Bija Bennett

There is no such thing as failure in meditation. Think of meditation as a journey. You set out from your home, and keep right on going, and eventually you'll come back to your own front door.

During the years I lived in Aspen, Colorado, I would often go down to the Roaring Fork River to a point where two tributaries converged. Sitting on a large rock, I softly gazed out and opened my view. I wasn't really looking at anything in particular, but I could feel my vision expand out to all sides like a wide-angle lens.

At that moment, I could feel my eyes in every cell of my body, as I opened and broadened my vision to include everything around me. This became my "open-eyed meditation". This meditation dissolves the normal distinction between what you think you are looking for and what you didn't know you were looking for.

It's called: Open Focus.

You can practice it seated or when taking a hike or walk. Try it now wherever you are.

Open Focus

— Simply look up for a moment and focus very strongly on an object in front of you. Look at it with a sharp focus. Then relax your gaze and soften your focus. Feel any pressure in your eyes release. Look at the object softly and with less intensity.

— Follow the flow of your breath and soften your focus even more, expanding your peripheral vision to include everything around you. Open your awareness and feel the entire scope of life surrounding you without focusing sharply on anything. Keep your eyes soft, and feel as if you are looking from your heart.

— In Open Focus, you don't need to focus on one thing, as this will limit your view. 

Don't look for anything. Just see. 

Sometimes by looking at nothing, you can see everything.

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Bija Bennett is a Chicago-based author, teacher, and speaker who has turned from the performing arts to the healing arts, and then back again to make unique and inspiring books, talks, music, and films, that impact the way we work and live.
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