Eyes Open Or Closed During Practice?

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

Post by auto » Sun Sep 30, 2018 2:02 pm

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
"And what is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the attainment of knowledge & vision? There is the case where a monk attends to the perception of light and is resolved on the perception of daytime [at any hour of the day]. Day [for him] is the same as night, night is the same as day. By means of an awareness open & unhampered, he develops a brightened mind. This is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the attainment of knowledge & vision.
Think of Eye primordial form and function. You can directly be aware of perception of light what leads to knowledge and vision while when to use ordinary eyes then you need external light to trigger ordinary defiled perception and knowledge.

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StormBorn
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Re: Eyes Open Or Closed During Practice?

Post by StormBorn » Sun Sep 30, 2018 3:49 pm

Caodemarte wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:48 am
I was advised to keep my eyes open.
I have always been a closed-eye sitter. Only if too sleepy, I might try a bit with opened eyes, if that fails, then just get up and do some walking.

I remember reading somewhere, Ramana Maharshi was able to attain absorption with eyes open in a matter of minutes, and able to stay just like that for hours on a stretch. Of course by that time he was at mastery of his absorption already.
Aloka wrote:
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.
Just curious. That never gave headaches or dry eyes? :shock: Thanks.
mikenz66 wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:28 am
I walk with eyes open...
Was it a joke? I mean, "OK, try walking with eyes closed!" :smile:
“Greater in battle than the man who would conquer a thousand-thousand men, is he who would conquer just one—himself.”

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Re: Eyes Open Or Closed During Practice?

Post by Dhammanando » Mon Oct 01, 2018 12:42 am

Was it a joke? I mean, "OK, try walking with eyes closed!" :smile:
Cakkhupala did. :)

https://www.tipitaka.net/tipitaka/dhp/v ... ?verse=001

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Pondera
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Re: Eyes Open Or Closed During Practice?

Post by Pondera » Mon Oct 01, 2018 1:11 am

The ants were likely reborn among the gods :tongue:

I drive a lot at work and I mediatate a lot while I drive. My eyes tend to close when my mind and heart reach tranquility. Sometimes I let them close completely. Sometimes I go in and out of sight just long enough to maneuver around the roads. It’s a good practice because it lets me keep track of how well I’m cultivating tranquility.
Four simple meditations on earth, water, fire, and wind - leading to tranquility and pleasure, equanimity and peacehttps://drive.google.com/file/d/1G3qI6G ... sp=sharing

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StormBorn
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Re: Eyes Open Or Closed During Practice?

Post by StormBorn » Mon Oct 01, 2018 1:51 pm

Dhammanando wrote:
Mon Oct 01, 2018 12:42 am
Was it a joke? I mean, "OK, try walking with eyes closed!" :smile:
Cakkhupala did. :)

https://www.tipitaka.net/tipitaka/dhp/v ... ?verse=001
You got me there! Perhaps, he used a cane. :smile: :anjali:
Pondera wrote:
Mon Oct 01, 2018 1:11 am
I drive a lot at work and I mediatate a lot while I drive. My eyes tend to close when my mind and heart reach tranquility. Sometimes I let them close completely. Sometimes I go in and out of sight just long enough to maneuver around the roads. It’s a good practice because it lets me keep track of how well I’m cultivating tranquility.
Any unexpected abnormal "bumps" that you drove over while cultivating tranquillity eyes closed? :tongue:
“Greater in battle than the man who would conquer a thousand-thousand men, is he who would conquer just one—himself.”

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samseva
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Re: Eyes Open Or Closed During Practice?

Post by samseva » Tue Oct 02, 2018 12:08 am

Pondera wrote:
Mon Oct 01, 2018 1:11 am
I drive a lot at work and I mediatate a lot while I drive. My eyes tend to close when my mind and heart reach tranquility. Sometimes I let them close completely. Sometimes I go in and out of sight just long enough to maneuver around the roads. It’s a good practice because it lets me keep track of how well I’m cultivating tranquility.
Are you serious or are you joking? Don't you think that isn't meditation, but rather nearly falling asleep at the wheel?!

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samseva
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Re: Eyes Open Or Closed During Practice?

Post by samseva » Tue Oct 02, 2018 3:28 pm

Pondera wrote:
Mon Oct 01, 2018 1:11 am
I drive a lot at work and I mediatate a lot while I drive. My eyes tend to close when my mind and heart reach tranquility. Sometimes I let them close completely. Sometimes I go in and out of sight just long enough to maneuver around the roads. It’s a good practice because it lets me keep track of how well I’m cultivating tranquility.
Seriously though, Pondera, that's not mindfulness or tranquility—it's drowsiness while driving. Be careful; not only could you hurt yourself or die if you were to fall asleep, but you could hurt or possibly be the cause of ending someone else's life—of which having to live with that for the rest of your life, would probably be even worse.

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Pondera
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Re: Eyes Open Or Closed During Practice?

Post by Pondera » Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:05 am

samseva wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 3:28 pm
[quote=Pondera post_id=488391 time=<a href="tel:1538356274">1538356274</a> user_id=4117]
I drive a lot at work and I mediatate a lot while I drive. My eyes tend to close when my mind and heart reach tranquility. Sometimes I let them close completely. Sometimes I go in and out of sight just long enough to maneuver around the roads. It’s a good practice because it lets me keep track of how well I’m cultivating tranquility.
Seriously though, Pondera, that's not mindfulness or tranquility—it's drowsiness while driving. Be careful; not only could you hurt yourself or die if you were to fall asleep, but you could hurt or possibly be the cause of ending someone else's life—of which having to live with that for the rest of your life, would probably be even worse.
Thanks for the warning. It’s not drowsiness. I’ve worked graveyard shifts where I’ve been tired at the wheel and I know what it’s like to nod off. Yes, it’s very dangerous. What I do in a completely awake state is something else. I choose to enter a tranquil state and a by product of that is lazy eyelids - not a lazy mind. I’m hyper aware of my surroundings.
Four simple meditations on earth, water, fire, and wind - leading to tranquility and pleasure, equanimity and peacehttps://drive.google.com/file/d/1G3qI6G ... sp=sharing

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Re: Eyes Open Or Closed During Practice?

Post by Laurens » Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:25 am

I close my eyes during meditation.

I have tried meditation with open eyes, but I find it difficult to fix them on a single point, without glancing around. Then I start to feel like the glancing is interfering with my concentration, so it tends to just distract me too much to meditate with my eyes open.
"If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

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ushi
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Re: Eyes Open Or Closed During Practice?

Post by ushi » Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:59 pm

I was initially trained in Vipassana meditation through an SN Goenka course, where we were instructed to keep our eyes closed, gently. I have also studied with an osho in the Rinzai zen tradition, and the instruction there is to leave the eyes about a third of the way open and gently unfocused on the ground or wall a little bit in front of where you're sitting.

In my personal practice I find that eyes open tends to hurt after a while. I wear glasses in daily life but not while meditating, and I wonder if that affects things; my vision is extremely poor without correction and so it's impossible to focus on much, but my eyes tend to get dry and/or hurt after a while.

While doing eyes open, I have had some more interesting makyō, but have much better concentration with them closed. Just my two cents, thanks for the interesting reading!

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