You don't even have to be in complete stillness to meditate. "Meditating while keeping your eyes open might entail concentrating your attention or gaze on a candle flame or staring out onto a horizon line," Lewis explained. Closed-eye exercise can also be done with soft or half-closed eyes and no special concentration. Just relax and let your mind go where it pleases.
What does it mean to mediate with eyes closed? It means that you are focusing your attention on your breath or sound, which will in turn lead you into the present moment and away from your thoughts. This is important because when your mind is off in the clouds, this is called being "in the zone." In sports terms, you want to be in the zone all the time during meditation, so that you can respond quickly to challenges that may come your way.
Who taught us to meditate with our eyes closed? Buddhist monks have been doing this for hundreds of years. The ancient Indian texts that discuss meditation techniques include guidelines for how to conduct yourself while looking at objects such as candles or sacred symbols. They believe that if you can learn to control your mind, you can control your emotions and achieve enlightenment, which is the goal of every meditation practice.
Why should you meditate with your eyes closed? There are several reasons why this approach is good for you. First of all, it requires you to be aware of what's going on inside your head.
Moving meditation, a quiet Zen practice, is another type of open-eye exercise. Just notice what happens around the eye area without trying to change it.
The purpose of doing any form of meditation is to clear the mind and prepare it for insight, which may come in the form of images, feelings, sounds, or sensations. Once you have a mental experience, whether it be thoughts, feelings, or something else, you can start analyzing it: "Oh, that's interesting. That feeling in my chest is similar to the one I had when my cousin called. Maybe it's love I'm feeling?" You can repeat this process as many times as needed until you reach understanding or completion.
In short, you can meditate with your eyes closed or open. As long as they are not focused on anything specific, you can meditate using the entire field of vision.
Because meditation is about cleansing your mind of any mental activity or ideas, it is best to keep your eyes closed. You and nothing else. Keeping your eyes open may distract you from reaching a state of concentration.
However, you should be aware that some teachers will tell you to keep your eyes open during certain types of meditation exercises. In these cases, it is up to you whether you want to follow their advice. The only real rule here is not to stop thinking during meditation, because that would make it impossible to reach absolute clarity of mind.
In general, though, we recommend that you close your eyes when meditating. It makes it easier to focus on just one thing at a time and gives you the opportunity to connect with your inner self in a more personal way.
To move deeper into meditation in a single session, alternate between open and closed eyes. Make the decision depending on your capacity to concentrate. Because my mind is always racing when I begin, I like to start with my eyes closed to restrict my concentration. After a few moments, I'll decide whether or not to open them. If I open my eyes, I can stay focused for only a short time before getting distracted again.
In addition to being aware of your breath, what else are you paying attention to when you meditate? As you become more familiar with your own mind, you will discover other thoughts and feelings that you were never aware of before. That's okay, just notice them without judgment and return your focus to your breath whenever you feel distracted.
How long can you stay focused on one object for? That depends on many factors: the object's nature, your level of awareness, and so on. But most people can stay focused for at least fifteen minutes.
Finally, let's say that you're able to focus for an hour. Wow! You have truly reached the top of the mountain. From here on out it's all downhill (or maybe even uphill now that I think about it). However, even if you cannot go longer than fifteen minutes, keep practicing daily and soon you will be able to focus for much longer periods of time.