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Jomano
02-04-2021, 09:16 PM
Hi there
I am sharing my experience today. I have been sitting with eyes closed during almost 35 years and I thought that if I sit with my eyes open I wasn’t meditating but today after talking with Jundo I did sit for 2 times with eyes looking at the ground and I have got surprised that I could be just sitting in open awareness. From now on I will be sitting without close my eyes.
Thank you Jundo for your kindness


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Horin
02-04-2021, 09:59 PM
Gassho1

Horin

Stlah

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Seishin
02-04-2021, 10:40 PM
No doubt Jundo would say you are not meditating, just sitting zazen or shikantaza. Deep bows for your discovery. [monk]

sat eyes open

Jomano
02-04-2021, 10:42 PM
No doubt Jundo would say you are not meditating, just sitting zazen or shikantaza. Deep bows for your discovery. [monk]

sat eyes open

Tank you


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Jundo
02-05-2021, 12:25 AM
Hi Jomano,

Welcome again. gassho1

In Shikantaza, we sit with eyes about half or 1/3 open for several reasons. First, we are not running away, nor running toward, the world, and just see what is seen without judgement or mentally becoming entangled with it. Most meditation takes us away from the outside world, but we believe that there is not "inside" or "outside" that are apart.

We also do not seek deep concentration states, deep calm, states of bliss, other unusual mental states (they happen however, and it is fine and we cherish when they happen ... but we neither run toward nor away from them either). We sit in the equanimity and wholeness of Zazen, complete as it is, without demands.

Next, it makes it easier to take this practice off the cushion into our active lives, where we don't expect to suddenly close our eyes and be removed from it all. The stillness and equanimity of Zazen is present in our bones even as, in daily life, we witness all the complexity and noise of the busy world. Stillness that is chaos, chaos just stillness, silence in all the noise.

It also is a way to help stay alert, without falling asleep. :p

So, Shikantaza is a little unlike what is usually called "meditation." I use the car driving example to better explain (hopefully, you don't close your eyes then either! [scared]) ...

Drivin' Dogen - Understanding "Open Spacious Awareness"
https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthread.php?16743-Drivin-Dogen-Understanding-Open-Spacious-Awareness

Gassho, Jundo

STLah

Meredith
02-05-2021, 02:34 PM
So, Shikantaza is a little unlike what is usually called "meditation." I use the car driving example to better explain (hopefully, you don't close your eyes then either! [scared]) ...

Drivin' Dogen - Understanding "Open Spacious Awareness"
https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthread.php?16743-Drivin-Dogen-Understanding-Open-Spacious-Awareness

Gassho, Jundo

STLah

Thank you for re-posting this teaching.

Gassho
Meredith
_ST_

Jomano
02-05-2021, 04:13 PM
Hi Jomano,

Welcome again. gassho1

In Shikantaza, we sit with eyes about half or 1/3 open for several reasons. First, we are not running away, nor running toward, the world, and just see what is seen without judgement or mentally becoming entangled with it. Most meditation takes us away from the outside world, but we believe that there is not "inside" or "outside" that are apart.

We also do not seek deep concentration states, deep calm, states of bliss, other unusual mental states (they happen however, and it is fine and we cherish when they happen ... but we neither run toward nor away from them either). We sit in the equanimity and wholeness of Zazen, complete as it is, without demands.

Next, it makes it easier to take this practice off the cushion into our active lives, where we don't expect to suddenly close our eyes and be removed from it all. The stillness and equanimity of Zazen is present in our bones even as, in daily life, we witness all the complexity and noise of the busy world. Stillness that is chaos, chaos just stillness, silence in all the noise.

It also is a way to help stay alert, without falling asleep. :p

So, Shikantaza is a little unlike what is usually called "meditation." I use the car driving example to better explain (hopefully, you don't close your eyes then either! [scared]) ...

