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Question about Palming
Just a relatively brief question. I firmly believe that palming is my main weakness in the Bates method. I've seen great improvement with the long swing, and central fixation, but for an example, I've never palmed over 20min. I've read recommendations on this board for techniques, along with the section in Bates' book about palming, but I seem to have a lot of questions regarding palming.

1. Should I palm with my eyes closed, or open?
2. I usually palm as I'm going to bed, and as I awake. Should I palm laying on my back, or stomach? I find that when I palm on my back, my arms get tired from holding them in that position. On the other hand, I find palming on my stomach usually puts uneven weight distribution where my head rests against my hands.
3. How often should I palm throughout the day, and what duration?
4. Should palming be pre or post eye exercises (Palming, CF, etc)?
5. When palming, should I be only thinking positive thoughts, no thoughts, etc? Likewise, should I be trying to ignore and basically zone out the black, or should I be actually observing and trying to see black?

Think that's about it. Thanks.
Close eyes. Position doesn't matter too much. If your arms get tired or something and you have to stop, that's fine, just so long as you're comfortable until then. I think frequency is more important than duration, but either assumes you get at least a little benefit from it in the first place. It isn't something you have to learn if other things are benefiting your more, at least for now. Heck, you might find a few seconds better than a few minutes. Don't look at the dark field on the back of your eyelids to try to find black. Remembering something youv'e seen and receiving the visualization of it (I think that's a more accurate description than visualizing as a direct action that implies force) is different entirely and sort of seems to take place in a different place in your head. Your eyes don't do it. But anyway, I'm not convinced the black is always the best thing. Try white, or the contrast of black and white such as black letters surrounded by the white halo.

As far as positive thoughts, or more specifically positive emotion - and now I'll give the warning that I'm getting metaphysical here - it's a very new agey type of thing and seems to be effective in its own way. It does appear to have a great effect, for you, in the moment, for that thing you're directing them towards. But there's also a similarly metaphysical but different belief that such practice is real but really a handy trick that has negative consequences, because there's a balance that will maintain itself, with you or maybe outside of you. It could be that you're setting yourself up to sooner or later come crashing down into a wave of negative emotion to balance it out. I think there's some truth to that. But that's something you'll have to work with yourself on to be sure of anything at all.

But I also should point out that there is a big difference between self-directed thoughts and positive emotion. They can happen together but neither requires the other. I guess this serves as another example of how we need to pay attention to what we're doing to overcome our programmed patterns.

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