Eyes

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.

Eyes

Postby SteveP » Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:01 pm

Throughout the course of the evening, I do a few different meditations. One I do with eyes partially open.

However, I sometimes need to blink when doing this, and this is distracting. Also, how wide open my eyes are becomes the focus of my mediatation. Any advice?

Thank you,

Steve
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Re: Eyes

Postby catmoon » Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:04 pm

Blink when you need to. The distraction goes away with practice. Eventually the eyes sort of settle in.
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Re: Eyes

Postby SteveP » Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:35 pm

catmoon wrote: Eventually the eyes sort of settle in.


I'm glad, can't have them falling out. :smile:

Thanks for the advice, I will persevere and hope the distraction goes.

Steve
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Re: Eyes

Postby catmoon » Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:32 pm

SteveP wrote:
catmoon wrote: Eventually the eyes sort of settle in.


I'm glad, can't have them falling out. :smile:


It's not so bad if they do. But it's really distracting if the cat starts playing with them.


Thanks for the advice, I will persevere and hope the distraction goes.

Steve


Goodness, how will you meditate if you are busy hoping and persevering? Sure, that sounds silly, but there is a subtle point.
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Re: Eyes

Postby sangyey » Thu Jan 19, 2012 9:14 pm

It took me a year and a half of trying to meditate with my eyes open experiencing difficulty (with having also learned all the instructions) until I figured out what to do. And that was that I had to learn how to relax completely before engaging with any object or implementing any of the instructions. And I am still just doing that right now. If I keep going there will eventually be a point where my mind and body are completely relaxed and I will be able to do analytical meditation or focus on the object. As of right now it is merely sitting in the posture with eyes half open and relaxing. Very nice actually and as my mind and body become more relaxed and subtle my mind should easily be able to pick up on the object when it is ready.
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Re: Eyes

Postby SteveP » Thu Jan 19, 2012 9:51 pm

It takes a while for my mind to calm down, sometimes ten minutes. I cannot hold an object at all, although everyday I spend a while trying to do so. My concentration bounces about rapidly...bloomin attention defecit.

However, I can contemplate quite well. I read some dharma and then I contemplate it for a 25 min session. I repeat the mediatation day after day, and it does allow me to become more familiar with the concepts.

The compasion meditataion I have found very effective, and I more instinctively respond to others with a good motivation.

However, at the moment, the idea of my mind concentrating on my breath isn't possible, even after 6 months of trying. I dont try to force it, there is no rush, everytime I meditate it helps, unless I am very tired.
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Re: Eyes

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:45 am

SteveP wrote:Also, how wide open my eyes are becomes the focus of my mediatation. Any advice?


That's varies according to tradition. I'd suggest experimenting a bit, or even better find a meditation teacher.

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Re: Eyes

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:10 am

Try this:

"SSSHHHHhhhhhhh!!! wait ! listen! do you hear that?"

--have you ever heard somebody say this? it means that there is a strange, very faint sound, so you have to be really quiet to hear it.

So, do that. Listen for a very faint sound.
BUT
while doing this, instead of actually trying to find a faint sound, just become aware of what your EYES are doing. they are open, and they see, but because your mind is focused on your hearing, at that moment you are not actually looking.

This takes a few tries. But it is effective. Focus on hearing but be aware of what your eyes are "doing". Not what they are "seeing" but what they are "doing".

This method, of putting you attention on hearing, is one way of working through the visual distractions of the mind.

The Surangama Sutra that talks about hearing.

Another way to do this is to be aware of what is going on in your peripheral vision, sort of what is seen at the edge of your eyes.

the point is to take the mind off the visual input.

For focusing on breathing, try counting the breaths up to 5 or 10 or 21 and then starting over.
Thai monks also suggest on the in breath think "Bhu" and on the out breath think "dho" so you are basically thinking "Buddha".
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Re: Eyes

Postby catmoon » Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:25 am

Here's an interesting question - well, interesting to me at least. When meditating with eyes open or part open, one isn't looking at anything, right? So does than mean the eyes should be defocussed and seeing double? I find that if the eyes are really relaxed, the effort that goes into focussing and tracking objects ceases and guess what happens?
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Re: Eyes

Postby Spiny Norman » Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:29 am

catmoon wrote:I find that if the eyes are really relaxed, the effort that goes into focussing and tracking objects ceases and guess what happens?


