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  • Writer's pictureLama Jigme Gyatso

Open Eyed Meditation 13mar23

Perhaps you are like me, and also were raised where contemplatives in magazines, movies, and art work were depicted as sitting with their eyes closed, face upturned towards the heavens, and so utterly blissed out that they had become utterly oblivious to the world around them. But what has that to do with empathy?

I am reminded of an episode of the Colbert Report, where the host peered into the camera and announced that world hunger must have ended because he just ate lunch. It comes as little surprise that mindfulness is necessary for empathy, no less enlightenment.

A Kagyu lama first directed me to the seven-fold posture of Vairochana wherein the eyes were relaxed and gazing softly downward. The teachings of the Nyingma Tulku, Sogyal Rinpoche, informed me that closing one’s eyes in meditation was tantamount to closing one’s eyes to the rest of the world in all its glories and grotesqueries, deficiencies and excesses (outer and inner).

Although open eyed mindfulness is important, it is not a panacea. For although it could notify us of the anxieties skulking about the catacombs of our heart it cannot alleviate them. Relief comes from mental release, rooted in the physical relaxation latent within EVERY exhalation.

Observe passively and vulnerably with each inhalation; relax and release with each exhalation and before you know it you, too, could meditate like a Jedi. _/\_

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