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notes on looking at details and changing
I just wanted to say that when I was a little boy and went to school I had a teacher that told my parents that I was dreaming in school. Then my parents told me and asked me at home why the heck I was sitting dreaming in school, and said to me that I should be more alert and change. I didn't understand what they talked about, I laughed almost, because I didn't daydream in school, I relaxed but I didn't daydream, I was listening all the time. Now, I think my teacher by then thought that I was daydreaming because I looked at details naturally, and my teacher was of course very nearsighted, so she misunderstod these things and told me how to be without understanding and without being able to look me straight into my eyes. This resulted in that I had to see the whole whiteboard with all the text written on it clearly all the time, the nightmare of Bates. It is our society, that is so filled with preasure on us, that the eyes cannot catch up with unless you don't search for what really is important in this mess of information.

I think the feeling of looking at details should be like as if you had lost your keys, and you needed to find those keys really quick since you cannot get in to your hous, you cannot open your car and your mobile phone was in the car so you needed to find your keys, and you had an imortant meeting with some customers and your boss at work that you just cannot miss. Just totally frustrating to search for a small detail, zoom out, zoom in, search for the keys (detail) in a really active way. I don't think you shall look at a detail as if your attention engine was dead.

I also wanna tell you that I was writing a document in Word and Visio (drawings and such stuff), very intense work for long time, slow motions and such, and I have noticed that my eyesight clears up after a while when I do this. I have my laptop in my knees and I am sitting in a comfortable chair so I can relax. I think it is due to the searching for details and that you just have to use your eyes in an active way following the pointer/cursor, place objects precisely in drawings and such, else you will not get the whole document together in time.
So it works, cool. The strange thing is that when I look at distance my eyes haven't cleared up that much, as if my eyes were adjusted to some distance and when the distance changes the eyes get lost again and becomes blurry.

Well I continue exercising and let you know if I have any progress further on.
sean and hammer: Nice stories. I enjoyed reading your posts!

sean, the American spelling is indeed "program". In fact, I didn't know that it was spelled differently elsewhere (typical ignorant American, right? Smile).

Yeah, the irony of vision is shocking. To see everything clearly, you have to get yourself to see only one detail clearly. Then how do you see everything clearly? It's paradoxes like these that interest me about nature and how it works.
Yes, it's like if David have showed us the keys but he does not want give us them.
So our work is find them in a relaxed way, so do not give up people!.
That said. Thanks once again for give us the hope of reclaiming our sight, and the best is it's explained in a way that we all can understand it and finally enjoy of the beauty of this world!
I have been continuing with this. I started using my own home-made Snellen chart yesterday and I noticed that I was not having any success. When I started doing this a few weeks at a time it seemed to be too easy, but I didn't know why it was working so I was expecting a setback. Now, yesterday was disappointing but I thought to myself, here's where the learning comes in, I suppose, so what can i do about it, what can I learn? (Because, as I just said, I hadn't been learning anything before, just doing it.)

What I realized was that, by putting more emphasis on the imagination end of things, I was forgetting to look at the smallest detail, and in particular I was trying to manipulate the image, to 'help' the letters come out instead of (of course) standing well back and let my visual system do this itself. I had done this in the morning looking at the programme info. on the tv. With my eyes the double images can be crazy, in particular lines of text can appear several degrees above where they really are (or is that the opposite way round?), so the thin blurry line saying 'program guide' was being superimposed by another line from below while a further image was above. I was trying to 'isolate' the true blurry line from the rest but just doing this was enought to wreck the whole thing. So this morning I just took the attitude that the blur is perfect, mad as it might look, that it will all assemble itself if I just look for detail and allow my imagination to work - and it worked.

You see, you don't know exactly where the clear picture will emerge: just here? a little to the right? Down below? So if you 'fix' on a particular piece of blur with the idea that that's where the letter is and you imagine the letter as being right there and try to 'help' it out, then you are killing the thing.

Picachu - I agree, it seems odd but you need to see one detail at a time to see the whole picture clearly.
Just a couple of other things.

