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Here’s How to Meditate With Your Eyes Open & Benefits

Guided meditation, transcendental meditation, and other popular forms suggest that it’s best to close your eyes during the practice. Why is this the consensus? Is it impossible to be in touch with your thoughts and emotions in a non-judgemental way if your eyes are open? This article details whether or not you can reach a zen-like state if you have your eyes open while you practice meditation. 

Can You Meditate With Your Eyes Open? 

Yes, is the short answer to this question, but there is no right or wrong answer. The idea behind meditating with your eyes closed is to become one with what’s happening inside the mind. According to several meditation experts, the practice of meditation aims to increase self-awareness and strengthen the connection to the self. This is possible both with eyes open and eyes closed. 

Does Meditation Require You to Close Your Eyes?

Most meditation practices will give the option to leave your eyes open or closed. The choice is entirely up to the person, but many people tend to opt to leave their eyes open. The reason for this is many people panic if they leave their eyes open, especially if it is a group meditation session. Shamatha meditation, for example, is done with eyes open and it is one of the practices that allows you to enter deep states, even for people who are not monks. 

How to Meditate With Your Eyes Open

  1. Make sure that you are in a calm and peaceful setting. You do not want to have a lot of distractions, as they can distract your focus during an open-eye meditation session. 
  2. Find a place to direct your gaze, but keep it unfocused and soft. You shouldn’t fixate on a particular object because you want to give your eyes the ability to wander if they need to. 
  3. Just as in a regular meditation session, don’t muscle your thoughts into submission. If your mind begins to wander, acknowledge the thoughts as they come and then let them go. Thoughts are like waves racing up a beach: they will recede back to where they came from.
  4. If you feel that you are going to fall asleep, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and then open your eyes to return to the practice. 
  5. If you find that it’s easier to focus on a single object, pick a single point of focus. It should be something so simple that you get lost in it. A candle in front of you, a blank wall, or a spinning fan are great things to focus on during your practice. A spinning fan will also help you get lost in its rhythm. Just don’t let the fan blow wind in your eyes. 
  6. Practice throughout the day to help merge meditation with your daily habits. Open eye meditation is easy to practice while washing dishes, cleaning the floors, or walking around the house. You can do it for a couple minutes or a few seconds at a time. 
  7. The last thing to remember is that you don’t want to switch from open to closed eyes in a single session. This dramatic shift may distract you and cause you to lose focus during your practice. And always remember to bring your mind back to the practice when it wanders. Narrow your field of vision and return to meditating. 

Benefits of Meditating With Open Eyes

We live our lives with our eyes open and see the chaotic happenings of the world, so it’s natural to want to close them in order to find peace. When you practice meditation with your eyes open, you teach yourself to find peace the same way you face everyday life. You can help clear your mind without having to block out the visual inputs. 

Many practitioners of open eye meditation find that it helps to enhance concentration skills. If you find that meditation makes you sleepy when you close your eyes, opening your eyes makes it easier to stay awake during the practice.

One of the primary benefits, however, is the ability to merge your meditation practice with your regular life routine. This helps increase your ability to watch and observe without judgment, which ultimately caters to many other areas of life. 

Try Meditating With Your Eyes Open Today

If you are looking for a way to boost both your focus and productivity throughout the day, consider meditating with your eyes open. If you regularly struggle with stress or anxiety, this practice may provide relief from those feelings and emotions. Give it a try to see if it is the right fit for you.