Open Your Eyes

Enhance the Transformative Effects of Meditation on Everyday Life

We often associate meditation practice with sitting in a tranquil and secluded space, eyes closed and disengaged from the outside world, but what if, instead, we were able to find presence in the midst of any distraction – sound, sight, thought, or sensation – what implications would that have in our lives?
You are all Buddhas. There is nothing you need to achieve. Just open your eyes. ~ Gautama Buddha
When we leave our eyes open, it helps us integrate the art of meditation into our everyday life. Open-eyes meditation paves the way toward living a more harmonious life, where we find the openness and clarity of being present with what is. We become empowered to find the peace and clarity of presence amidst any busyness or chaos we may be experiencing.
The practice of open-eyed meditation is a powerful way to bring the clarity and wisdom of our practice into our everyday life[…] we learn to see the world as it truly is, without the distortions and projections of our mind. ~ Tsoknyi Rinpoche

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.

When we meditate with open eyes, it is very important to avoid focusing too intently on any one thing[…] Instead, we should let our gaze rest gently and naturally on whatever is in front of us, without trying to control or manipulate our attention in any way. ~ Mingyur Rinpoche

Getting Started with Open-Eyes Practice 

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.

LionsRoar.com uses cookies to provide necessary website functionality, improve your experience and analyze our traffic. By using our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and our cookies usage.