Meditating with eyes half open

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.

Re: Meditating with eyes half open

Postby sangyey » Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:57 pm

It seems then that you don't generate Bodhicitta until after you have taken Refuge. Is this true?
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Re: Meditating with eyes half open

Postby catmoon » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:22 am

sangyey wrote:It seems then that you don't generate Bodhicitta until after you have taken Refuge. Is this true?


Hm? Do mean, should you recite a refuge prayer before generating bodhicitta?

Or are you asking if it is possible for one who has not taken refuge to generate bodhicitta?
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Re: Meditating with eyes half open

Postby sangyey » Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:13 pm

Hey Catmoon.....I was just asking if you first take Refuge yourself first and then go on to cultivate Bodhicitta before engaging in the deed whatever it is.
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Re: Meditating with eyes half open

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:33 pm

sangyey wrote:Hey Catmoon.....I was just asking if you first take Refuge yourself first and then go on to cultivate Bodhicitta before engaging in the deed whatever it is.


Hey Sangyey,

Generally speaking, yes, although there are some verses where it's all combined in one, like in this verse from the Bodhicharyavatara:

With the wish to free all beings, I shall always go for refuge to the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha until I attain full enlightenment.

Enthused by compassion and wisdom, today, in the Buddha's presence, I generate the Mind of Enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings.

As long as space endures, and as long as sentient beings remain, until then may I too abide to dispel the miseries of the world.
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Re: Meditating with eyes half open

Postby sangyey » Thu Oct 28, 2010 1:57 am

Thank you :smile:
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Re: Meditating with eyes half open

Postby catmoon » Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:12 am

Gee here Sangyey is acting like his question is all answered and I'm still trying to figure out what the question was. Oh well, I p[robably could not have answered it anyhow! :jumping:
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Re: Meditating with eyes half open

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:17 am

catmoon wrote:Gee here Sangyey is acting like his question is all answered and I'm still trying to figure out what the question was.

Catmoon, by his words "before engaging in the deed whatever it is" I assumed what he wanted to know was not whether initially one must take refuge before giving rise to bodhicitta but rather what the proper order is when preparing to perform meritorious acts, so I answered accordingly. In any case, I think to generate bodhicitta according to what that means in Mahayana Buddhism, one would be taking refuge by default when generating bodhicitta because, in the relative sense of bodhicitta, that is the intention to practice Dharma in order to attain buddhahood in order to lead all other beings to enlightenment as well. That of course entails taking the Buddha as one's ultimate teacher, taking the Dharma as the ultimate teaching, and the arya sangha as the ultimate companions on the path. This is of course the meaning of refuge. So the answer would be the same either way, although not necessarily in the sense of taking refuge formally in a ceremony before generating bodhicitta. Neither refuge nor bodhicitta is dependent upon a ritual; they are merely reinforced with one.

catmoon wrote:Oh well, I probably could not have answered it anyhow! :jumping:
lol you're not allowed to talk like that, Mister! I'm sure you could have contributed something very worthwhile had you understood what Sangyey meant.
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Re: Meditating with eyes half open

Postby spiritnoname » Thu Nov 04, 2010 6:39 am

When I had to do this, my eyes would wander from this thing to that thing, a solution is to put a dot on something and not move your eyes from there. Buddha image works too.
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Re: Meditating with eyes half open

Postby 5heaps » Thu Nov 04, 2010 2:33 pm

its fine to alternate between open and closed, based on whether you need quiet or need to be fresh.
your eyes will find their own groove when concentration really starts kicking in (they normally want to stay a little open)

whether visualizing a living Buddha in midair in front of you, or using the breath, the big thing is not to change the object until youve reached shamata
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Re: Meditating with eyes half open

Postby nirmal » Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:10 pm

It is a bad doctrine where rules are a hard and fast certainty.Students of yoga must distinguish this matter by their own wisdom and by their own self examination use whatever is beneficial and that which brings comfort to them in meditation.
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Re: Meditating with eyes half open

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Fri Dec 03, 2010 3:30 am

nirmal wrote:It is a bad doctrine where rules are a hard and fast certainty.Students of yoga must distinguish this matter by their own wisdom and by their own self examination use whatever is beneficial and that which brings comfort to them in meditation.


There is no "bad doctrine" that says you're only allowed to meditate with open eyes/closed eyes. In terms of more fundamental meditation techniques like shamatha, there are natural pros and cons to each way, though, depending on circumstances. For instance, for a beginner, if doing shamatha with open eyes is uncomfortable or distracting, it would be a pro to close your eyes until you get more proficient. But eventually, keeping the eyes closed would be a limitation - you'll eventually want to overcome your aversion to opening your eyes and being totally open to external phenomena; you'll want to gradually get accustomed to letting arise freely whatever experience may arise. That would be optimal.
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Re: Meditating with eyes half open

Postby nirmal » Fri Dec 03, 2010 4:02 pm

Pema Rigdzin wrote:
nirmal wrote:It is a bad doctrine where rules are a hard and fast certainty.Students of yoga must distinguish this matter by their own wisdom and by their own self examination use whatever is beneficial and that which brings comfort to them in meditation.


There is no "bad doctrine" that says you're only allowed to meditate with open eyes/closed eyes. In terms of more fundamental meditation techniques like shamatha, there are natural pros and cons to each way, though, depending on circumstances. For instance, for a beginner, if doing shamatha with open eyes is uncomfortable or distracting, it would be a pro to close your eyes until you get more proficient. But eventually, keeping the eyes closed would be a limitation - you'll eventually want to overcome your aversion to opening your eyes and being totally open to external phenomena; you'll want to gradually get accustomed to letting arise freely whatever experience may arise. That would be optimal.


When practicing the samapatti on Mahamudra where one wishes to abide in the Enlightened Entity, then closed eyes are never recommended because the inner light, the channels of which are two special nerves coming to the eyes and the outer light of the sun together with the light of the samapatti of voidness - all these three lights must be identified in voidness.In this practice, open eyes are essential. In the torga practice of Mahamudra, eyes must first be kept opened and later kept closed.But for us, do whatever makes us comfortable
The pictures and statues of the Buddhas are sending us a message.We could learn something by looking at their eyes.Are they not focused on the tip of their noses.I think that's how they look through their third eye.
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