm

Eyes closed for me. One of my teachers sat with his eyes open which always surprised me. At first I thought he was watching me meditate.

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Aloka
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Re: Eyes Open Or Closed During Practice?

Post by Aloka » Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:02 pm

I was taught by a Tibetan Buddhist teacher to keep the eyes open, still, and focused on the space beyond the tip of the nose. I find this much better than having my eyes closed.


:anjali:

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Polar Bear
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Re: Eyes Open Or Closed During Practice?

Post by Polar Bear » Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:44 am

In yoga classes I was taught to keep the eyes open and to look down (while keeping the head straight of course) and find a single spot to let the eyes rest on the ground a few feet in front of me. In Buddhist practice I think it is most often taught to close the eyes but not always. When I meditate, I usually close the eyes but not always. The suggestion to do what is most comfortable is appropriate. But you shouldn’t switch back and forth in a single session, that’s just restlessness, with the exceptions that it is okay for the eyes to naturally close and okay to open the eyes if you’re getting drowsy.

:anjali:
Last edited by Polar Bear on Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

Caodemarte
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Re: Eyes Open Or Closed During Practice?

Post by Caodemarte » Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:48 am

I was advised to keep my eyes open.
Last edited by Caodemarte on Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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DNS
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Re: Eyes Open Or Closed During Practice?

Post by DNS » Sun Mar 18, 2018 1:58 am

I've practiced with all 3 major Buddhist traditions; vajrayana, zen/chan, vipassana and have found that in general vajrayana and zen advise to keep eyes open whereas vipassana and Theravada generally advise to keep eyes closed (with some exceptions). I like the eyes closed, it helps focus attention inward, but will open sometimes.

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mikenz66
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Re: Eyes Open Or Closed During Practice?

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:28 am

I walk with eyes open but generally stand or sit with eyes closed, unless I am having trouble staying awake. That's how I was taught but most teachers also advise figuring out what works for the student.

Mike

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pilgrim
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Re: Eyes Open Or Closed During Practice?

Post by pilgrim » Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:40 am

If one is sleepy, it may be helpful to open the eyes just a little to let some light in, but otherwise they should be closed.

“Reverend Sir, if there are six holes in a given ant-hill, and a lizard enters the ant-hill by one of these holes, he that would catch the lizard stops up five of the six holes, leaving the sixth hole open, and catches the lizard in the hole by which he entered. Precisely so should you deal with the six doors of the senses; close five of the six doors, and devote your attention to the door of the mind.”
~ Dhammapada Commentary

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Re: Eyes Open Or Closed During Practice?

Post by Dinsdale » Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:39 am

DNS wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 1:58 am
I've practiced with all 3 major Buddhist traditions; vajrayana, zen/chan, vipassana and have found that in general vajrayana and zen advise to keep eyes open whereas vipassana and Theravada generally advise to keep eyes closed (with some exceptions).
That's also been my experience. I think it's interesting to try different methods and see what the differences are.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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