Position of eyes in meditation

Question

I have practiced Zen meditation in the past, sitting in the floor and focusing my eye sight on the floor as well, with eyes half open. I had a difficult time meditating at the Self Realization Temple b/c I am not used to sit on a chair and was not sure of whether to close or open my eyes, look at the altar vs. the at the person in front of me?

Any instruction on the meditation practices encouraged by Paramhansa Yogananda would be appreciated. Thanks!

—beth, california

Answer

Dear Beth,

Paramhansa Yogananda recommended that in meditation we hold our mental gaze up at the spiritual eye (the point mid-way between the eyes) while we have our eyes either closed or eyes slightly open.

It might help to think of focusing your eyes at a point that would be arm’s length from your body as if you were gazing at your thumb pointed upward.

The emphasis here is to direct our awareness to the Superconscious which is located at the spiritual eye.

You might like to go further into the meditation techniques which Yogananda recommended. A good source is Ananda Course in Meditation, offered by Ananda.

In divine friendship,

Pranaba