Author Topic: Two questions about meditation  (Read 1136 times)

Offline Rasputin

  • Member
  • Posts: 25
    • View Profile
Two questions about meditation
« on: October 08, 2018, 01:55:51 pm »
I’m new here. Sorry for asking questions that I’m sure have been asked a million times.
1. Does it matter if eyes are open or closed? I close my eyes. Keeping them opened part way distracts me.
2. I’m fat and my legs tend to fall asleep while meditating. Do I just readjust?

Online Chaz

  • High-Functioning Sanctimonious Reprobate
  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1133
  • Facts have no moral judgment.
    • View Profile
Re: Two questions about meditation
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2018, 04:25:16 pm »
I’m new here. Sorry for asking questions that I’m sure have been asked a million times.
1. Does it matter if eyes are open or closed? I close my eyes. Keeping them opened part way distracts me.

Some say yes, others, no.  I was taught to meditate with my eyes open.  As you say this can and does present distractions, but one purpose of practice is to learn to avoid such distractions.  Personally, I sometimes meditate with my eyes closed, but only for short periods as I find that this can lead to sleep.

Quote
2. I’m fat and my legs tend to fall asleep while meditating. Do I just readjust?

This is something that happens to everyone, more or less.  It's ok to shift position to relieve numbness.  You can also get up and do walking meditation.  You can also sit in a chair, which is what I do - that, or a high stool.

Offline Rasputin

  • Member
  • Posts: 25
    • View Profile
Re: Two questions about meditation
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2018, 04:41:41 pm »
Thank you. I appreciate all the help I can get.  :r4wheel:

Offline Gibbon

  • Member
  • Posts: 82
  • May all beings be happy and well.
    • View Profile
Re: Two questions about meditation
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2018, 07:46:02 am »
I was also taught to meditate with my eyes open.  Especially at the beginning I found it really helpful to face a neutral surface, such as a blank wall, to minimize distraction. 

Online Chaz

  • High-Functioning Sanctimonious Reprobate
  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1133
  • Facts have no moral judgment.
    • View Profile
Re: Two questions about meditation
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2018, 09:51:29 am »
I was also taught to meditate with my eyes open.  Especially at the beginning I found it really helpful to face a neutral surface, such as a blank wall, to minimize distraction.

Yeah.  That's how some (all?) Zen schools teach it.  At first I was taught to pick a spot of the floor 3 feet in front of me.  Later on I was instructed to pick a spot on the shrine or on a feature of a statue of the Buddha or a Bodhisattva.  I often pick the glowing tip of a burning incense stick on my shrine.

This can be helpful to determine when you mind starts to wander.  If/when your eyes suddenly move from your object,  you're not meditating any more.  Just recognize it, and return to your object.  And be gentle about it.


I've tried facing a wall, by I find I start to feel claustrophobic.

Offline Gibbon

  • Member
  • Posts: 82
  • May all beings be happy and well.
    • View Profile
Re: Two questions about meditation
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2018, 10:44:30 am »
It's interesting to see how many different approaches there are.  For me, it works to just allow the eyeballs to relax and let the mind focus inward.  The eyes are pointing at a spot a foot or two away, but the consciousness is on the breath etc.  When the eyes fixate on any external object, it becomes an obstacle for my meditation.  This was the idea behind facing a wall, so that the eyes have little to grasp on -- but sometimes I found myself fixating on little cracks in the paint or whatever!
« Last Edit: October 09, 2018, 10:52:49 am by Gibbon »

Offline zafrogzen

  • Member
  • Posts: 437
  • I've been practicing and studying meditation since
    • View Profile
    • zafrogzen
Re: Two questions about meditation
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2018, 04:49:08 pm »
For years I focused on a bright spot on a dark redwood wall. Now I face out into the room and look down my nose with "soft" relaxed eyes. Sometimes I "fix" my attention on the visual circle before me and use it to concentrate and still my mind. When relaxing my body part by part I close my eyes. http://www.frogzen.com/meditation-basics/
My first formal meditation training was with Shunryu Suzuki in the 60's and later with Kobun, Robert Aitken and many other teachers (mainly zen). However, I've spent the most time practicing on my own, which is all I do now. I'm living in a rather isolated area so I miss connecting with other practitioners. Despite my interest in zen I've made an effort to remain secular. You can visit my website at http://www.frogzen.com

Offline Dairy Lama

  • Member
  • Posts: 5324
  • Cool baby yeah!
    • View Profile
Re: Two questions about meditation
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2018, 01:30:06 am »
I’m new here. Sorry for asking questions that I’m sure have been asked a million times.
1. Does it matter if eyes are open or closed? I close my eyes. Keeping them opened part way distracts me.
2. I’m fat and my legs tend to fall asleep while meditating. Do I just readjust?

1. Different Buddhist schools teach different methods as regards the eyes - there are pros and cons.  I would suggest doing what works best for you.
2. Find a position that is basically comfortable, there is no need to do yogic contortions or suffer physically.  Using a stool or chair is fine, you can even meditate lying down.
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream"

Offline VisuddhiRaptor

  • Member
  • Posts: 515
    • View Profile
Re: Two questions about meditation
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2018, 09:54:54 pm »
... you can even meditate lying down.

Great for falling asleep.  :teehee:

Offline VisuddhiRaptor

  • Member
  • Posts: 515
    • View Profile
Re: Two questions about meditation
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2018, 09:56:38 pm »
2. I’m fat and my legs tend to fall asleep while meditating. Do I just readjust?

The most important thing is the spine is naturally erect (rather than hunched) so the mind can be alert. Sitting on a stool with the back unsupported is perfectly fine. Best wishes

 :namaste:

 


SimplePortal 2.3.3 © 2008-2010, SimplePortal