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Thread: Zazen With Glasses!?

  1. #1

    Zazen With Glasses!?

    Hi!
    I have glasses, no problems with that.
    I didn't sit zazen with glasses because it didn't feel right.
    I started to think about my glasses recently. And I recognized that it didn't felt right because it wasn't the real ME with glasses.
    The real ME have naturally bad eyes and the zazen for me should be done for real, I think?
    But, then I think, if I sit with glasses, it's is also the real ME. And I want to see clear, always. I would probably sit zazen for real even with or without glasses.
    My conclusion is that I drop my glasses for real, or I will not drop them at all.

    Gassho
    Björn


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  2. #2
    With or without glasses is not a problem. I usually don't wear them sitting because my eyes relax more without them.
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

  3. #3
    Senior Member Jakudo's Avatar
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    I have begun to sit without my glasses, I find my eyes begin to hurt after a short time while sitting.

    Sent from my GT-N8010 using Tapatalk 2
    Gassho, Shawn Jakudo Hinton
    It all begins when we say, “I”. Everything that follows is illusion.
    "Even to speak the word Buddha is dragging in the mud soaking wet; Even to say the word Zen is a total embarrassment."
    寂道

  4. #4
    I read an essay in "The Art of Just Sitting" by John Daido Loori, in which the author said to sit with glasses if you wear glasses; don't sit with glasses if you don't wear glasses.

    I wear glasses...I tried sitting with glasses...didn't like it...now I don't.
    May all beings everywhere plagued with sufferings of body and mind
    quickly be freed from their illnesses.
    May those frightened cease to be afraid
    and may those bound be free.
    May the powerless find power
    and may people think of befriending one another.

  5. #5
    Some glasses are more problematic than others because the bottom of the lense is prescribed for reading and the middle/top is prescribed for near sightedness as in my case.
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

  6. #6
    Senior Member Heishu's Avatar
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    I have my glasses on when sitting. I do not wear them while sitting to see anything; after all I am not looking at anything that the glasses will help me to see. I just never gave much thought about them being on as they usually are on when I go sit. Like Rich mentioned the lenses with bifocals or trifocals could be annoying. That was the issue I had when I first began to sit as I have bifocals.

    Gassho,
    Heishu


    “Blessed are the flexible, for they never get bent out of shape." Author Unknown

  7. #7
    Senior Member Shonin's Avatar
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    I sit with mine. I always wear them so to me I didn't see any reason not to wear them. I don't think my glasses interferre with anything . So I see not reason not to sit with them.

    Dave _/\_

  8. #8
    Hi,

    Sometimes I sit with them on, sometimes I sit with them off. As everyone has said here, the vital part is to not give them any thought ("don't give 'em no nevermind" in the Americanism slang). That's how to really See Clearly!

    I have seen teachers sit with them on or take them off. Like Homeless Kodo Sawaki here ...





    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 09-20-2013 at 03:55 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  9. #9
    For me the problem is when I drop my eyes I can see two times, like two worlds; a part within my glasses, a part below the glasses (so without my glasses). The limit of my glasses is where my vision is where I drop my eyes at 45 degrees. So without.

    Gassho

    Myoshin
    Myoshin 妙 心
    "A person who receives the Buddhist Precepts enters the state of Buddha at once. They stand at the same level as Gautama Buddha. We can say they are a child of the Buddha." Jundo

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Myoshin View Post
    For me the problem is when I drop my eyes I can see two times, like two worlds; a part within my glasses, a part below the glasses (so without my glasses). The limit of my glasses is where my vision is where I drop my eyes at 45 degrees. So without.

    Gassho

    Myoshin
    Where do those two worlds exist? Where is the bothered by? (A Koan) Two Worlds? One World made Two? Not Two Worlds? What is seen clearly? Who is bothered and torn between two worlds?
    Last edited by Jundo; 09-19-2013 at 02:15 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  11. #11
    A nice quote from Trungpa ...

    Look. This is your world! You can't not look. There is no other world. This is your world; it is your feast. You inherited this; you inherited these eyeballs; you inherited this world of color. Look at the greatness of the whole thing. Look! Don't hesitate-look! Open your eyes. Don't blink, and look, look-look further.
    CHOGYAM TRUNGPA
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  12. #12
    Senior Member Shonin's Avatar
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    Thanks for your input, Jundo.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Kantai's Avatar
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    I also have the glasses on sometimes and sometimes off.
    One time I accidently stepped on them when getting up after zazen because I had them on the floor and was forgetful of the fact that they were not on my nose.
    So now I put them on a high place, most often on the nose.
    Gassho
    Edward

  14. #14
    Senior Member Oheso's Avatar
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    I usually sit with my glasses on, and have lived and sat long enough that I now wonder about taking out or turning off the hearing aids.

