What follows is my two cents on the ideal amount of eye closing during meditation. And the source of these two cents is what I’ve heard from the teachings of the Vedas – the ancient scriptures of India where yoga & meditation & karma & all that comes from. So these are some wisdom-loaded, millennia-tried and true tips on the matter.
Meditation – Eyes Closed or Open?
Neither. Keep your eyes half-closed, relaxed, and softly, slightly opened. Let your eyes rest on the ground 2-3 feet in front of you. This way you’ll block out possible distractions while staying alert enough to not slip into those elaborate weird musings that a drowsy mind embarks on before falling asleep.
The true yogi way, called Nasikagra Drishti [nose tip gazing], is to keep eyes neither closed or open and gaze at the tip of your nose. Obviously you’ll look hilarious to people around you when you meditate like this. Other benefits of staring at the tip of your nose while meditating:
- Helps with focus
- Strengthens the muscles of the eyes
- Increased ability to sense subtle things by learning to observe the air moving in and out, its volume, humidity, warmth, etc.
- Did I mention how awesomely transfixed-in-another-dimension you’ll look doing it??
What I’m Saying Is…
Whatever best works for your meditation practice, do that. While doing mantra meditation, I usually keep my eyes open or resting on one object, like my altar, or a picture of a God or Goddess. While doing chakra meditation which is more of a visualization affair, I keep my eyes closed. While no one’s watching and I’m feeling cheeky, I do the gazing-at-the-tip-of-your-nose meditation for short moments at a time. Honestly, though, I mainly do that for the exercise it offers to my eyeballs. Because I stare at screens a lot. And ‘eye exercise’ or ‘eye yoga’ is a thing. Ultimately, you’ll quickly discover the best amount of eye-openness for you by just experimenting with all options. It’s pretty typical to switch from one eye-situation to another during one meditation session, too. So in conclusion – do what keeps you most focused and least sleepy.
Meditating Model Man: My hubby Daniel
Photos: by me (Bhakti Kulmala)