Eyes Open Or Closed During Practice?

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
WorldTraveller
Posts: 158
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 11:07 am

Re: Eyes Open Or Closed During Practice?

Post by WorldTraveller » Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:27 am

For me, it's obviously closed. Less rūpārammaṇas (visual objects) to get distracted.
“Do not go by oral tradition, by lineage of teaching, by hearsay, by a canonical tradition, by logical reasoning, by inferential reasoning, by reasoned cogitation, by the acceptance of a view after pondering it, by the seeming competence of a speaker, or because you think: ‘The ascetic is our guru.’”
- Kālāma-sutta

alan
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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:14 am
Location: Miramar beach, Fl.

Re: Eyes Open Or Closed During Practice?

Post by alan » Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:53 pm

I shut my eyes and take off the contact lenses. If I held the eyes open, I would get too involved in the visual world.
Problem with closed eyes, though, is you might feel like going to sleep.
Way to solve that is to make an effort to sit erect, and do the best you can to get into a proper cross-leg position. Maintaining a noble posture keeps your mind alive. Why?
Well, because it requires effort and focus. And when it becomes painful, you are at least aware of what is going on, and not falling off into drowsy mind.
Now some of you may say: "Hey Alan, are you crazy? Do you enjoy pain? Why can't I just relax and meditate"?

Answer: I'm not crazy. I do it because it works. I don't enjoy pain, but that pain in your legs or spine might be the thing that keeps you from falling into a soft, mindless slumber. It's all about awareness, right? Well, developing a good posture is important if you are going to ever be able to meditate long-term without your mind fading away.

It's difficult. Not for those just starting out. Give it a try--get into a posture that is harder than what you've been doing. Maybe you can be motivated by photos of the Buddha or your favorite teacher in a perfect meditation posture.

*edited for a spelling error which might have caused confusion.

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pilgrim
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Re: Eyes Open Or Closed During Practice?

Post by pilgrim » Tue Oct 23, 2018 2:48 am

I think in the Commentarial literature there is a metaphor where meditation is compared to an ant-hill with 6 holes. An animal has run into the ant-hill. The hunter then plugs five of the holes and watches just one for the animal to exit. I think this indicates that unless one is doing a meditation involving sight (such as kasina), the eyes should be closed.

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