    I've found it really doesn't make much difference either way, with my boosters and enhancers or without.

    thank you for allowing me to participate.

    Robert
    only saps buy vowels

  15. #15
    Good koan Jundo, it will take a time to sit with that

    Gassho

    Myoshin
    Myoshin 妙 心
    "A person who receives the Buddhist Precepts enters the state of Buddha at once. They stand at the same level as Gautama Buddha. We can say they are a child of the Buddha." Jundo

  16. #16
    Hi Bjorn,

    I feel blind w/out my glasses/contacts. That being said, I sit without them. Like others, my natural state feels most comfortable and my eyes are not strained.

  17. #17
    I have worn glasses my entire life. I have been sitting on and off for 25 years. Always kept them on. Never thought about. Now I'm thinking about it.
    Seisou - Noble/Vital Grass (or just Jeff)

  18. #18
    'Seeing Clearly' in a Zen Way is not a matter of glasses on or off.

    The clearest glass, if a hindrance, is not seen clearly.

    You are sitting within the Buddha's Eye yet cannot see.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    'Seeing Clearly' in a Zen Way is not a matter of glasses on or off.

    The clearest glass, if a hindrance, is not seen clearly.

    You are sitting within the Buddha's Eye yet cannot see.
    This is great Jundo.

    Gassho
    Shingen
    真 眼

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  20. #20
    Thank you all for your thoughts!

    Drop the glasses
    Thinking to much
    Drop the thinking

    Gassho
    Björn


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  21. #21
    Junior Member Yukontodd's Avatar
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    I sit with mine, usually. Sometimes I find myself very distracted by the lower frame being right in my line of vision, so I just take them off and get back to sitting. Occasionally I decide they need a cleaning very badly before I start, and I sit without them from the beginning, setting them by the sink so I'll wash them when I get up. This is funny behaviour, really; I hadn't given it a lot of thought before now, but it is funny I don't just wash them before I sit, if they're dirty.

  22. #22
    A post on another thread today, but touches on this so I post here too....

    -----------------

    Quote Originally Posted by Jakudo View Post
    I have had eye pain during Zazen for the last few years. I have discovered that since being upgraded (or downgraded ?) to trifocals I need to remove my glasses durimg Zazen or the strain on my eyes is unbearable. Not sure if you wear corrective eyewear or not.
    Gassho, Jakudo.

    Sent from my SGH-I547C using Tapatalk 2
    Well, we were speaking on another thread about "Seeing Clearly" meaning that sitting with or without glasses is just the same when the mind is free. That mental resistance to having glasses on or off is precisely that ... mental.

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...ith-Glasses%21

    However, if one is truly having physical pain, headaches or eyestrain or the like caused by glasses, then it is wise to remove them. That is a different situation.

    It is a bit like we say that we sit with the small discomforts of Zazen, paying them no nevermind. But if the situation truly is extreme, avoidable and could cause damage, then it is fine to try to take action. An old post on that topic:

    Itchy nose, achy leg, earthquake ... when to move, when not?
    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...-move-when-not

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 09-20-2013 at 02:38 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Oheso View Post
    I usually sit with my glasses on, and have lived and sat long enough that I now wonder about taking out or turning off the hearing aids.
    Robert
    I take my hearing aids off when sitting. I can see better without them during sitting.

    Gassho, John

  24. #24

    Problem with eyes in zazen

    I was wondering if anyone else has been experiencing problems with their eyes in Zazen. When I sit in Zazen, my eyes tend to move involuntarily, they hurt, I get tears, the focus keeps shifting even though I am trying to keep them unfocused. It ruins my sitting. I use eye drops, I have tried everything, nothing helps, I end up just getting angry. I am relatively new to zazen, but I have practiced the shamata meditation before in a different tradition, with eyes closed and it's been working much better. My eyes have always been very sensitive to light, I work with computers, and being of European stock, my eyes are obviously anatomically different from the Chinese/Japanese type. Asked a few Zen teachers, the answers so far provided nothing of practical value.

    Can anyone please offer some advice, or it this God telling me to switch to another school of Buddhism?

    Gassho,
    Mike

  25. #25
    This is what I have to say.
    See an eye specialist an explain in detail what takes place. May be go for a second opinion. Check the medical side of things.

    From now on and fir a while sit with eyes closed BUT FOCUS ON SOUNDS, IN OTHER WORDS, USE YOUR EYES AS A GENTLE GAZE NOT TO BE TOO MUCH DISTRACTED BY DREAMS AN THOUGHTS, THIS IS KANNON PRACTICE.

