I’ve been reading His Holiness The D.L.'s book “Dzogchen, The Heart of Perfection,” -- a copy that dropped out of the Baltimore County Library system in 2001 -- and he writes:
"One method that is spoken in the Dzogchen tradition is to 'direct your mind into your eyes and direct your eyes toward space.' This is useful because our visual consciousness is so powerful. This doesn't mean you are looking at something in the outside world, but rather that you direct your gaze toward the space between you and external phenomena."
I have heard it described many times in Zen to put your awareness a few inches in front of your nose, or things similar, but I've never heard "direct your mind into your eyes and direct your eyes towards space.' Combining this technique with the thought-swatting blinks that I learned from watching H.H. the D.L. in action (posted elsewhere), I realized I had come upon a very powerful method for staying in no-thought.
In his excellent book Dzogchen: The Heart Essence of The Great Perfection, (Snow Lion, Ithaca, NY 2002) H.H. the Dalai Lama also quotes a teaching that recommends shouting "PHAT!!!" whenever a thought intrudes:
"First, relax and release your mind,
Neither scattered, nor concentrated, without thoughts.
While resting in this even state, at ease,
Suddenly let out a mind-shattering 'PHAT!',
Fierce, forceful and abrupt. AMAZING!
There is nothing there, transfixed in wonder,
Struck by wonder, and yet all is transparent and clear. "
Unless you live out of earshot of others, this might create problems with neighbors --sort of putting 'the Phat in the fire'? Could blinking be the 'silent PHAT!' for urban dwellers?
Author/translator B. Alan Wallce, who frequently travels with H.H. the Dalai Lama, has a helpful exercise Reprinted from Daily Wisdom: 365 Buddhist Inspirations, edited by Josh Bartok: