Monday, March 14, 2011

practicing meditation with eyes open

I've been reading about meditation but it never crossed my mind before that it may be necessary to do open-eyed meditation...

Susan Piver describes why in an email subscription I recently received:

Regarding the eyes: people often wonder why they're kept open during practice, saying that it's just too distracting or that it's easier to become peaceful with the eyes closed. Duly noted! And if the point of meditation was to minimize distraction and feel peaceful, this would be a problem. But the idea (of this practice, in any case) is neither. Instead, it is to find a sense of steadiness in the midst of all distractions and to cultivate acceptance of any and all mind states: including peacefulness, but also extending to irritation, ecstasy, sadness, dullness, silliness, sharpness, and so on. If we try to cut out all mind states but one, we miss the glorious wakeful brilliance of things as they are, of ourselves. So when you practice, keep your eyes open and the gaze soft. Feel what it feels like to open to your world, to sit with it all, and to relax. This is an extremely dignified thing to do.

There's a time and place for closed eye meditation but the kind she's talking about here has been taught for generations and doesn't contribute to the divide we feel when we meditate with our eyes closed and then have to go back to our "normal" lives.

For more:

Monday, March 7, 2011

Bellydance Affirmation from @ShimmyMag

I've heard this called the "Belly Dancer's Code" - but I really like this affirmation that came from the newsletter of Shimmy in the Spirit of Bellydance by Holly Luky.

March Affirmation- by Tonya Chianis RScP


Have you thought about how many different cultures have embraced the wonderful art form of Le Dance Oriental or Belly Dance. It's being accepted and perfected by practically every country in the world. And even more amazing is how wonderful the dancers are. When you become a part of this dance world, be so proud to know that you are supporting the women and men whose roots are in this dance. Make up your mind to share your finest costume creations, as well as perform, in the most dignified and thoughtful ways. So many countries of this dance origin have suffered and continue to suffer greatly through wars. Every time we do this dance we bring to the attention of others, not only our desire to be respected in this dance, but our respect to the countries of it's origin. Adding bits of this dance and fusing it with other country dances, has become very popular.

It is done in their countries as well. This would appear to be a general consciousness of more people falling in love with all dance. Whatever your choice in dance is, respect yourself as well as the dance. The dignity comes from looking good when you perform, being a class act when you perform, and respecting
your choices in dance with the proper knowledge to back up what you do.

AFFIRM: I am aware of the love for this dance by people all over this

world. I am always doing my part to bring myself and my dance, the

dignity and and respect it deserves.

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