    After a few weeks on months, alternate eyes closed and eyes opened. When pain and discomfort met, go back to losed eyes and ear gazing.

    Gassho

    T.
    Taigu, teacher at Treeleaf Sangha, was born in 1964, started Zazen early and received Shukke Tokudo in 1983 at age 18 from Rev. Mokusho Zeisler of the Deshimaru Lineage. Received Dharma Transmission from Chodo Cross in 2002. Now resides in Osaka, Japan.

  26. #26
    Hi Mike,

    What are you doing with you eyes while sitting that is different from any other time of your day? Eating breakfast, for example, driving the car or looking out a window? There should be no difference in our way. Do you have tears and such at those times? What do you mean that you are "trying to keep them unfocused?"

    As I said on another thread about eyes this week ...

    Hi,

    My belief, when something like this comes up, is that folks must be doing something unnatural with the eyes during sitting. For example, holding them too rigidly on a fixed point of focus, or too artificially trying --not-- to look at/focus on an object.

    I just sit, looking out through my half open eyes, no differently than if were sitting at my kitchen table looking at the room or driving a car looking at the road. If looking at the wall, I am just looking as if looking at any scenery. Normal vision, but I just am not particularly thinking about, pondering or concentrating on what I am seeing. There is no eye strain.

    Perhaps you are trying too hard --not-- to let the eyes settle on something, and that is the cause of the strain?

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...ouble-focusing
    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Hi Mike,

    What are you doing with you eyes while sitting that is different from any other time of your day? Eating breakfast, for example, driving the car or looking out a window? There should be no difference in our way. Do you have tears and such at those times? What do you mean that you are "trying to keep them unfocused?"
    What is different is that the eyes are moving. I am free to move them looking at different things. The main focus is always on something, but that something changes every second or so. When driving the car again I try to keep the entire range in sight, but switching the primary focus in different directions, including the rear mirror to make sure I don't have the police behind me. But it's not the same as in meditation, where I should aim at no movement.

    By keeping them "unfocused", I mean trying to maintain the 180 degree vision field and not focusing on any particular point on the floor (while not moving my eyes). That is the instruction I have encountered many times.

    Gassho,
    Mike

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    This is what I have to say.
    See an eye specialist an explain in detail what takes place. May be go for a second opinion. Check the medical side of things.

    From now on and fir a while sit with eyes closed BUT FOCUS ON SOUNDS, IN OTHER WORDS, USE YOUR EYES AS A GENTLE GAZE NOT TO BE TOO MUCH DISTRACTED BY DREAMS AN THOUGHTS, THIS IS KANNON PRACTICE.

    After a few weeks on months, alternate eyes closed and eyes opened. When pain and discomfort met, go back to losed eyes and ear gazing.

    Gassho

    T.
    Thank you Taigu. I will definitely use your advice. And yes, I have seen specialists several times, everything is good according to them, some people are more sensitive to light, some less. If you work with computers, this comes with the territory, they say.

    Gassho,
    Mike

  29. #29
    Also check Jundo s direction. You might be doing something funny and extra when you sit.
    Anywaytake great care.

    Gassho

    Taigu
    Taigu, teacher at Treeleaf Sangha, was born in 1964, started Zazen early and received Shukke Tokudo in 1983 at age 18 from Rev. Mokusho Zeisler of the Deshimaru Lineage. Received Dharma Transmission from Chodo Cross in 2002. Now resides in Osaka, Japan.

  30. #30
    Senior Member Bunny's Avatar
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    I sometimes would sit with glasses on, sometimes off. Just depended on what my eyes needed at each sitting. Sometimes gazing down at an angle and so close to a wall would bother my eyes with the glasses on, sometimes not. It didn't seem the kind/compassionate thing to do to force my eyes into whichever way was causing distress. Seems to me you can't go wrong by choosing the compassionate/kind option.

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Björn View Post
    Hi!
    I have glasses, no problems with that.
    I didn't sit zazen with glasses because it didn't feel right.
    I started to think about my glasses recently. And I recognized that it didn't felt right because it wasn't the real ME with glasses.
    The real ME have naturally bad eyes and the zazen for me should be done for real, I think?
    But, then I think, if I sit with glasses, it's is also the real ME. And I want to see clear, always. I would probably sit zazen for real even with or without glasses.
    My conclusion is that I drop my glasses for real, or I will not drop them at all.

    Gassho
    Björn


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk - now Free
    Both are OK, just don´t get attached to any of them.

    Gassho

    kb
    Dancing between stillness and motion I find peace.

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