Why Do You Close Your Eyes During Meditation?

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The reason why you close your eyes during meditation is to limit your senses of the external world. The purpose is to allow you to float and relax into the present moment. It sounds obvious but senses like sight and hearing keep us tied and limited to the physical reality. Eye masks, earplugs, and noise canceling headphones are all tools that can help you limit the senses. THE GOAL is to free yourself from the physical, so you can explore the mental, spiritual, and energy-based internal realities during your meditation.

key Takeaways

  • Enhances focus and minimizes distractions for a deeper connection with the inner self.
  • Activates brain regions related to relaxation and increases alpha brain wave activity.
  • Facilitates mindfulness, Finding the present moment.
  • Promotes a calm state of mind, internal awareness, and deeper connection with thoughts and emotions.
  • Helps in shutting out external visual stimuli, cultivating internal awareness, concentration, and mindfulness.

why do you close your eyes during meditation FI

When you close your eyes during meditation, it helps you enhance focus, minimize distractions, and deepen your connection with your inner self.

This allows you to promote mindfulness and be more present in the moment.

Understanding why you close your eyes can change your entire meditation experience and even your life.

No exaggerations here.

Let’s dig into why most meditation practices recommend closing your eyes and how this can take your meditations to the next level.

Ready?

This is from my blog about Meditations and Personal Development in general. Here are the 9 Personal Development Skills that changed my life.


Why is closing your eyes recommended in most meditation practices?

Closing your eyes during meditation enhances focus and minimizes distractions, facilitating a deeper connection with your inner self and promoting mindfulness.

In meditation traditions, whether it’s a quick session during a busy day or a longer one, closing your eyes can help you not only find but also stay present in the moment.

Understanding the benefits of integrating practices like using noise-canceling headphones can enhance this experience, helping you to focus and block out external distractions.

By shutting out the external world, you create a space where you can fully immerse yourself in the present moment without the risk of getting distracted by visual stimuli.

This practice is particularly important in Buddhist meditation, where the goal is to cultivate awareness and insight into the nature of the mind.

But some people find that when they meditate with their eyes closed, they fall asleep.

Well, it makes sense, doesn’t it?

The only time most of us close our eyes for an extended period of time is when we sleep.

But this is exactly why meditating with your eyes closed can be so beneficial.

As you fall asleep, your brain passes through amazing brain wave phases that can not only help you feel good during your meditations, but afterwards as well.

When you continue to practice to regulate your breathing and awareness to linger in those beneficial states without completely falling asleep, that’s the day your meditation practice will change forever.

how does closing your eyes affect your brain during meditation?

how does closing your eyes affect your brain during meditation

During meditation, the act of closing your eyes enhances internal awareness and concentration by disconnecting you from your everyday life.

How does it do that, exactly?

Think of the visual senses as anchors on a ship that’s going to keep you tied down to the dock of ‘reality’.

We don’t want that.

By closing your eyes and limiting your visual senses, you’re pulling up the anchors and allowing your focus to shift inward instead of outward.

Don’t worry, the physical world will still be there when you come back. Just as you left it. Almost frustratingly so.

And that’s the point.

The physical world is limited. It’s static. It is… what it is.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

When you shut your eyes, you help your brain to focus more on what’s happening inside you, rather than being pulled by external stimuli.

This inward focus promotes relaxation and introspection, allowing you to dive deeper into your meditation practice.

Studies have shown that closing your eyes activates specific brain regions linked to relaxation and introspection, creating a calm state of mind.

Additionally, this simple act can increase alpha brain wave activity, indicating a state of deep relaxation and heightened focus.

By shutting out the outside world visually, you set your body and mind up for a more profound connection with your thoughts and emotions, facilitating a more meaningful meditation experience.

BenefitsEffects and Impact on the Brain
FocusEnhances internal awareness
RelaxationActivates brain regions related to relaxation
IntrospectionEncourages deeper connection with thoughts and emotions
Alpha Brain WavesIncreases alpha brain wave activity, indicating relaxation and focus
Impact of Closing Your Eyes

what are the benefits of closing your eyes while meditating?

