Author Topic: Defocused Gaze/Defocused Awareness  (Read 1874 times)

J0rrit

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Defocused Gaze/Defocused Awareness
« on: October 13, 2014, 12:15:19 PM »
Hello there,

I have a question about being aware with a unfocused gaze/awareness. This guy describes it like this:

'One way into this experience is, oddly enough, with the eyes. There’s a correspondence between the tendency of the eyes to focus narrowly, and the mind to perceive narrowly. If at the start of your meditation you relax the muscles around the eyes (whether the eyes are open and closed), and allow your gaze to be soft and defocused, then your attention will become more relaxed and open. Often when I’m being aware of the sensations arising in my body I start off with a sense that my attention is gazing down into the body in a relaxed and defocused way. Individual sensations are not as vivid as when you’re doing a body scan, focusing on one sensation at a time, but that’s OK. This defocused way of perceiving the body will help you to calm the mind and to be more open to sensations that, often, you tend to ignore.'

'As I discussed in the previous email (number 23) there are two ways of looking: with a narrow focus or with a defocused gaze. When I suggest that you become aware of a number of separate sensations connected with the breathing — two or three is usually as many as we can manage — I’m recommending you do this with a defocused gaze. If you’re used to paying attention with a narrow focus, then you may experience what my correspondent described above, where the mind hops rapidly from one sensation to another, because that’s the only way a narrowly focused gaze can take in more than one object. With a defocused gaze, noticing several sensations at once is natural and easy, although of course it may take some practice to learn to relax into this way of looking.

You can practice this gentle and effortless attentiveness right now. Sitting with your eyes open, let your eyes rest lightly on some spot, as I suggested in the previous email. Now, without actually moving your gaze, allow the mind to become more aware of two separate objects. Just allow those objects to be there. Don’t try to see them in detail. Don’t strain; just let your gaze be relaxed. The objects are already there, so no effort is required.

It’s important to realize that when you’re using a defocused gaze to take in several sensations at once you’re not trying to notice any of these objects in detail. If you try to do this, you’ll switch back to a narrowly focused way of looking. So get used to the fact that your perception might be less clear and sharp than you’re used to.

I’m trying this right now. I’m noticing a couch on the other side of the room, and the contours of the arms of the chair in which I’m seated. If I add an internal object — in this case I’m choosing the physical sensations of my breathing — the mind becomes very still.'
 
Could someone explain more about this? I've tried it and it's difficult. Could someone give me advice about how to accomplish this, because I have a hard time doing this.

Metta,

Obol

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Re: Defocused Gaze/Defocused Awareness
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2014, 03:36:23 PM »
Hi J0rrit,

I've noticed the exact same thing: that if you unfocus the mind, it gets calmer, faster.

Youre right its kind of hard to do, but you could think of it as relaxing the mind, or allowing allowing all the sensations to be noticed all at once. The thing that makes it hard is that the mind likes to have something to hold onto, so it always tries to focus down on one thing.

One way to experience a similar thing is to listen to one noise in your environment, and then try to hear all the sounds in the environment, all at once.

May I ask where the quotes you refer to come from? Is it an email distribution of some kind?


J0rrit

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Re: Defocused Gaze/Defocused Awareness
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2014, 12:18:33 PM »
Yes, it's an email distribution from '60 days to Jhana', that I got from a member of another forum.

But eyestrain/gaze and awareness are interrelated, right? To broaden your awareness (be sensitive to multiple sound, objects, sensations at once) you have to relax your eyes/gaze, and if you relax your eyes/gaze, your awareness will be broadend. Am I right?

Obol

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Re: Defocused Gaze/Defocused Awareness
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2014, 12:30:05 PM »
Yes, it's an email distribution from '60 days to Jhana', that I got from a member of another forum.

But eyestrain/gaze and awareness are interrelated, right? To broaden your awareness (be sensitive to multiple sound, objects, sensations at once) you have to relax your eyes/gaze, and if you relax your eyes/gaze, your awareness will be broadend. Am I right?

Yes thats pretty much right, although its definitely possible to unfocus your eyes, and still focus the mind on something.

I think unfocussing the eyes, or listening to all the sounds around is like a sensory lead for the mind - performing that unfocussing induces the mind to follow suit, even though it can go back to being focussed.

How could I sign up for that distribution list?

J0rrit

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Re: Defocused Gaze/Defocused Awareness
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2014, 12:43:19 PM »
It's allready done, it contains 45 emails about a full body breathing awareness and what the author experienced to be the fastest way to Jhana. I could sent you the Word-document I've maid from it. PM me your email-adress please.

 

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