sangyey wrote:No, I could definitely ask him. Just wanted to get some others opinions. The other day I did some research and HH Dalai Lama suggested that when you sit facing a wall the visual distractions lessen so I tried this and I noticed that my mind turned inward which helped a lot. I think before I was allowing my gaze to go too far out.
Would that be true that you generally have to focus more inward?
That helps, but I still have to ask: What specifically is the problem? Visual distractions? If so, what kind?
When you are sitting down to meditate, what expectations do you have that are not being met?
A few examples:
-Are you engaging in day-dreaming, focusing on how objects appear blurry?
-Are you disappointed by not achieving supernatural psychic states?
-Are you disappointed because you still have difficulty focusing?
-When your eyes are half open, do they start to feel heavy, where you feel like falling asleep?
You don't have to answer all those questions above. They're just examples of common problems. Just observe the meditation when it happens and let us know what exactly is the problem.
Will wrote:"Half-open" is not needed. Just gaze downward at a roughly 45 degree angle with the lids not fully closed. Make sure that there is nothing moving in the field of view. Do not bother focusing on whatever is there, just let fuzziness rule, so there is nothing too attractive to follow or look at.
Actually, nothing is necessary, because it is an activity of the mind. Certain physical activities merely act as a support.
It might be OK to let things be fuzzy, but I think I've noticed how and why the fuzziness occurs (if it's of any help to anybody):
The eyes generate a coherent image by taking a series of very quick snapshots which are then processed. They twitch just a little bit in order to create a unified image. Your eyes are actually twitching all the time, even right now. When you forcefully keep your eyes still, your eyes are confused because they are looking for a series of slightly different images from which to create a unified image, but instead they keep receiving the same image. The mind doesn't expect this, so if your eyes don't start involuntary twitching, it will overlay the same image slightly off-center, making things appear blurry. Relaxing your eyes also can relax the muscles which focus the lens of the eye, resulting in blurry vision, even going slightly cross-eyed. And blinking at a slower than normal pace can make things appear more bright or ethereal, because the receptors at the back of the eye aren't used to such continuous stimulation.
Just like a "relaxed posture," means a slight stiffness in the spine and stomach, to have a proper upright posture (not hunching forward or backwards lazily), a relaxed eye doesn't necessarily mean letting everything go blurry. You can keep your eyes focused, without consciously having to worry about it.