Meditating With Eyes Open
As we were saying yesterday, the senses are non-conceptual: in the milli-moment when we see, smell, taste, hear and touch, there is just perception – pure perception, pure awareness, pure consciousness. That is what we are!
I used to think, “Well, there must be more to this”, but no. There, we simply just rest; we do nothing.
We are already pure consciousness, enlightened pure consciousness, but we simply have to realise that. Spiritual work or spiritual practice is simply ‘un-doing’. 😀 What we are ‘doing’ is breaking the habitual programming that runs constantly in the background of our mind – those ideas we hold onto that control us.
With the eyes open (or barely open), there is just seeing. We aren’t lookingforanything or atanything; we’re just allowing sight to be present, slightly de-focusing and taking in the whole scene at once. That is relaxing in pure consciousness.
It’s the same with just hearing: if we recite a mantra, we are just hearing sound. Of course, we may endow the mantra with secret meanings which inspire us and that may be good psychology, but there is a deeper meaning and experience. Let’s take ‘Om Mani Peme Hum’ which isthe mantra of Avalokiteshvara – the Lord who looks down with compassion. We may feel that it imbues us with compassion – all well and good – but that mantra describes the path to enlightenment via the six perfections of generosity, patience, conscience, discipline, concentration and the sixth wisdom of the realisation of pure consciousness. In fact, the first five concern conduct – being a decent, compassionate person – and gradually, we open up and may become receptive to wisdom. That is one approach.
Another approach is to start with the sixth perfection of wisdom gained through the direct pointing out instruction of the nature of mind – pure consciousness. Then the other five perfections support that wisdom in daily life through our conduct, as an expression of pure consciousness.
In reciting a mantra, there is just hearing, and that ‘just hearing’ is pure consciousness, if we become aware that it is that which is taking place. There is no secret mystery.
This may all sound complicated, but it comes down to just being aware of awareness. When the eyes are open, there is just seeing without comment. The realisation of this open awareness or consciousness brings with it an open heart of empathetic compassion.
If we close our eyes, we are more likely to drift off. With the eyes open, we can return to stillness more quickly, and then we can meditate anywhere at any time. When there is just awareness present, then we can drop the idea of meditating. When just listening to someone, we are meditating. Just hearing – silent, open and receptive – we rest in pure consciousness.
Ah … the joy of pure communication.