With Eyes Open
As part of homeschooling, I've taken to teaching my teenage son to meditate or at least, to be still (for a moment). It's not so easy. His tendency to pull from every day life and get lost in imagination, talking to himself - running his body and mind back and forth - is what put him in the realm of Special Needs/Autism and in conflict with school in the first place. This habit of chasing his thoughts doesn't serve him well outside of school either.
Though resistant to allowing quiet and calm, he's permitted a slight practice. While we sit together, my eyes fight to close but his remain open. He says he doesn't want to close them.
Though he's thought to have "special needs", his true need is to feel safe within himself, so the outside world no longer appears as a threat. From this vantage point, there will be nothing from which to run.
The eye that always has to be open is the exhausted eye. It is the one weary and wary of life. It's always watching to make sure it doesn't get hurt. But life isn't a threat; pain comes from attention to fearful thinking. Chasing our thoughts is what makes us feel lost and unsafe.
Sometime soon I hope to see that eye (for all of us in need of peace) allow itself the rest it deserves, using its inner vision to know itself and its safety - and its outer vision to embrace the world.
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From the Inside