eyes

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

eyes

Postby no mike » Wed Oct 09, 2013 3:48 pm

Any tips on eyes would be appreciated, thank you.

:shock:
Last edited by no mike on Sat Oct 12, 2013 1:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: eyes

Postby daverupa » Wed Oct 09, 2013 5:12 pm

If you're keeping your eyes open, I recommend the following sort of placement:

Image

The eyelids can rest half-open, or however resting them while open happens for you. At this point you're set to jump into anapanasati, and eventually the eyes can get lumped together with the rest of the body as a unit which helps to facilitate calming involvement with any of it, eyes and everything else, for the duration of the sit. As a result of these efforts, blinking can then become automatic and not something you fuss over, the same goal as for the breath itself.

Eyes flitting about, etc, can sometimes trigger mindfulness, moreso with practice.

Just don't sit through knee pain.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: eyes

Postby no mike » Sun Jun 08, 2014 12:32 am

I've been sitting facing a wall with eyes open since this was recommended and it keeps me awake (mostly, haha). The only problem that seems to keep bothering me is focus issues. My eyes start to water and strain a little looking for something to focus on, and they wander a little. This comes and goes. Wondering if it is okay to have a point on the wall where I can fix the eyes?

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Re: eyes

Postby daverupa » Sun Jun 08, 2014 1:25 am

You can gently focus, or rest out of focus; try to relax away from doing anything with the eyes, maybe rest with the lids half-open and looking forward & down. In my experience, it helps if the wall is clear and a simple monotone color.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: eyes

Postby Kim OHara » Sun Jun 08, 2014 4:27 am

daverupa wrote:... relax away from doing anything with the eyes ...

That's really the essential point, IMO. Letting them stay unfocused is one good way.
Meditating with eyes closed is obviously good from that point of view, too, but it does encourage drowsiness, which is not so good.

:meditate:
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Re: eyes

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Sun Jun 08, 2014 7:06 am

daverupa wrote:You can gently focus, or rest out of focus; try to relax away from doing anything with the eyes, maybe rest with the lids half-open and looking forward & down. In my experience, it helps if the wall is clear and a simple monotone color.


Curiously, the reverse is true for me; if i gaze, 'without seeing', at some such surface, I begin to get headaches, and my eyes begin to hurt.
If on the other hand, I can find a small mark, spot or irregularity in the surface, that is much more helpful.
I confess, I alternate.
Closed, relaxed-open...I do both.

But I don't even think about it.... It happens without any regular or deliberate prompting, and my meditation is fine.
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



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Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....
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Re: eyes

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Jun 08, 2014 7:57 am

Hi No Mike,

It seems you are getting some good advice here. However, an eyes-open approach seems to be more common in Mahayana circles than Theravada, so looking for pointers in Mayahana books, websites, or forums (such as http://www.dharmawheel.net) might also be useful.

:anjali:
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Re: eyes

Postby no mike » Sun Jun 08, 2014 12:03 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Hi No Mike,

It seems you are getting some good advice here. However, an eyes-open approach seems to be more common in Mahayana circles than Theravada, so looking for pointers in Mayahana books, websites, or forums (such as http://www.dharmawheel.net) might also be useful.

:anjali:
Mike


The other side of where to put my eyes (books, websites, forums, subforums). Any suggestions as to which school over at the dharmawheel.com?

Thank you,

:shock:
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Re: eyes

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Sun Jun 08, 2014 12:10 pm

Zen, probably, as much of their practice focuses on meditation....
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



Image

Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....
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Re: eyes

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Jun 08, 2014 12:21 pm

My impression is that most Mahayana schools tend to use an open-eyes approach, including Zen. Those Tibetan visualisations seem to be done with eyes open...

Here's a bunch of threads from there:
https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=site% ... S:official


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Re: eyes

Postby Spiny Norman » Sun Jun 08, 2014 1:06 pm

mikenz66 wrote:My impression is that most Mahayana schools tend to use an open-eyes approach, including Zen. Those Tibetan visualisations seem to be done with eyes open...


When I was doing samatha in a Dzogchen tradition it was eyes wide open, but lots of Theravada types seem to prefer eyes shut. These days I tend to keep my eyes open as it keeps me awake. ;)
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