I find it harder to look at the smalleest letters often, as when a large letter is half-cleared while I realize that the idea is to look at different parts of it to clear it further it just seems kind of boring and looking for one of the practically invisible small letters is, well, more fun.

When I get the vision cleared, usually after several minutes, I find that I am looking at the different letters individually, that there is a reluctance to try to look at more at a time. This is an odd feeling but very encouraging that I am doing something right. I have an idea that in the past, when I managed to get clear flashes, I tried to 'fix' it somehow, so it wouldn't go away (thereby ensuring that it did) and I'd say I was looking at all of it at the same time (also ensuring it didn't last).
@sean: Your experience isn't unique. I've had pretty much the same sequence of events. At first, for a few days, it seemed easy, almost too easy. Then, when I tried to "improve" on it, everything fell apart and it simply didn't work. I'm actually still trying to find my way back. I also like doing the small letters, but for some reason, lately, my right eye has been more strained while doing this detail-search thingy and I'm actually not sure which of these is the actual problem: not looking for small enough details, trying to manipulate the image, lack of motivation or faith, or the large difference in visual acuity between my left and right eye (my right eye is significantly better). Or it could be all of them. Nonetheless, I can generally tell when everything is working correctly and when it isn't, which is certainly an improvement from before when I didn't know anything.

I think it all has a little to do with what David mentioned about common sense. All of this should be simple, and sometimes, we overcomplicate things and I guess it is human nature to always try to improve something. The problem is, some simple things don't need "improvement" and will not benefit from it. I think I have all the knowledge I need to improve my vision, but I always seem to want to try something that'll fix everything "now". That's my problem right now, I guess. Hopefully, if I fix that attitude, the rest will come of itself.

I have a question in regards to your phrase "when I get the vision cleared". I know a lot of people talk about the vision "clearing up", but I don't know exactly what they mean. Sometimes, when I feel I'm doing the detail-searching right, I sort of see a "fog" across part of one eye or the other, which later disappears, usually with slight improvement to vision. Is this what you were referring to or is it something else entirely?

And yes, a long post, but I had an observation I wanted to mention. When I detail-search, I tend to cross my eyes, and when I thought about it, I think that it's better if they don't cross because crossing implies that the two eyes are not focused on what I'm looking at. Do you guys think that this is a reasonable statement or do you guys think that crossing is immaterial to detail-searching? I've found that when I've really got everything going, my eyes don't cross as much.
Here is some advice from me, but I am no expert yet, just telling you how I do to tackle the problems:
You should notice that your eyes are becoming more relaxed rather than that the eyesight improves, then you know that you are on the right track. A big step is to get the feeling when your eyes are relaxed. If your eyes aren't relaxed there is no meaning in doing the detail search. Then it doesn't help to try and force your eyes to clear up if your eyes aren't even relaxed in the first place. So if you feel that you haven't really progress then you should try to palm. After you have palmed you can go on searching for details. Also if you feel that your eyes aren't synchronized then zoom out and look at an object to see it clearly, e.g. an apple or a tree. Then your eyes easier can synchronise on the object (because it is bigger) rather on details of the object. When the eyes have synchronised on the object you can centralize even more and look at details of the object (apple). And when you feel that your eyes are becoming synchronized on that size level of details within the apple, then you can go on and search for even more smaller details. If you don't feel that your eyes synchronize, then decentralize (zoom out) and start all over. I think this is a synchronise procedure. The mind decentralise your vision (make you stare) in order to synchronize your eyes if the mind completely failed to synchronise your eyes, but this is done at the cost of fuzzier vision. When the mind at least have synchronized the eyes to some deegre then the mind waits, it just waits, waits and waits. The mind waits because it wants to find out how you use your eyes. If you need ! to see details then you volountarily centralise vision and the mind accepts it because it has to adapt the vision system to how you really need to use your eyes. If you don't need to see details (for instance take on your glasses >Sad ) then the mind adapts to this way that you use your eyes, and this thus means that the mind will remain in a fuzzy state forever (nearsightedness) :-[ . I think I understand this now and I will try to follow this.
In the morning I get up rather early to sit and eat breakfast and drink a cup of coffee, no stress, no work, no problem, and I enjoy this relaxing moment and I look on details then, as a retreat for my soul. If I am tense I also even palm for a while in the morning (5 minutes maybe), as a boost, this is only needed maybe when you are tired, have a cold, fever or something. Then my vision clears up a bit, and it will last throughout the whole day most hopefully. So I am building the foundation of the whole day already in the morning. During the day I do the detail search every now and then. In the evening I palm for a while (maybe 5 minutes), then I exercise shifting ( and details are also involved in that process of shifting). The shifting in combination of looking at details is really important.
Pikachu and Hammer: what happens with me is that as I am doing the detail-searching 'dynamic' (and the same applies with Bates 'exercises', eg imagination) I feel my eyes relaxing, so even if the sight does not clear I know I am on the right track. Thes feeling is a kind of tingling in the eyes - it's definitely a physical feeling, at least in my case. If I don't get this feeling then I don't think any clearing ever follows. What happens is out of the blur a clear picture appears. Usually not as clear as in my imagination exercise but definitely much, much clearer than the blur. I find with searching for detail that the clear sight lasts rather longer and is very much concentrated on where I am looking (the other form tended to at least appear equally clear everywhere I looked, but that doesn't seem right)>

