There are many different ways you can meditate, from sitting to lying down, the time of day, what you think about, guided or not… and whether your eyes are open or not.
That’s right, you don’t have to have your eyes closed to meditate!
Closing one’s eyes and relaxing is usually the first step when meditating, but there are some open-eyed meditations you might want to try!
Can You Meditate With Your Eyes Open?
Yes, you can meditate with your eyes open!
While it may seem counterintuitive, there are actually many benefits to meditating with your eyes open.
For one, it can help to keep you from falling asleep – which is something I’ve struggled with while relaxing with my eyes closed.
If you’re someone who has a hard time sitting still or focusing when meditating, keeping your eyes open can be a great way to help you focus.
There are also certain open-eyed meditation techniques, like Trataka, that can help to improve your concentration and eye health!
If you’re interested in trying out an open-eyed meditation, there are a few things you should keep in mind…
How To Keep Your Eyes Open While Meditating
If you’re new to open-eyed meditation, it will feel very unnatural at first and can be tricky to keep your eyes from closing or thinking about your eyes.
Here are a few tips to help you out:
- Blink often to keep your eyes from getting too dry.
- Pick a spot on the floor or wall to focus on and keep your gaze soft.
- If your eyes do start to close, simply reopen them and refocus on your spot.
- Lower the lighting in the room to reduce the strain on your eyes.
- Start with short eye-open meditations at first to condition yourself.
When you first try to meditate with your eyes open, it’s going to be difficult not to get distracted by what you can see.
But just like learning how to keep your consciousness on your breathing and silence your monkey mind while meditating, it’ll get easier with practice.
Benefits of Meditating With Your Eyes Open
So, why should you meditate with your eyes open when it’s more challenging than closing your eyes?
Well, as I mentioned before, there are some great benefits to it!
Here are a few of the benefits you can expect from an open-eyed meditation practice:
- You’ll be less likely to fall asleep.
- It can help you focus and improve your concentration.
- You can do it anywhere at any time during the day or night.
- You might find it more relaxing than closed-eye meditations.
Open-eyed meditations will help to improve your mood and alleviate anxiety and stress, along with all the other benefits we know meditation offers.
If you’re looking for a new challenge in your meditation practice or simply want to try something different, give open-eyed meditation a try!
Who knows – you might just find that it’s the perfect fit for you.
Traditions That Use Open-Eye Meditations
Open-eyed meditation is used in many different traditions, both Eastern and Western.
Some of the most popular techniques are:
- Trataka – A concentration technique that involves staring at a candle flame or point on the wall until tears form in your eyes. It’s said to help improve vision and concentration.
- Mindfulness of Breathing – A popular mindfulness meditation technique that can be done with your eyes open or closed.
- Zazen – A form of Zen Buddhist meditation that is traditionally done with the eyes open, focusing on the breath.
- Gazing Meditation – A type of meditation where you focus your gaze on an object in front of you, usually a flower or candle flame.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to study or practice a specific type of meditation.
You can simply practice being mindful or meditate with your eyes open in a way that’s comfortable for you.
What Happens When You Meditate With Your Eyes Open?
When you meditate with your eyes open, you may find that it’s more difficult to focus on your breath or silence your thoughts.
That’s because there are so many things around you that can serve as distractions!
But don’t worry – with a little bit of practice, you’ll be able to focus just as well with your eyes open as you can with your eyes closed.
You may also find that you become more aware of your surroundings and the things around you.
This is because you’re not filtering out all of the external stimuli like you would if your eyes were closed.
Some people find this to be a bit overwhelming at first, but it’s something that you can get used to with time.
The bottom line is that meditating with your eyes open is a great way to improve your concentration and focus!
Is It Better to Meditate With Eyes Open or Closed?
There’s no right or wrong answer to this question – it’s all about what works best for you.
If you find it easier to focus with your eyes closed, then by all means, close your eyes during meditation!
But if you’re looking for a new challenge or want to try something different, give open-eyed meditation a try.
You might just find that it’s the perfect fit for you.
No matter what type of meditation you practice, the important thing is that you’re taking the time to quiet your mind and focus on the present moment.
There are so many positive benefits to meditation, both mental and physical, whatever it takes to form a habit of meditating daily – do it!
Image credits – Photo by Renaldo Kodra on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.