Open Eye

Open Eye

The first of the four stages of the meditation process from Patanjali is withdrawing the senses (Pratyahara). This means that we make the objects of the inner sense, in this case our mouches volantes, visible in our field of vision and look consciously at them. By doing this, we withdraw our five senses from the world of material objects. The energy that is usually operating our five physiological senses is now redirected towards the inner sense. In this first stage we explore these points and threads; become familiar with their forms, constellations and movements; distinguish that there are points and threads in the left as in the right half of our consciousness and realize that we can only concentrate either left or right at each given moment.

We realize that it is not easy to watch these mouches volantes because they drift continuously away, mostly downward. Only by the realignment of our view are we able to keep them in our field of vision. This can be understood as a direct physical-visual manifestation of what Patanjali called “vrittis“ (subtle waves in the mind), which result from our response to external and internal stimuli. Vrittis prevent us from prolonged concentration because they produce impressions in the mind which respond constantly to stimuli. This realignment (in Indian philosophy also refered to as “fluctuation“ or “modification“) takes place on different levels: Each new thought, emotion or respective adjustment of our view marks the end and a new start of our concentration. The meditation on our floaters shows us the steadiness of our ability to concentrate.

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