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Thread: Zazen for Beginners Series: THREAD for QUESTIONS, COMMENTS

  1. #201
    I sat today.

    I have a question about the eyes. My eyes are very dry and it is difficult to keep them open with minimal blinking during zazen. Any advice?

    Kevin

  2. #202
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Benbow View Post
    I sat today.

    I have a question about the eyes. My eyes are very dry and it is difficult to keep them open with minimal blinking during zazen. Any advice?

    Kevin
    It is okay to blink if you need to. I have some trouble with dry eyes also, I will sometimes close them for just a bit until they feel better. Sometimes focusing on a particular spot on the wall and letting the offending body part be forgotten is the solution to many of the little irritants!

    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday/LAH



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  3. #203

  4. #204
    Thank you, Jundo, for having these talks up. For Ango, I'm listening to a sit-a-longs followed by fifteen minutes sitting. I listened to the Sit-a-longs a few years ago Listening to them again has renewed my practice.

    Gassho,
    Onkai
    Sat/LAH

  5. #205
    Jakuden's suggestions for my dry eyes have been very helpful.

    I have yet another question about the eyes. I find that if I focus on one spot for an extended period that my eyes lose focus, everything goes white and then they simply refocus. Is it preferable to just let this happen, or is it better to just let the eyes move from spot to spot as they will?

    I understand that the idea is to just sit and just accept whatever happens, but I'd like to hear from someone with more experience than me.

    Gassho.

    Sat today

    Klb

  6. #206
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Benbow View Post
    Jakuden's suggestions for my dry eyes have been very helpful.

    I have yet another question about the eyes. I find that if I focus on one spot for an extended period that my eyes lose focus, everything goes white and then they simply refocus. Is it preferable to just let this happen, or is it better to just let the eyes move from spot to spot as they will?

    I understand that the idea is to just sit and just accept whatever happens, but I'd like to hear from someone with more experience than me.

    Gassho.

    Sat today

    Klb
    Hi Kevin!
    I probably should have said “look” at one spot on the wall, rather than “focus” on one spot. Looking is allowing your eyes to naturally look at something without forcing yourself to focus continuously on it. The eyes naturally wander a bit when they are looking. It’s best to forget them, and just be seeing and hearing and feeling and smelling...

    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday/LAH


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  7. #207
    Member Anna's Avatar
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    May 2019
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    Rural Queensland, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by Jakuden View Post
    Hi Kevin!
    I probably should have said “look” at one spot on the wall, rather than “focus” on one spot. Looking is allowing your eyes to naturally look at something without forcing yourself to focus continuously on it. The eyes naturally wander a bit when they are looking. It’s best to forget them, and just be seeing and hearing and feeling and smelling...

    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday/LAH


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    When I first started sitting I was told to have "soft eyes". Not sure why but it made sense to me to the point where I can see other things going on in my periphery but am softly focused on nothing in particular in front of me while sitting zazen or doing kinhin. Not sure if I've just muddied the waters more or not.
    Gassho
    Anna

    Sat and done

    Sent from my Lenovo TB-8304F1 using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Anna; 10-14-2019 at 01:48 AM.
    Life's too serious to be taken seriously.
    No Gods No Masters.

  8. #208
    Quote Originally Posted by Anna View Post
    When I first started sitting I was told to have "soft eyes". Not sure why but it made sense to me to the point where I can see other things going on in my periphery but am softly focused on nothing in particular in front of me

    Sent from my Lenovo TB-8304F1 using Tapatalk
    good description Anna!

    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday/LAH


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  9. #209
    Thanks to both of you!

    Gassho.

    Sat today

  10. #210
    Lovely descriptions. The following is what I usually say when this comes up ...

    =============


    I personally am not staring fixedly at a "point" or a dot ... nor am I staring so unfocused that my eyes go blurry. I describe it as "staring at everything and nothing in particular". My eyes take in the room or the floor or wall quiet naturally, but I do not latch onto anything particular I am seeing. "Staring wide eyed into space" may be a good description. Maybe my focus just wanders from point to point to point quite naturally, resting where they rest, on this or that, then moving on when they move on.

    I do not see particular harm in staring at a fixed spot the whole time, except that it is a little unnatural. Even when facing the wall, I do not fixate like glue on a single spot.

    Let me just say that, in our Shikantaza way with the eyes about 1/3 open, there should be nothing particularly unusual or out of focus about the vision. It is seeing normally, but just not thinking about and judging what one is seeing. Otherwise, nothing usually particularly strange about the vision.

    Monks in monasteries would sometimes sit in sunlight during the day, weak candlelit rooms at night, so I don't think that is the problem.

    If you are doing something to excess (such as forcing the eyes to fixedly stare, failing to naturally blink, allowing them to really go out of focus or the like) then you are kinda "trying to hard". It is rather like riding a bike: If you relax, it is easy. If you try to hard, you lose your balance and fall.

    Gassho, J

    What a room looks like before Zazen ...



    What the room looks like during Zazen (but just not thinking particularly thoughts like "ugly sofa, nice chair, wish I were outside, need to clean this dirty floor ... "



    SatToday
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  11. #211
    Thanks Jundo.

    I took this stance today and it seemed more natural.

    Gassho

    Klb

    Sat today

  12. #212
    I sometimes compare it to driving too ... staring out the wind screen, alert and aware, taking all in calmly, relaxed, but without focusing on any particular point although our eyes may alight here or there for a time.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  13. #213

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