To cut right to the chase: yeah, you’re going to want to close your eyes. And not just because we don’t want you to see us picking our noses while we’re meditating.
Basically, your brain is like one, enormous, magical computer and your mind is the software that puts the programs on that computer (aka: your brain.) Your eyes are the tools that absorb, sift, and sort data. So, when your eyes are open during meditation, it’s like trying to sleep with your Outlook inbox lit up across your bedroom ceiling—your sifting and sorting data, usually pretty quickly.
But here’s what’s really cool about closing your eyes: when your eyes are closed, your brain goes from the busyness of sifting and sorting into a regulatory state: it’s focused on the internal. Your heart rate, for example. You’re allowing your brain a break from the constant sifting and sorting of data that the mind has to support. Instead, you can focus on your breath and slow down and eventually silence any mental chatter. When thoughts do arrive, the brain addresses them from a space of response instead of reaction. And that response—that’s your soul talkin’ to ya.