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Dhamma Wheel • View topic - When eyes are closed

When eyes are closed

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.

When eyes are closed

Postby Collective » Mon May 31, 2010 5:45 pm

When meditating with eyes closed there seems to be 2 ways I can do this.

[1] What I call hazy eyes
When the eyes tend to go 'soft' and roll back slightly into the head, almost like wehn you are asleep.

[2] What I call busy eyes
When you are basically staring at the inside of your eyelids, fully awake and on the breath.

There's no scrunching of the eyes in either mode, but the hazy eyes tends to make me drop off, whereas with the busy eyes, I tend to stay alert more.

Also, and not wanting to start another thread...

Lately I've been dropping off, or almost. Not quite asleep in my meditation position (seated on the floor), but almost. I know when it's happened because I have these dreams/visions. These dreams/visions don't seem like the real (dream) expereinces we get, they are more like the kind you get just before you fall asleep, or just before waking up.

Having said that (bear with me :)), when I have the 'busy' eyes, when I'm not anywhere near dropping off, I can still get, what can best be described as 'visions'. I'm not claiming anything supernatural here, it's just that they are quite different to the dreams/visions I get when almost dropping off. Different because I'm aware, I'm awake, when I get these dream/visions. Which can be of anything. Some of these are crystal clear and full of detail. Like the ribs on the surface of a leaf or the pores on the back of a hand.

Any thoughts?

Thank you
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Re: When eyes are closed

Postby Reductor » Mon May 31, 2010 6:18 pm

Thoughts?

When I first started meditating with eyes closed I would see all kinds of sharp images while remaining alert. So, not a dream. The images were reflective of a lot of things I was thinking about in life, and many of them were bits and pieces of movies and comics I had read over the years. Occasionally a scene from my life would play out.

I would liken it to debris floating to the surface of a lake after a storm. While the storm churns the water, the debris had been submerged. When the storm abated the calming of the water allowed the debris to surface. Eventually the debris ceased to surface, and so these visuals went away.

So, don't pay them any attention. Instead, turn your attention to the tactile sensations of the body - wherever they seem steady and clearest - and keep that attention there. Remember that the eyes are primarily used for gathering information from 'out there', while the tactile sensation in the body is for gathering information from 'inside', inside the body-frame reference. And that's where you should be.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: When eyes are closed

Postby Sobeh » Mon May 31, 2010 10:19 pm

I anticipate your description of hazy eyes is a description of how it feels to you to have sloth/torpor, and your description of busy eyes is a description of how it feels to you to have energy (viriya).
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Re: When eyes are closed

Postby bodom » Mon May 31, 2010 10:26 pm

Sobeh wrote:I anticipate your description of hazy eyes is a description of how it feels to you to have sloth/torpor, and your description of busy eyes is a description of how it feels to you to have energy (viriya).


This is why I sit with eyes half open. It provides balance.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: When eyes are closed

Postby Wind » Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:32 am

Good topic. I never tried "busy eyes" before. I should give that a shot.

bodom wrote:
Sobeh wrote:I anticipate your description of hazy eyes is a description of how it feels to you to have sloth/torpor, and your description of busy eyes is a description of how it feels to you to have energy (viriya).


This is why I sit with eyes half open. It provides balance.

:anjali:


half open is difficult for me to maintain. My eyes are constantly fighting between wanting to close all the way or open up. haha
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Re: When eyes are closed

Postby Freawaru » Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:47 am

Hi Collective,

Collective wrote:
Lately I've been dropping off, or almost. Not quite asleep in my meditation position (seated on the floor), but almost. I know when it's happened because I have these dreams/visions. These dreams/visions don't seem like the real (dream) expereinces we get, they are more like the kind you get just before you fall asleep, or just before waking up.


When you noticed those dreams/visions, did they stop or did they go on and you could watch them going on as on TV?

Having said that (bear with me :)), when I have the 'busy' eyes, when I'm not anywhere near dropping off, I can still get, what can best be described as 'visions'. I'm not claiming anything supernatural here, it's just that they are quite different to the dreams/visions I get when almost dropping off. Different because I'm aware, I'm awake, when I get these dream/visions. Which can be of anything. Some of these are crystal clear and full of detail. Like the ribs on the surface of a leaf or the pores on the back of a hand.


Both visions during trance and hypnagogics (visions or other sense impressions during the transition from wake to dream) can be crystal clear and full of detail. Is there some stability and sense to them or are they arising randomly?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypnagogia
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Re: When eyes are closed

Postby Collective » Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:30 am

Hi Freawaru,

They stopp when I realise, and very rarely do they make sense.

There was one where I saw this 'Grey' alien type, it was standing in some white room with a window of sorts overlooking an expanse of deep space. I heard the words 'The communication is garbled' or something like that. Then, I had another 'Grey' vision/dream/thing, it's face (I saw the black bulbous eyes) close up to mine. It had some kind of gold headress and it's jaws were moving like it was trying to speak to me but there was no sound.

Mad I know.

Everything else I've experienced I can't make sense of.
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Re: When eyes are closed

Postby Refugee » Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:27 pm

Wind wrote:Good topic. I never tried "busy eyes" before. I should give that a shot.

bodom wrote:
Sobeh wrote:I anticipate your description of hazy eyes is a description of how it feels to you to have sloth/torpor, and your description of busy eyes is a description of how it feels to you to have energy (viriya).


This is why I sit with eyes half open. It provides balance.

:anjali:


half open is difficult for me to maintain. My eyes are constantly fighting between wanting to close all the way or open up. haha


Well, you're not alone... half-open eyes seem to be quite "unnatural" for me and difficult to maintain with any degree of comfort. This may perhaps be due to my eyes being conditioned over the years to either close or open. I meditate with my eyes closed - eye lids gently touching.
My practice is simply this: Avoid evil, do good, and purify the mind.
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Re: When eyes are closed

Postby Freawaru » Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:49 am

Hi Collective,

Collective wrote:They stopp when I realise, and very rarely do they make sense.


From the point of view of mindfulness meditation it would be necessary for them to go on after you became aware of what happens. Both Goenka as well as Mahasi style teachers encourage their students to stay aware during the states in-between wake and sleep - maybe they have some special techniques.

viewtopic.php?f=17&t=3314

There was one where I saw this 'Grey' alien type, it was standing in some white room with a window of sorts overlooking an expanse of deep space. I heard the words 'The communication is garbled' or something like that. Then, I had another 'Grey' vision/dream/thing, it's face (I saw the black bulbous eyes) close up to mine. It had some kind of gold headress and it's jaws were moving like it was trying to speak to me but there was no sound.


The hypnagogia can vary from utter nonsense to providing solutions, creativity and images/metaphors. IMO some suttas use metaphors based on and understood in this state.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypnagogia

Mad I know.


It is a part of us - just as the wake state. This sutta might be helpful http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html , especially the Translator's Introduction.

Everything else I've experienced I can't make sense of.


It doesn't have to. To simply observe the random mind processes is useful, too.
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