People often ask me if they should meditate with their eyes open. In ninety out of one hundred cases, those who keep their eyes closed during meditation fall asleep. For five minutes they meditate, and then for fifteen minutes they remain in the world of sleep. There is no dynamic energy, but only lethargy, complacency and a kind of restful, sweet sensation.
When you keep your eyes closed during meditation and enter into the world of sleep, you may enjoy all kinds of fantasies. Your fertile imagination may make you feel that you are entering into the higher worlds. There are many ways you can make yourself believe that you are having a wonderful meditation. So it is best to meditate with the eyes half open and half closed. In this way you are the root of the tree and at the same time the topmost bough. The part of you that has the eyes half-open is the root, symbolising Mother-Earth. The part which has the eyes half-closed is the topmost branch, the world of vision or, let us say, Heaven. Your consciousness is on the highest level and it is also here on earth, trying to transform the world.
When you meditate with your eyes half open and half closed, you are doing what is called the “lion’s meditation.” Even while you are going deep within, you are focusing your conscious attention both on the physical plane and on the subconscious plane. Both the physical world, with its noise and distractions, and the subconscious world, the world of sleep, are inviting you, but you are conquering both of them. You are saying, “Look, I am alert. You cannot take me into your domain.” Since your eyes are partly open, you will not fall asleep. So you are challenging the world of the subconscious. At the same time you are maintaining your mastery over the physical plane, because you can see what is going on around you.
By: Sri Chinmoy