Just Open Your Eyes

After the introduction class on sitting meditation, everyone tried to apply what they had just learned to the sitting session. Many students were experiencing the same problem.

Student: Zen Master, you taught us to sit with eyes half closed, looking down at a 45 degree angle. After a few deep breaths, my eye lids just closed very naturally in a split second. How do I stop myself from closing my eyes? I don't want to close my eyes during meditation.

Sifu: (pointing to the blinds in the dharma room) Please go pull up the blinds.

Student: Do I really have to do it?  

Sifu: Yes.

The student couldn't stop laughing while pulling up the blinds up halfway.

Sifu: From now on, every time that your eyes close, please remember how to roll up the blinds halfway. This will surely help you. You don't have to stop yourself from closing your eyes; just roll up the blinds halfway.

Commentary: The Platform Sutra says, "Inside our mind we have delusive, ignorant and suffering beings. We use Right Views to save them." It further says: "Let the fallacious be delivered by correctness, the deluded by enlightenment, the ignorant by wisdom and the malevolent by benevolence." So if we close our eyes and fall asleep, we just open our eyes again -- that is already training us to wake up! Very simple.