eye twitching/refocusing

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.

eye twitching/refocusing

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Mon Dec 10, 2012 5:22 pm

When I am doing a Shamatha type meditation focusing on an object, i've noticed that if it's a visual object, or even a visualized one my eyes will go through these bouts of twitching. It starts out fairly mild but get worse...weirdly it seems worse with visualized objects, I visualize stuff far better with my eyes open, at least halfway so that's usually what I do. It occasionally happens even if I am just focusing on breath but have my eyes half open.

Anyone else have this experience? I'm beginning to find it distracting.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: eye twitching/refocusing

Postby windsweptliberty » Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:18 am

Yes it is very distracting. I used to have that, I beleive it was related to eye strain. Now I just make certain my eyes are unfocused and relaxed so that my focus is on the one pointed mind. :heart:
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Re: eye twitching/refocusing

Postby Konchog1 » Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:57 am

windsweptliberty wrote:Yes it is very distracting. I used to have that, I beleive it was related to eye strain. Now I just make certain my eyes are unfocused and relaxed so that my focus is on the one pointed mind. :heart:
Yes, seconded. Relax your eyes and see if that helps.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: eye twitching/refocusing

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:08 am

Konchog1 wrote:
windsweptliberty wrote:Yes it is very distracting. I used to have that, I beleive it was related to eye strain. Now I just make certain my eyes are unfocused and relaxed so that my focus is on the one pointed mind. :heart:
Yes, seconded. Relax your eyes and see if that helps.


Was paying more attention today and I noticed, weirdly enough it seems to happen most often when I "come out" of shamatha or vipasyana by getting caught up in a thought or stream of thoughts..why would this be? Today I solved it by just keeping my eyes closed, but of course harder to do that when i'm tired.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: eye twitching/refocusing

Postby Azidonis » Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:10 pm

Just a suggestion:

When you are doing the meditation, you can try placing the focus of your ocular attention on your Ajna chakra, as a preparation for then changing your focus to the object of your meditation. When people ask what to do with their eyes during meditation, I tell them to focus them towards the Ajna chakra, and leave them there. It's a loose focus though. You don't want to meditate cross-eyed or anything. :) Just sit them in the area, to where when you are aware of your eyes, you think of the Ajna chakra and not the physical eyes.

When trying to imagine an object in your mind and hold it steady, the physical eyes "want to look at it" too, even though they cannot. That is, the body is trained to relate pictures of objects with ocular activity. So naturally, when you go to focus on an object in your mind, the physical eyes may strain themselves trying to view the object.

If you turn your attention to the Ajna chakra however, it is a way of letting your body know, "Hey, we are looking at this with the 'mind's eye', not the physical eye." This alone can help your physical eyes move to a natural, resting position, and help get over the hump of physical interference while practice inner workings.

Like I said, it's just a suggestion, an idea. It's something that worked for me, and may possibly work for others.
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