Sunday, August 7, 2011

Training the mind (Part 1 0f 2)

QUESTION: (Unedited)

Hello, how are you?

I'd like to ask you about meditation.
I've noticed that there can be either internal or external meditation. Some people proclaim that it's better to keep your eyes open while meditating, others to keep them closed and focus on your inner world, to watch what appears in front of your eyes when they are closed. Which is better according to you? Which one do you practice?

Thank You!

My comment:

 Hi L,

In Buddhist meditation, the normal thing to do is to meditate with closed eyes.  Of course the problem with this is that we quite often fall asleep.  It is with diligent and effort that we practise through, irrespective of results.  Of course with eyes slightly open, the problem of sleeping through is minimized.  Certain spiritual groups practise it, and one of them is Brahmakumaris (

I have personally practised Brahmakumaris method; but the object of their meditation is different.

Coming back to Buddhist meditation, the object is two fold.  First to tame the wandering mind, then to train the mind to see the true nature of things and feelings.  It is commonly treated as two separate types, namely tranquility meditation (Samatha), and insight meditation (Vipassana).  My personal interpretation is that I will need tranquil mind in order to achieve insight.  As far as I am concerned, I just meditate to stay focused or "one-pointedness" and let "nature" takes over.  I feel that if one can project the mind to focus on one point for a long period, then one will experience insight.  

Please remember, meditation is a very "controversial" subject.  But I am just happy doing what I feel benefits me.

Smile from justinchoo :-)

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