zenbuddhist meditation.. open eyes question..

Discussion in 'Buddhism' started by velvet, Jan 13, 2005.

  1. velvet

    velvet Banned

    Ok.. so.. I'm really interested in zenbuddhism and tried meditating in their way a few times.. but the problem is that I can't seem to meditate properly with my eyes (half)open. Now I know that you can meditate in any way you want but I kinda want to try it that way and I'm just confused as to why it doesn't work with me.

    I wear lenses and my eyes get dry when I don't blink often so that's annoying.. when I wear glasses that problem is solved but I still I keep getting distracted by what I'm seeing or by my blinking and when I don't wear anything I feel like I'm cheating because I've got very bad eyes and with such a bad view it's practically similar to closing your eyes.

    Soooo.. what's the point of meditating with your eyes (half) open.. and how do you prevent that you just sit there staring instead of 'turning inwards'?

    If I do close my eyes I can concentrate on 'nothing' way better, it feels like I get sucked in, see all my thoughts fly by without sticking to me.. with my eyes open it just doesn't seem to work.

    Any thoughts/help please?

  2. Sebbi

    Sebbi Senior Member

    Do whatever works best for you. You've got to find your own Zen, not the Zen belonging to monks hundereds of years ago on the other side of the world.


  3. Sebbi has offered some wise words...

    From time to time I find it purposeful to meditate with open eyes. Basically what it does for me is act as an arena for mental focus, which I use in combination with others. See, I read in Quiet Your Mind by John Selby, that the mind is able to retain full thought patterns when focused on a single external perception. However, when the mind is focused on more than one sense perception at the same time (sound & sight, sight & feeling, etc.) thinking becomes much harder to do (some would argue impossible, with proper technique). An interesting aspect of this book is that it cites scientific research to back up such claims, as the author is a well educated as well as spiritual man.
  4. velvet

    velvet Banned

    Wise words of Sebbi... well.. however meant good, no doubt.. not of much use. Like I said.. I know that there are a lot of ways to meditate but I'm curious about this specific method and I just had some questions about it.. 'finding your own zen' isn't really an answer to why they meditate with their eyes open or what the best way is to avoid the discomforts that come with it. It's also zen to endure some hardships so just saying 'if this doesn't work, just give up and try something else' isn't really the answer I was looking for to be honest.. I'm just interested in the theory behind the open-eye thing and looking for some practical advice.. sorry if I wasn't clear about that.
  5. How about the second part of my post?
  6. Spacer

    Spacer 'Enlighten yourself'

    The thinking behind it is that when you close your eyes your mind tends to wander and go off on flights of fancy, but zen buddhists believe keeping your eyes half open avoids this. I don't do it myself, but that's the Zen Buddhists thinking behind it.

    Check out this link. http://www.iolfree.ie/~irish_zen/zazen.html
  7. velvet

    velvet Banned

    Thanks Spacer!
  8. Sebbi

    Sebbi Senior Member

    Velvet - I think you would benifit from looking into the teachings of Zen Buddhism, as I assumed you have, to appriciate what I have said. It appears you are only interested in the Zen Buddhist meditation and I see I have wasted my breath.

    Perhaps you should be asking this on the Yoga and Meditation forum.

  9. darrellkitchen

    darrellkitchen Lifetime Supporter

    Never is a breath wasted ...

    Even if you were never to speak a word, you would still be inhaling and exhaling ...

    If you feel you are speaking and no one is listening or whether you are silent and contemplative, you will still be inhaling and exhaling ...

    It makes no difference whether you sit at a keyboard typing your hearts desire, or expressing your impatience or anger, you will still be inhaling and exhaling ...

    So it doesn't make a difference what you are doing, virtuous or non-virtuous, you will still be inhaling and exhaling ... so never is a breath wasted for any reason !!!

    All life is precious ... every breath breaths life ...
  10. velvet

    velvet Banned

    I'm sorry that you feel neglected. I can imagine why you replied the way you did, but I thought that I asked quite clearly about the specific method of zenbuddhist meditation so I thought I would have more chance of getting an answer in the buddhist forum than in the meditation forum :)

    Since I wrote "Now I know that you can meditate in any way you want but I kinda want to try it that way and I'm just confused as to why it doesn't work with me." I thought your answer was a bit off, since it isn't just the 'the Zen belonging to monks hundereds of years ago on the other side of the world', but also the way that all the (soto)zen centers in my country meditate. I'd like to be a bit prepared before I wander in to their temples for the first time, so I don't have trouble I could have avoided when joining their meditation sessions.

    I'm happy that you think I can benefit from zen. I feel the same way.
  11. Spacer

    Spacer 'Enlighten yourself'

    I don't think you'd get much info on zazen meditation in the other forum, it's all mainly yoga people in there.
  12. Sebbi

    Sebbi Senior Member

    I'm sorry, I was feeling pretty down yesterday and then the first post I open says:

    "Interesting but useless" so I took it out on you, sorry about that.


  13. velvet

    velvet Banned

    No problem.. hope you are feeling better today! *hug*
  14. there is no seperation.

    if eyes closed, you are "inside"
    if eyes open, you are "inside"

    you are that which is. Acknowledge this.

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