How to Focus the Eyes in Meditation

Question

Can anyone tell me how to fix my eyeballs during meditation? Or after closing my eyes, where should i focus my eyeballs?

—Shubhankar Sharma, India

Answer

Dear Shubhankar,
This is an important question.

In fact, the eyes tend to sink during meditation practices, but are supposed to be lifted all the time, at least in Yogananda’s techniques.

This is the way to do it: before meditation, stretch out your arm in front of you and lift the thumb upward. The thumb should be slightly higher than the eyes. Gaze at the thumbnail, then close your eyes and keep the position of the eyes. They are looking upward, without being crossed.

In Yogananda’s meditation techniques, the eyes are always help in that position, because the position of the eyes leads our perception toward superconsciousness. However, our concentration in the first part of the techniques is not on the spiritual eye, but either on the breath and mantra (in the Hong-Sau technique), or on inner sounds (OM-technique), or on inner currents (Kriya Yoga). So even while our concentration is not on the spiritual eye, we keep our eyes lifted. That takes awareness and training.

In the second part of the techniques it is easier for the position of the eyes, because we focus fully on the spiritual eye between the eyebrows (center of Kutashta Chaitanya, or Christ consciousness). Like a laser look there, but without any physical or mental tension. Maybe in time you see a light. Or you may feel the spiritual eye, maybe as a pressure, or warm, or cold, or tingling. Let the spiritual eye draw you into itself.

As a training, you may practice this visualisation by Swami Kriyananda (from his marvellous book, Awaken to Superconsciousness):
“Concentrate at the point between the eyebrows. Visualize there a tunnel of golden light. Mentally enter that tunnel, and feel yourself surrounded by a glorious sense of happiness and freedom. As you move through the tunnel, feel yourself bathed by the light until all worldly thoughts disappear.
After soaring through the tunnel as long as you feel to so do, visualize before you a curtain of deep violet-blue light. Pass through that curtain into another tunnel of deep, violet-blue light. Feel the light surrounding you. Slowly, the tunnel walls disappear in blue light. Expand your consciousness into that light — into infinite freedom and bliss. Now there is no tunnel. There is only the all-encompassing blueness and bliss of infinity.
At last, visualize before you a silvery-white, five-pointed star of light. Mentally spread out your arms and legs, assuming with your body the shape of that star. Give yourself to it in body, mind, and soul as you surrender every thought, every feeling to absolute, Self-existing Bliss.
Bliss cascades gently over you, like a waterfall of mist, filling your heart with ineffable peace.”

All the best,
Jayadev