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Do you meditate with your eyes open or closed?
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When I first began meditating regularly, I always closed my eyes because I thought that was the only way to meditate. There's a color show that goes on depending on the lighting, and sometimes shapes or images come out of them like making clouds into pictures. Whenever I'm working on a meditation that involves visualization, I do close my eyes and it makes the goings-on more vibrant. Occasionally, however, I also fall asleep, lol.

By contrast, Tibetan Buddhism instructs mediators to keep their eyes open. In her book "How to Meditate," Buddhist nun and teacher Pema Chodron explains the small but important distinction that keeping your eyes open can have:
"Keeping your eyes open leads you toward the recognition that every moment and every place is the sacred would, and each one offers an opportunity to awaken to your life. With eyes open, you remain gently alert to whatever is going on rather than withdrawing, which is what happens when we close our eyes. Keeping the senses open is very significant in terms of generating a sense of all-inclusiveness, which is where we learn to feel settled in our life no matter what storms or joys pass through."

She teaches to place your gaze down on the floor a few feet in front of you. You can come closer if desired or even work with looking straight ahead for short periods of time. Chodron explains that in training to look straight ahead during meditation, it gives you more practice in working with whatever obstacles are a part of your life path rather than trying to close off and eliminate any kind of challenge or distraction because they are not just a part of life, but so much of life itself.

So now I'm curious - how do you guys meditate?

Posted on: 1/19 11:55
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Re: Do you meditate with your eyes open or closed?
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Eyes open when meditating outside in the park or at the lake front. Eyes closed when meditating in home. Eyes open at home when using a guided video or hypnotic pattern.

I use Insight Timer to log my meditations.

Posted on: 1/19 12:38
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Re: Do you meditate with your eyes open or closed?
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Depends on the day and the aim of my meditation. I do both.

Posted on: 1/19 21:13
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Re: Do you meditate with your eyes open or closed?
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Depends on what I want to achieve. If I wish to calm my mind I have them open and observe nature and absorb all of it sight sound smell and taste.

When practicing Kata I have them closed total focus on the kata and nothing else


Posted on: 1/20 0:54
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Re: Do you meditate with your eyes open or closed?
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On another Note, Buddhist believe that in order to meditate one should have an Empty mind :) Muren Mushin...No thought No Mind

Posted on: 1/20 0:57
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Re: Do you meditate with your eyes open or closed?
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Thanks for your thoughts!

I had been wondering if one was "better" or preferred by you guys over the other, but as is always the case, lol, it depends.

Posted on: 1/20 12:39
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Re: Do you meditate with your eyes open or closed?
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When I do no-mind or zen meditation or visualization practices, I close my eyes. When I do mindfulness, I leave them open and usually walk, too. And there are times when it changes as I feel like so :)

Posted on: 1/22 13:36
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Re: Do you meditate with your eyes open or closed?
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I like motion meditation too, Sinistra. Thanks for your thoughts!

Posted on: 1/22 15:18
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Re: Do you meditate with your eyes open or closed?
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It usually depends on what kind of meditation I'm doing. If I'm doing the more traditional, still meditation I'll generally close my eyes. But if I'm doing any kind of moving meditation I keep my eyes open.

Posted on: 1/25 17:18
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Re: Do you meditate with your eyes open or closed?
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There are many schools of meditation, each with a philosophy and particular purpose. Best way to start is as simply as possible, make it a habit, then adjust as one goes along.

During meditation energy can be balanced, received, or projected. Depending on ones focus.

Great thread!

Posted on: 1/26 15:41
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