Moments of Space, influenced by Dzogchen, is a meditation app that believes open-eyes meditation is the key to living an awakened life. They encourage leaving your eyes open — whenever it’s comfortable to do so — as a key component toward living with more presence, cultivating a deeper connection to your consciousness, and the ability to bring that new-found awareness with you wherever you go.
Moments of Space offers a guided path toward awakening by helping you gradually build an open-eyes practice, allowing you to start with short bursts and progressing toward longer sessions as your practice matures.
Sitting with open-eyes might feel unnatural for some, which is why Moments of Space always allows you the option of closing your eyes, if that’s more comfortable for you. Sitting with your eyes closed can be a good place to start in analytical or introspective meditation, and it can help increase your focus by removing visual distractions and giving you more control over where you direct your attention. But sitting with eyes-closed can also lead to a zombie-like state of relaxation or sleep, resulting in a loss of presence.
Starting an open-eyes practice might initially make you more susceptible to distraction, but this can be a wonderful opportunity to foster growth. Using distractions as opportunities to bring your awareness back will naturally strengthen your practice, a by-product of obstacles becoming the way. Distractions also let you practice equanimity and non-attachment by allowing yourself to become less reactive to interruptions as they occur, and overtime, letting go of distractions will come naturally as you settle back into the spaciousness of your own awareness. Leaving your eyes open helps keep you in the state of wakeful presence required to be in meditation.
Leaving your eyes open lets you visually recognize the space in between all objects, and that also amplifies the sense of space you feel within yourself. In that open, objectless awareness, you allow everything to be observed without fixation —aware of everything and nothing all at once. Open-eyes and open awareness prepares you to find real presence in daily life and connects you to your true nature at any given moment.
To close your eyes in meditation is to go inwards and seek your Buddha essence, but to leave your eyes open is to know that you already are that essence. As Buddha said, “Just open your eyes.”
As you sit, rest your eyes in a half-open/half-closed position, slightly lowered down past your nose. Don’t force your gaze on an object, just allow it to be soft, open, and easy. If your eyes do naturally close, that’s fine, don’t fight it, always go with what feels best.
If you’re keen to start practicing open-eyes meditation, the Moments of Space app is a wonderful option to explore. There are a range of short and long meditations to practice with; whether you’re seated, out and about walking, or pressed for time, you’ll find something for any moment, all of which emphasize how to apply meditation techniques into your daily life.
Moments of Space is happy to provide Lion’s Roar readers three months’ free access to their iOS app! Click here to get started.