When one thinks of someone meditating, it’s not unusual to imagine them sitting cross-legged on a cushion, with eyes closed, palms upward, thumb and fingers touching. But this is only one of many postures one may assume.
An unexpected approach to meditation involves meditating with eyes wide open. It seems counter-intuitive (Isn’t the point of meditation to go inside? Why would one invite the outside world to “intrude” visually?)
Those who practice this technique will say that if ultimately the “goal” of meditation is to bring mindfulness to everyday life, it might benefit us to practice with visual awareness of the world around us.
Although this is not my usual approach, I have tried it and appreciate it. Whether you sit with eyes open or eyes closed, try moving into your next activity slowly, maintaining your intentional awareness as you prepare your breakfast, wash your dishes, or whatever you turn to next after sitting.
Rabbi Mark Sameth is the spiritual leader of Pleasantville Community Synagogue (Joyful Judaism!) an inclusive progressive synagogue–with members from twenty towns, villages and cities all across Westchester. Read The New York Times article. Weekly meditation at the synagogue every Saturday morning at 9 am is open to the public. Everyone is welcome and warmly invited. Everyone is welcome and warmly invited.
For information on his Wednesday morning class beginning October 26, write Nina Luban firstname.lastname@example.org.