Drivin' Dogen - Understanding "Open Spacious Awareness"
https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthread.php?16743-Drivin-Dogen-Understanding-Open-Spacious-Awareness

Gassho, Jundo

STLah

Thank you so much


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JimInBC
02-13-2021, 01:00 AM
I find my eyes get very irritated when I sit with them open. (I've had some eye issues over the last decade, so I'm not sure if that's why.) In one sense, sure, I'm sitting, my eyes start getting irritated, I start blinking, they start watering - I'm just sitting there with sore watery eyes, everything is perfectly what it is in that moment. "Just eye irritation" is part of "just sitting."
But in another sense, my knees can take about 15 - 20 minutes sitting on a cushion before they are screaming at me, so if I'm sitting for 40 or 50 minutes, I'm going to use a chair.
So, my question, is doing zazen with my eyes closed not following the practice, or is it modifying the practice based on the reality of my body, same as choosing to sit in a way that works for one's body?
Thank you.
Gassho,
Jim
Stlah



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Guish
02-13-2021, 02:13 AM
I find my eyes get very irritated when I sit with them open. (I've had some eye issues over the last decade, so I'm not sure if that's why.) In one sense, sure, I'm sitting, my eyes start getting irritated, I start blinking, they start watering - I'm just sitting there with sore watery eyes, everything is perfectly what it is in that moment. "Just eye irritation" is part of "just sitting."
But in another sense, my knees can take about 15 - 20 minutes sitting on a cushion before they are screaming at me, so if I'm sitting for 40 or 50 minutes, I'm going to use a chair.
So, my question, is doing zazen with my eyes closed not following the practice, or is it modifying the practice based on the reality of my body, same as choosing to sit in a way that works for one's body?
Thank you.
Gassho,
Jim
Stlah



Sent from my SM-T510 using TapatalkOur eyes are partly open because we don't close ourselves to reality in front of us. It's an essential part of Zazen as in other practices, the eyes are fully closed as you try to go within to find something. While you shouldn't strain your eyes, you should find it comfortable if you slightly have them opened as you continue practising.

Some eye rotation exercises may help.

Gassho,
Sat today,
Geerish.

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Risho
02-13-2021, 02:28 AM
I find my eyes get very irritated when I sit with them open. (I've had some eye issues over the last decade, so I'm not sure if that's why.) In one sense, sure, I'm sitting, my eyes start getting irritated, I start blinking, they start watering - I'm just sitting there with sore watery eyes, everything is perfectly what it is in that moment. "Just eye irritation" is part of "just sitting."
But in another sense, my knees can take about 15 - 20 minutes sitting on a cushion before they are screaming at me, so if I'm sitting for 40 or 50 minutes, I'm going to use a chair.
So, my question, is doing zazen with my eyes closed not following the practice, or is it modifying the practice based on the reality of my body, same as choosing to sit in a way that works for one's body?
Thank you.
Gassho,
Jim
Stlah



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I think while there are guidelines, as long as we are doing our best is all that matters; if something is uncomfortable or not good for your joints, etc I would not do it; there is that fine line with sitting with discomfort as a practice, but you have to listen to your body and not overdo it because sitting isn't about doing what is harmful either; that's not good practice; it's being too rigid. imho of course.

Gassho

Risho
-stlah

Jundo
02-13-2021, 02:58 AM
I think while there are guidelines, as long as we are doing our best is all that matters; if something is uncomfortable or not good for your joints, etc I would not do it; there is that fine line with sitting with discomfort as a practice, but you have to listen to your body and not overdo it because sitting isn't about doing what is harmful either; that's not good practice; it's being too rigid. imho of course.

Gassho

Risho
-stlah

Yes. I have had days of dry eye, or irritation during pollen season. While we generally aspire to keep eyes open, not running from the world or away, do what must be if there is medical need.

Okay, here is a Koan: Keep the eyes beyond open and closed, both open and closed at once! [scared]

Gassho, J

STLah

Risho
02-13-2021, 03:17 AM
Yes. I have had days of dry eye, or irritation during pollen season. While we generally aspire to keep eyes open, not running from the world or away, do what must be if there is medical need.

Okay, here is a Koan: Keep the eyes beyond open and closed, both open and closed at once! [scared]

Gassho, J

STLah

gassho2

JimInBC
02-13-2021, 03:27 AM
Thank you @Jundo and @Risho! That was very helpful. And encouraging.

Gassho,
Jim
STlah

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Onka
02-13-2021, 07:32 AM
Jomano
When I first came to Shikantaza the teacher said that I should sit with soft eyes, focused on nothing but seeing everything. I don't know why but this description resonates more with me than others. Nonetheless I'm happy to hear of your breakthrough.
Gassho
Onka
ST

ZenHarmony
02-14-2021, 12:35 AM
Thank you all for this lesson

Gassho,

lauren
(sat today)

omom
03-06-2021, 08:11 PM
gassho2

Gassho
Sat