Why do we meditate with our eyes open?

“In Formless Meditation practice the eyes remain open, looking four to five feet ahead of you on the floor. Keep the eyes half open or fully open, whichever feels most natural. In either case, it is important to have a ‘soft focus’, not staring hard at anything, but just resting the eyes, rather as you might when listening intently to music or looking out of the window. It is like being aware of the world around you in your peripheral vision, but not as an object to focus on.

It may take some practice to become comfortable having your eyes open in this way, especially if you are used to meditating with them closed. But it is strongly recommended that you persevere.

The problem with meditating with the eyes closed all the time is that the meditation can become a kind of inner world you withdraw into that you have to leave as soon as you stop meditating. The entire orientation of this formless practice is to remain connected with the world around you. With the eyes open, you stay connected and open to the world.”

Lama Shenpen Hookham

The above quote is from the Heart of Meditation book  which can be bought on Amazon, or is sent to you when you join Lama Shenpen’s Living the Awakened Heart Training, which starts with a six week Heart of Meditation course with guidance from a mentor and transmission of the meditation instructions.
You can find out more about the Formless Meditation that Lama Shenpen teaches at www.howtomeditate.org.uk and find out more about joining the training HERE.