By shutting out external visual stimuli, you can enhance your focus and deepen your meditation experience.

When you close your eyes during meditation, you create a space free from distractions, allowing your mind to turn inward and concentrate on the present moment.

This act of closing your eyes helps in reducing external influences, enabling you to achieve a state of mental clarity and relaxation.

By eliminating visual stimuli, you can better connect with your inner self, heightening your awareness and grounding yourself in the now.

Closing your eyes while meditating is a powerful way to draw your attention inwards, focusing on your breath and body.

This practice promotes a deeper sense of concentration, reducing mental chatter, and fostering a calmer state of being.

By embracing the stillness that comes with closed eyes, you can enhance your meditation practice, leading to a more profound sense of relaxation and self-discovery.

are there different techniques of meditation that involve eye positions?

are there different techniques of meditation that involve eye positions

Different meditation techniques incorporate specific eye positions to enhance focus and deepen the meditative experience.

In Zen meditation, practitioners often adopt a half-closed/half-open eye position looking downward

While traditions like Brahma Kumaris prefer keeping their eyes fully open during meditation.

Trataka, also known as Third Eye Meditation, involves focusing on a point with eyes open on the Ajna Chakra, enhancing concentration and inner awareness.

Here is a comparison of some meditation techniques involving eye positions:

Meditation TechniqueEye Position
Zen meditationHalf-closed/half-open, looking downward
Brahma KumarisFully open
TratakaEyes open on the Ajna Chakra
Third Eye MeditationFocused on a point with eyes open
Different Techniques Use Different Eye Positions

So…?

There’s no right or wrong way to meditate.

Whether it’s your eyes, ears… how you breathe, sit up, or lay down…

Different practices may use different approaches to achieve different and they’re all valid. It just depends on what your goals are.

I suggest most beginners to start off with guided meditations which in most cases will gently instruct you to close your eyes so you can begin your journey inward.

can you meditate with your eyes open?

can you meditate with your eyes open

Open eye meditation can enhance mindfulness and integrate the practice into your daily life.

While closing your eyes is a common practice in meditation, keeping your eyes open offers a different approach to cultivating awareness and concentration.

By meditating with your eyes open, you can stay more alert and engaged, bringing the benefits of mindfulness into various situations throughout your day.

Open eye meditation is great for extending the state of being you achieve during meditation to the rest of your day.

You’re training yourself to connect with the present moment despite visual stimuli to mimic the majority of your every day.

I personally love meditating with my eyes open, but it technically is a more advanced form of meditation.

Because you’re choosing to let external stimuli come into your awareness, beginners may find it hard to go within.

And starting this too soon may give you bad habits or give you an incomplete understanding of what the ‘present moment’ or meditation is.

But eventually, this is something we want to do.

Afterall, isn’t the goal to experience the benefits of meditation throughout our entire day, not just when we sit down for our session?

Just don’t rush.

Get really good at going inward and finding the generous present moment consistently in the beginning. You’ll know when it’s time.

what common challenges do people face when closing their eyes during meditation?

what common challenges do people face when closing their eyes during meditation

Closing your eyes during meditation can present several common challenges that practitioners often encounter.

One of the main issues is drowsiness, as shutting your eyes might lead to feeling sleepy or lacking the necessary energy levels for deep concentration.

  • This drowsiness can hinder your focus and make your mind wander, affecting the quality of your meditation experience.

Additionally, staying alert can be a struggle when your eyes are closed, as it’s easy to drift off or lose presence in the practice.

  • If this keeps happening, make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Getting the proper amount of sleep isn’t being ‘weak’!

Some individuals also face discomfort when closing their eyes, which can lead to restlessness or difficulty in maintaining focus.

It’s important to be flexible in your approach to eye position during meditation, as different preferences and experiences may require adjustments.

how can Intermediate practitioners deepen their meditation experience with eye closure?

how can intermediate practitioners deepen their meditation experience with eye closure

Now you understand why and how limiting your senses can help you maximize your meditation sessions.

