“Sit up straight with all the vertebrae of the spine fitting together snugly. Keep the head upright, with the eyes gazing toward the tip of the nose. Whether you see it or not doesn’t really matter, just gaze in the direction of the nose or past it. Once you get used to this, the results will be better than closing the eyes, and you won’t be inclined to fall asleep so easily. In particular, people who are sleepy will benefit from keeping the eyes open at first rather than closing them. Practice like this steadily and they will close by themselves when the time comes for them to close. However, if you want to practice with your eyes closed from the start, that’s fine too...”
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Getting Started in Mindfulness With Breathing: Accessible, Beginning Steps for Ordinary People. Adapted and translated by Santikaro from an article in Thai written on 28 August 1948. E-published by the Buddhadasa Indapanno Archives in collaboration with Liberation Park.