Yes, the visual stimulus fades and is no longer significant. Personally I find noise to be more distracting anyway. ;)

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Re: Eyes

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:35 pm

catmoon wrote:Here's an interesting question - well, interesting to me at least. When meditating with eyes open or part open, one isn't looking at anything, right? So does than mean the eyes should be defocussed and seeing double? I find that if the eyes are really relaxed, the effort that goes into focussing and tracking objects ceases and guess what happens?


focus on the empty space between the surface of your eyes and whatever the object is in front of you.
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Re: Eyes

Postby SteveP » Mon Jan 23, 2012 4:16 pm

Thank you for all the useful information.

My problem remains the same, and that is that my object moves and switches erratically from one thing to another, thanks to attention defecit and OCD. :(

At the moment, I am just accepting my situation and I try to enjoy whatever mediatation I can manage. Otherwise I will become frustrated.

Love Steve X
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Re: Eyes

Postby SteveP » Mon Jan 23, 2012 4:20 pm

Just read over Sangeys' post. This is what I need to do: get my mind to a place where it is relaxed. I am unsure if this is possible with my mind the way it is.

Either way, I think the best tactic is to accept, as fighting wont help.
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Re: Eyes

Postby catmoon » Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:02 pm

Yup, just keep pokin' away at it, and things will slowly improve.
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Re: Eyes

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:11 pm

SteveP wrote:Thank you for all the useful information.

My problem remains the same, and that is that my object moves and switches erratically from one thing to another, thanks to attention defecit and OCD. :(

At the moment, I am just accepting my situation and I try to enjoy whatever mediatation I can manage. Otherwise I will become frustrated.

Love Steve X


If you can bring your mind to stillness, then watch the stillness.
if your mind keeps moving, then just watch your mind move.
As along as you are watching what your mind is doing, this is a good start.

You might want to look at a book called Vivid Awareness: The Mind Instructions of Khenpo Gangshar
it is a teaching about letting the mind rest naturally in whatever it is doing.
.
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Re: Eyes

Postby Paul » Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:16 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:You might want to look at a book called Vivid Awareness: The Mind Instructions of Khenpo Gangshar
it is a teaching about letting the mind rest naturally in whatever it is doing.


In case anyone hasn't bought it yet, this is, in my opinion, one of the best meditation texts in the English language.
Image

"Do not block your six senses; delight in them with joy and ease.
All that you take pleasure in will strengthen the awakened state.
With such a confidence, empowered by the regal state of natural mind,
The training now is simply this: lets your six senses be at ease and free." - Princess Parani
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Re: Eyes

Postby SteveP » Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:45 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
SteveP wrote:Thank you for all the useful information.

My problem remains the same, and that is that my object moves and switches erratically from one thing to another, thanks to attention defecit and OCD. :(

At the moment, I am just accepting my situation and I try to enjoy whatever mediatation I can manage. Otherwise I will become frustrated.

Love Steve X


If you can bring your mind to stillness, then watch the stillness.
if your mind keeps moving, then just watch your mind move.
As along as you are watching what your mind is doing, this is a good start.

You might want to look at a book called Vivid Awareness: The Mind Instructions of Khenpo Gangshar
it is a teaching about letting the mind rest naturally in whatever it is doing.
.
.
.


Perhaps I should clarify, as it isn't right for me to expect people to understand.

My mind moves about in symetrical patterns..I have intrussive thoughts and almost visual repetetive mind movements. To focus on them would be increadibly anxity provoking, to allow them without attaching anxiety, I think is the key, but it is still very, very difficult.

My mind doesnt work normally, which is why it is a dissorder. :(

Never mind, if I let it bother me it will only get worse instead of better.

Thank you for all the kind repsonses.

Steve XX
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Re: Eyes

Postby Nosta » Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:06 pm

Do you know Vipassana/Mindfullness Meditation?
If you know, my advice is just to be aware of the blinking when that occurs. Take mental note of that, saying "blink, blink". Or you may close your eyes when they start to get tired.
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Re: Eyes

Postby Blue Garuda » Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:49 pm

It is said that if one chooses to meditate with eyes open that one should focus on the tip of the nose.
Westerners have longer noses.

Seriously, the distraction from eyes and ears, legs and back soon fades enough to register the far more intrusive distractions within the mind itself.

I'm still not sure to what extent distractions are brain-led or mind-led, creative or reactive, but I do know that the more 'I' 'try' tthe less effective I become.
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Re: Eyes

Postby catmoon » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:43 pm

The end of the nose? Geez guy, my near focus limit is beyond my arm's reach. I'd need a microscope or something to do that.
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