But how can beginners and intermediate meditators really get the most out of it?

The key is to not only understand why and how it works, but intentionally leaning into it.

Embrace the Darkness

Closing your eyes is easy, right? Everyone can do it.

But the purpose of closing your eyes isn’t just for limiting your sense’s sake.

Keep in mind that the purpose of closing your eyes is to help you relax into the present moment.

The Present that’s free from the past or the future.

A moment in time that’s not dependent on a future, based on a record of the past.

And you can’t get to this present moment by trying. That would mean you’re using your past to get to a predictable future.

The true present moment can only be discovered.

Discovered by relaxing into it.

In your meditation sessions, fully commit to this by granting yourself permission to surrender control.

Close your eyes, relax your body, and let your consciousness drift.

Lose Yourself in the Moment

During meditation, resist the urge to think or visualize. At least not yet.

Instead, immerse yourself in the present without dwelling on the past or future.

Simply float and relax, disconnecting from the known to embrace the now.

Dive Deeper

By closing your eyes and tuning out external stimuli, you open the door to a more profound meditation experience.

Embrace the blackness, let go of distractions, and allow yourself to float into the serenity of the present moment.

what scientific research supports the practice of closing your eyes during meditation?

what scientific research supports the practice of closing your eyes during meditation

Scientific research provides compelling evidence supporting the practice of closing your eyes during meditation as it enhances internal awareness and focus by reducing external distractions.

When you close your eyes during meditation, you’re creating a space where you can turn your attention inward, away from the hustle and bustle of the outside world.

Studies have shown that this simple act can help activate your parasympathetic nervous system, leading to a state of relaxation and calmness.

By shutting out visual stimuli, you can better concentrate on your breath, body sensations, and emotions, deepening your mindfulness and enhancing your ability to focus.

Research also suggests that closing your eyes can increase alpha brain wave activity, associated with a relaxed yet alert mental state ideal for meditation.

how to incorporate eye-closing techniques in daily meditation routines

how to incorporate eye-closing techniques in daily meditation routines

Consider incorporating eye-closing techniques into your daily meditation practice to enhance focus and reduce distractions.

By closing your eyes during meditation, you can access your inner self, focusing on your breath and body.

This simple act helps in fostering a sense of calmness and relaxation by blocking out external visual stimuli.

As you shut your eyes, you create a peaceful environment that allows for a deeper meditative state and internal awareness.

With regular practice of eye-closing meditation, you can improve your concentration and mindfulness in your day-to-day life.

Embracing eye-closing techniques in your meditation routine offers a powerful way to center yourself and cultivate a tranquil space within.

It serves as a gentle reminder to let go of external disturbances and connect with your inner self.

By integrating this practice, you pave the way for enhanced focus, reduced distractions, and a heightened sense of mindfulness.

So, the next time you settle into your meditation session, try closing your eyes to tap into the full potential of your practice.

Conclusion

So, the next time you sit down to meditate, remember why you’re closing your eyes.

By shutting out the external world, you’re pulling in the anchors of your ship that’s keeping you tied down to your current circumstances, place, and time.

By limiting or removing the visual stimuli, you’re setting out for sail, allowing yourself to float and relax into the present moment.

You’re giving yourself space for deep concentration and inner peace.

Whether you prefer half-closed eyes or fully shut lids, intentionally closing your eyes will enhance your practice and guide you on a journey towards mindfulness and self-discovery.

Embrace the stillness behind closed eyes and reveal the transformative potential of your meditation experience.

You’ve got this!

Have an amazing day, beautiful soul.

References

  1. Source: ResearchGate. “Impact of eye closure on resting brain activity: A, event-related BOLD activation. B.” URL: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Impact-of-eye-closure-on-resting-brain-activity-A-event-related-BOLD-activation-B_fig1_277413261
  2. Source: Cleveland Clinic. “Parasympathetic Nervous System (PSNS).” URL: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/body/23266-parasympathetic-nervous-system-psns