There is a difference between seeing with your eyes and seeing with your mind’s eye, when meditating with eyes closed. This practice has helped me connect to my full experience, whether with eyes open or closed.
As a human being, I spend my day thinking, analyzing, imagining, remembering and planning. It cannot be stopped. I talk to myself out loud when I’m alone. It helps me think, or so I tell myself.
When I close my eyes, I am fully thrust into the stage of my own thoughts. I have meditated enough to know that my thoughts are not the gold here and are merely objects to be observed. The act of seeing the quality and content of thoughts in this detached way makes them less precious. I get bored with them.
And so, each time the bell rings in a new session, the thought comes, “OK, thoughts are boring. Now what?”
The simple answer is, “Now notice this.” What is this? In insight meditation, this is an experience of all the senses, including the mind’s eye. I am sitting, I am breathing, I am wondering what to do, I’m hot, there is a sound. Taking it all in, with my eyes closed.
But, am I taking it all in? The sense that I have intentionally dampened is that of physical sight. Closing your eyes helps you focus. Focus is the practice of ignoring extraneous inputs.
But in insight meditation, this focus is not the focus. This is the focus. And even with eyes closed, there are yet things to see. Patterns formed by the brain, which manifest as actual patterns of light. Sometimes these form shapes like clouds, or repeating patterns. These patterns can hypnotize, distract. It is tempting to push them away as noise.
Meditation is not a practice of pushing away what is uncomfortable, is it? Therefore, as a practice, I allow the false images of my eyes to be processed as valid input that simply has no meaning. I believe this is an opening practice to other hidden obvious experiences that can be found through a similar mindset.
There is no discovery to be made from this, except in reference to one’s own mind. It is only a move that can be made, and I hope the reader will enjoy trying it out. For me, it is part of an ongoing area of inquiry I plan to continue on. What is this, anyhow?