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Thread: A queston about eyes...

  1. #1
    Senior Member ZenHarmony's Avatar
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    A queston about eyes...

    I know this is probably a silly question, but I've been struggling with it for a while now and hope someone may have a suggestion/solution for it:

    When on the zafu, with my eyes semi-closed and my gaze fixed on the floor, I find that my eyes tend to unfocus. Now for most folks, that may not be a problem but I ruined my eyes my 14th summer staring off into space like that and ended up needing glasses by the time I was back in school in September. I now have progressive bifocals and I find, after zazen, that I am unable to see clearly for quite a while afterwards.

    Do I need to focus completely on the wall/floor despite the distraction, or should I maybe remove my glasses entirely? Honestly, I can't afford for my eyes to get any worse, considering how much glasses cost nowadaysóbesides the fact that I'm darn near blind afterwards.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Gassho,

    Lisa

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bunny's Avatar
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    I sometimes sit with my glasses, sometimes without. I just do what feels best for my eyes at each sitting. Have you tried sitting without your glasses? How does that go? I wonder if sitting with your eyes closed might be the kindest thing for your body.
    Gassho
    Bunny

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bunny's Avatar
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    Here's another discussion on glasses:

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

  4. #4
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Do what is best for your eyes. You could also seek precise medical advice.

    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.

  5. #5
    Hey there Lisa,

    Sorry to hear about your eyes - please do take care of them. For me, I try to not force my eyes to do anything that is not natural. When I have my posture and eyes are the right angle, I don't need to squint my eyes. Then my eyes can focus not focus and blind naturally.

    I look at the wall, so not much there to focus on - I find if I try and focus too much my eyes get tired. Hope this helps.

    Gassho
    Shingen
    倫道 真現

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

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Bunny View Post
    Here's another discussion on glasses:

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...ith-Glasses%21
    Yes, as Taigu says.

    We also had a third thread on eyes recently, worth a "look"

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...ouble-focusing

    I wrote there:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    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?

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  7. #7
    Senior Member Daijo's Avatar
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    Also, I noticed you said "eyes focused on the floor". Maybe don't focus, just relax your gaze and forget about the floor.

  8. #8
    I also have progressive bifocals and usually sit without them.

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    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

  9. #9
    Senior Member ZenHarmony's Avatar
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    Thank you, everyone, for the responses, and Bunny for the link on the glasses thread. Last I sat, I did it sans glasses and while it was a bit awkward, I didn't experience the same blurriness afterwards. I guess it's an ongoing experiment on balance ()

    Gassho,

    Lisa

  10. #10
    Hi Lisa,

    I know exactly what you are referring to. Your eyes tend to almost relax "too much" and the opposite of straining happens? It's difficult to put into words. I find this happens when my attention has become too relaxed. Usually, I will straighten my back to "refresh" for a brief moment. Get my posture back in line.

    If it helps, just bring your attention back to a normal gaze, if possible. Nothing special. Just as is.
    Shinjin datsuraku, datsuraku shinjin..Body-mind drop off, mind-body drop off..

  11. #11
    I have been having a similar issue, not sure how my eyes should be looking and sometimes having a little short term blurred vision afterward (only really noticeable with trying to read immediately afterward). I don't wear bifocals or the like, just "regular" glasses for my near-sightedness.

    I tried using "normal vision" (as Jundo said) in my last session of zazen and I noticed improvement. I will have to try without my glasses too and see how that goes.

    Thanks for the thread, Lisa, and thanks everyone for the wonderful advice.

    Gassho, Stacy

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