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Meditation with eyes open or closed?

Hi everybody,
Anybody knows how the great masters like H.H Dalai Lama do meditate? With eyes open or closed?



  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited December 2017

    Cover your options. Try both.


    ... oh and welcome <3 ;)

  • half open, half closed....

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Sit in a comfortable position, with your back straight but not strained. Visualise a thin cord attached to the central crown of your head, pulling it up and tilting it slightly forward so that your chin gently lowers towards your chest.
    Eyes half closed, focus on a point on the floor about 1 metre, a metre-and-a-half ahead of you.
    If the eyes feel like closing, close them. if you feel like opening, open them.
    I alternate, sometimes one, sometimes the other.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    Whatever works :) I do both, but more open now than closed, otherwise I sometimes doze off! It took a long time for me to be comfortable with eyes open. I'm very sensory-driven and every little aspect of what I'd see held my attention, but not in the right way. I was off thinking about how carpet fibers came to be, and every thing that flinched in my field of vision distracted me. It took a couple of years before I could do it without being very frustrated. Try both, but give it time either way.

  • Either. My teacher says that open she prefers because then you transition to standing and walking and your regular day more naturally or easily.

  • jwredeljwredel Albuquerque Veteran

    How you see (not what) is a reliable indicator of what's going on inside. It would be a shame not to take advantage of that feedback while sitting.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @Mattie_A said:
    Hi everybody,
    Anybody knows how the great masters like H.H Dalai Lama do meditate? With eyes open or closed?

    This may be of help @Mattie_A

    According to The Dalai Lama....

    "Let the eyes gaze downwards loosely -- it is not necessary that they be directed to the end of the nose; they can be pointed toward the floor in front of you if that seems more natural. Do not open the eyes too wide nor forcefully close them; leave them open a little. Sometimes they will close of their own accord; that is all right. Even if your eyes are open, when your mental consciousness becomes steady upon its object, these appearances to the eye consciousness will not disturb you."


  • Thanks everybody for the great comments

  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Canada Veteran

    I have never meditated with the Dalai Lama, so I cannot say.

    BUT ... generally beginners are taught to close their eyes.
    With the development of great skill in focus and concentrating, eyes can be slightly open.

    An interesting bit from, neuroscience: When we envision, we create brain patterns. Patterns that often improve our bewhavior and performance. For example, athletes who "rehearse" in their mind perform as well as those who go out on the field and practice ahead of time.
    And visualizing compassion, wisdom, etc (which is a main focus in Tibetan Buddhism) if your eyes are slightly open, such that actual light impulses travel to your occipital (visual) lobe in the brain, then the impact of your visualization exercises is much increased.
    Assuming the person has become a skilled meditator and visualizor.
    Which I have not yet.

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    for me,eyes open.i use the technique,sometimes,broad sight...to rest the mind.

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    ....eyes open to concentrate,preferably light absorbtion,see object,be it exterior or interior.im somewhat freelance meditator,hit and miss experimentor.

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    @IronRabbit said:
    half open, half closed....

    Whoa - seen this style art before - spooky but I like it.

    Um, yeah, half mast. But ya gotta try both.
    Sometimes I feel like closing my eyes all the way.

  • CarlitaCarlita Bastian please! Save us! United States Veteran
    edited December 2017

    For me, open I'm distracted and closed I fall asleep. If I do breathing, I close my eyes. Insight, I open them. I mix meditation with guided ones that give you five or ten minute silence between whats said. I can concentrate better on what I hear when meditating. When I practiced Zen it helped that I meditate in front a white wall. Im pulled to Tibetan techniques but I need a teacher. I found meditation centers in my area. When I save up, I'll see if I can save up and go to different ones to sit what fits.

  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    When I transitioned through a Dzogchen sangha, we meditated with eyes open and breathing through the mouth.
    I used to sit at the front, close to the altar, with my eyes fixed on the tangkha of Guru Rinpoche.
    As the meditation got deeper, the smoke wafting up from the incense almost animated the figure of Rinpoche.
    My senses became very grounded in the present moment and sharpened, alive.

    In a Zen sangha, we would sit with eyes open, turned facing the wall.

    Both experiences were interesting, but I still prefer meditating with eyes closed.
    In Lödrö Rinpoche's sangha, a lama who came to Switzerland in his youth, sent here by HH the Dalai Lama, we meditated with eyes closed.

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