Can you meditate with your eyes open?

Not everybody is comfortable closing their eyes to meditation. People with PTSD, anxiety and many beginners often find closing their eyes to meditation confronting and uncomfortable. This  video blog walks you through a moving meditation that is done with the eyes open. How does it work and what are the benefits?  Watch the video or read the transcript below to learn more.

I firmly believe that meditation is for everybody. But not all meditation styles are right for all people. Just as we all have preferences for food, movies, and activities, we are likely to have preferences for different meditation styles. 


For some people, sitting still in a closed eye meditation is uncomfortable. Some people even find it anxiety provoking. There are others, those with PTSD for example, who can find closed eye meditations triggering. I’m going to talk more about trauma and meditation in another blog and video. 


But today, we’re going to look at a simple meditation technique that can be done with the eyes open. This is great for people who are not yet ready, or not comfortable, sitting still with their eyes closed. That can include people with PTSD, beginners, people with anxiety children and others who don’t enjoy a seated closed-eye meditation. It’s also great for people who just want to try something new. 


Open eyed meditations can have the same benefits as more conventional closed eye meditations. Meditation is designed to help eliminate mind chatter and focus attention. As long as we are focusing our attention on something and continually returning our attention to that thing every time the mind wanders, we are practicing meditation. 


That means we’ll experience all the benefits we know meditation brings, such as stress reduction, improved concentration, and better physical, mental and emotional health. 


The practice demonstrated in the video above is an open eyed moving meditation. You  focus your attention on your hands as you move them from one place to another. As you move the hands, you synchronise them with the breath. 


Start by sitting comfortably. Lengthen the spine and gently tuck down the the chin. Place both hands palms down on the thighs. 


Watch the video above to get the full instructions and join in to see how it feels to meditate with your eyes open. 


This meditation is accessible and easy to do. It’s ideal for people who can’t or would rather not sit in a closed eye meditation. I’ve taught it to groups of adolescents, support groups of people with mental health issues and in outdoor settings where closed eye practices can be disrupted by the activities going on around you.


Want more meditation resources? Visit the Meditation Resource Page.

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