Eyes Wide Open
eyes open

By Rain Fordyce

Finding your own way to relaxation is the same as finding your own way.

I went for a walk to the water the other evening, and was in time to enjoy the sunset. The clouds were pink and cottony. The seagulls were flying overhead. I had the urge to emerge myself into the evening. I sat down on the ground and opened my hands upwards while they rested on my knees. I began to feel my stillness. After a short time, I became the observer. Not sure what was flying overhead, not sure if what I was seeing was beautiful, or not. Through my eyes, everything became objects, and the part of me who discerns, who judges, who attaches good and bad was gone.

I love meditation; it is a beautiful way to reconnect with spirit. It is also a beautiful way to quiet your mind and allow the calmness inside to come to the surface of your attention. It takes practice, and through practice, your body begins to instantly relax and your mind begins to instantly connect, once a breath or two is taken. It is the connection and relaxation that I love, and meditation is a wonderful and powerful tool to get there.

Most of the time I spend meditating, my eyes are closed, I am in my room and I am in a quiet and dark space. I usually turn off the lights, sit on my favorite sitting pillows, close my eyes and begin to breathe. It is easier to pay attention and easier to focus on your connection, when there are no distractions. What I found fascinating about the experience at the beach was that it was a dynamic outdoor space with movement, sound and light. The other interesting experience was that my eyes were wide open.

I wasn’t planning on meditating when I sat down. The evening was so beautiful, I felt compelled to sit and take in the gifts of the moment. I opened my hands up to the universe, because it is my gesture that signals I am open and ready to allow what is, to be received. The relaxation and connection of meditation seemed to happen without my knowledge. Before I knew it, I had come to a sacred space with my eyes open. What I saw was beautiful.

Soon after my experience, I read about how Tibetan monks actually practice mediation with their eyes open so that they do not fall asleep. I was amazed at hearing this! I understand they spend hours meditating each day. Before reading this article, I had created a belief these monks were so spiritually evolved that they didn’t suffer from this urge, like I do. Of course, I tend to fall asleep when I am in the yoga “corpse” pose, a position where you are flat on your back. Lying down like this, I almost always fall asleep. There wasn’t any information about chanting in the article, and I wonder if that helps keep them awake as well. They want their minds to stay awake and do it through keeping their bodies awake by using their senses in a minimal way.

Now, I don’t pretend to have a meditation practice resembling a monk, in any way. It makes me laugh to feel the need to qualify my personal practice. My meditations are definitely much shorter. All of my clients and anyone who knows me knows my favorite meditation is the 1 minute mini-meditation. It is what I have found to be the most effortless and practical way to practice relaxation and connection. It is practical because you can do it anytime and anyplace. It is effortless, because I have found everyone can practice silence for 1 minute. The best part is how effective it is! However, when I feel inspired I move my meditation practice up 15 to 30 minutes.

You may have read articles explaining how many times a week and for how long each meditation needs to be to receive any benefits. You may have read a book that tells you exactly how to do it. They tell you how to sit, what to think, and what the conditions need to be to have success. The only challenge when you listen to others who tell you there is one way, or to follow how they do something, is it may not be your authentic way. Spending more time in meditation is not a have-to or a should for me. I use my spiritual practices as a way to bring joy into my life. Have-tos and shoulds are on the trail to stress and suffering. I am not into suffering anymore, so I do longer meditations only when I choose to. In the beginning, I was loving the experience, so I did it daily. As time has gone on, I find 1-3 times a week gives me the connection and inner guidance I want.

Meditation is not the only way to stay relaxed and connected! Yes, there are many ways to stay in this place of peace, so if meditation isn’t working for you, don’t give up your goals of inner peace. Other ways I connect to my spirit are through singing, dancing, artwork, playing with my children, celebrating, writing, feeling gratitude and surrendering myself to the Universe. During any of these activities, keeping your intention to connect and relax is a great way to create your sacred space. Have fun! This is your world and reality and if meditating like a monk doesn’t sound like fun, do something else.

One day you might find yourself, connected to your spirit, while your body and mind are fully relaxed....

and your eyes are wide open.

smiles and inspiration!



Copyright 2008 by Rain Fordyce