Sutta reference regarding closing one's eyes?

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Mr. Seek
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Sutta reference regarding closing one's eyes?

Post by Mr. Seek »

Are there any sutta references out there regarding whether one should or shouldn't close their eyes during meditation?

Typical jhana instructions include "bring mindfulness to the fore"--can that be interpreted as just stare ahead?

Trying to figure out if there was any such preference in the suttas. Personally I'm OK with both, but still...
Snp 5.11—"Having nothing, free of clinging: That is the island, there is no other."
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Sam Vara
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Re: Sutta reference regarding closing one's eyes?

Post by Sam Vara »

Mr. Seek wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 7:04 pm Are there any sutta references out there regarding whether one should or shouldn't close their eyes during meditation?

Typical jhana instructions include "bring mindfulness to the fore"--can that be interpreted as just stare ahead?

Trying to figure out if there was any such preference in the suttas. Personally I'm OK with both, but still...
I think this question has been asked before, and although it's hard to prove a negative, I think the conclusion was that there are no such sutta references. The Buddha's instructions and descriptions of meditation tend to be quite general and not go into details.
Spiny Norman
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Re: Sutta reference regarding closing one's eyes?

Post by Spiny Norman »

Mr. Seek wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 7:04 pm Are there any sutta references out there regarding whether one should or shouldn't close their eyes during meditation?

Typical jhana instructions include "bring mindfulness to the fore"--can that be interpreted as just stare ahead?

Trying to figure out if there was any such preference in the suttas. Personally I'm OK with both, but still...
I'm pretty sure there aren't. So it's trial and error.
Try one week with eyes closed, then a week with eyes open. Contrast and compare. What works best? Pros and cons?
Personally I always meditate with eyes open, it's a hangover from the Dzogchen days.
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Pondera
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Re: Sutta reference regarding closing one's eyes?

Post by Pondera »

Eyes closed or open makes no difference. If you reach concentration the result is “knowing and seeing things as they really are”.

If you understand the purpose of concentration, you will not care.

In fact, on the way to concentration, one will develop “tranquility”. It is natural to close ones eyes when this happens - unless you’re doing walking meditation. Then you might want to keep your eyes open to see where you’re going. 🧐
“Monk, the property of light, the property of beauty, the property of the dimension of the infinitude of space, the property of the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, the property of the dimension of nothingness: These properties are to be reached as perception attainments.[2] The property of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception is to be reached as a remnant-of-fabrications attainment. The property of the cessation of feeling & perception is to be reached as a cessation attainment."[3]

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frank k
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Re: Sutta reference regarding closing one's eyes?

Post by frank k »

AFAIK there isn't any explicit instructions whether to close eyes or not.
But there is a vague hint with a commentary in dipa sutta SN 54.8 (or 54.9).
It mentions that breath meditation will result in body and eyes not getting fatigued.
And the cmy explains eyes not getting tired is referring to kasina practice.
So if you're not staring at a kasina, no reason to keep eyes open right?
Mr. Seek wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 7:04 pm Are there any sutta references out there regarding whether one should or shouldn't close their eyes during meditation?

Typical jhana instructions include "bring mindfulness to the fore"--can that be interpreted as just stare ahead?

Trying to figure out if there was any such preference in the suttas. Personally I'm OK with both, but still...
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Sutta reference regarding closing one's eyes?

Post by Ceisiwr »

Mr. Seek wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 7:04 pm Are there any sutta references out there regarding whether one should or shouldn't close their eyes during meditation?

Typical jhana instructions include "bring mindfulness to the fore"--can that be interpreted as just stare ahead?

Trying to figure out if there was any such preference in the suttas. Personally I'm OK with both, but still...
If your practice is aiming at Samatha and Jhana then I would advise closing your eyes since your aim is to have 1 perception to absorb into. Perceptions of diversity are a hindrance to Jhana. Closing the eyes helps to limit that.
Paññaṃ nappamajjeyya, saccamanurakkheyya, cāgamanubrūheyya, santimeva so sikkheyyā’ti
“One should not neglect wisdom, should preserve truth, cultivate relinquishment and train for peace.”

Dhātuvibhaṅga Sutta
Mr. Seek
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Re: Sutta reference regarding closing one's eyes?

Post by Mr. Seek »

Ceisiwr wrote: Mon Nov 30, 2020 1:55 pmPerceptions of diversity are a hindrance to Jhana. Closing the eyes helps to limit that.
OK, I agree, that makes a whole lot of sense! Thanks for the input to you and everyone else~~
Snp 5.11—"Having nothing, free of clinging: That is the island, there is no other."
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