This is a simple question I guess.
When I first started meditating I found that I stayed with the breath far more when I just placed the eyes at the tip of the nose. Sure, I look cross-eyed but it helps me stay with the breath far easier.
Lately I’ve got an idea in my head to retrain where I keep my eyes during anapanasati. Most of the descriptions I read recommend placing the focusing of the eyes on a spot on the floor a meter or two in front of yourself. I think doing this allows peripheral vision to activate and prevents drowsiness/the collapse of peripheral awareness.
But doing this is really difficult. My meditation has taken a few steps back while I’ve tried to retrain my eye placement. I’m wondering if this is really necessary and it’s actually fine to just meditate the way I was before.
Please do not involve the sense when you are meditating. It is all mind door. Do not “look” for the breath either. Be passive for waiting for the touch of the breath. The vsm says it is like finding lost horses. If you search for them , you will get tired. If you go to the drinking spot, they will arrive.
Remember that the meditation of samatha, is mind based. I strongly recommend focusing on keeping your eyes relaxed and “out of the picture” when meditating. There is a sutta to back this statement up. It is in ānāpāna saṃyutta.
This is clear and makes sense to me, thank you.
There’s a lot of confusion that anapana is touch door btw! This is another confusion that Goenka assistant teachers have: one of their favorite things to tell students is that they should never be visualizing the breath in their mind, but only paying attention to the touch door (which makes sense as they view anapana as only preparation for body scanning).
I think on the practical level, then, I’ll just let my eyes rest on a spot in front of me, not on the nose, at the beginning of my sit, and then ignore them afterwards.
from ven bodhi: Spk. When one works on other meditation subjects the body becomes fatigued and the eyes are strained. For example, when one works on the meditation subject of the 4 elements, the body becomes fatigued and reaches a stage of oppression such that one feels as if one has been thrown into a mill. When one works on a kasiṇa, the eyes throb and become fatigued and when one emerges one feels as if one is tumbling. But when one works on this meditation subject, the body is not fatigued and the eyes do not become strained.
Simile of the lamp: 8(8) samyutta nikaya
‘May neither my body nor my eyes become fatigued and may my mind , by not clinging be liberated from the taints’ This is the same concentration by mindfulness of breathing should be closely attended to NOTE 246