I was doing the snellen chart earlier today and it cleared slightly in places and I was just looking at it and thinking: now what do I do? I am treating this as a challenge as there has to be a logical, and simple, way round this. I think I associate the snellen with an earlier stage in NVI and it probably led me back into some old habits. But it would be very useful indeed (I think) if I could work out what these are exactly.

If I go with my son to his football training on a Saturday morning and it's a reasonably bright day I can see his group playing several pitches away, in the distance, see the ball in the air, although I can't recognize him. Looking at a snellen chart the lines all overlap and there's a generalized blur everywhere, maybe because there's no context, because it's kind of disembodied from what's going on around it.
Well, I'm still trying to get it all down.

hammer, I do agree with the syncronizing concept you mentioned. I actually realized that one reason my eyes crossed so often before was because they were actually looking at two different parts of the blur!

What worries me most right now is whether I'm actually doing it right or not. Sometimes, detail-searching becomes staring, and as we all know, that's bad for the eyes. I'm fairly sure that when I do it right, I know what the feeling should be, but for some reason, I can't do it right on a consistent basis. In fact, I'm not even sure if "right" is really right anymore. Perhaps if I described it to you guys as descriptively as possible, maybe you guys can help point me in the right direction?

What I generally do first is look at the Snellen and tell myself that there’s a blur and that there’s nothing wrong with that. Then, I focus both of my eyes on as small a circle as I’m comfortable looking at. I actually have to tell myself where exactly I’m looking at or my eyes tend to cross. Then, the detail-searching begins. What I’m looking at is a complete blur, usually, so it’s really a mixture of colors than a bunch of details, but I try to pick one “pixel” and within that one, I try to find another one. The problem is that most of the time, it’s imagined, and when I imagine it, my eyes cross. Anyway, I’ve sort of tried to ignore that and when I get down to a small detail, one of two thing happen. 1. It moves and I follow it. 2. I lose my concentration and can’t find the dot again. In any event, I “zoom out” and most of the time, uncross my eyes slightly and sometimes, one or both of my eyes get somewhat “fogged up”. Then, when it clears up, I feel more relaxed and if I’m lucky, what I’m looking at also clears up a bit.

Frankly, I’m not convinced that I’m doing it right. I don’t expect to see the object with crystal clarity, but when I feel worse off half of the time, I know I’m not doing something wrong, and I want to figure out what that is exactly.

Am I looking at objects that are too unclear for me to even interpret? Is it the strain in my eyes? I’m going to have to find answers to these questions over the next few days.

Just a few questions I have for you guys:
What’s your approach to detail-searching? Are there steps you take?
Do you have “favorite” objects?
How long does it take for the “clearing up” phase to occur?
How long does this last?
How much concentration is required?

Hmm, just as I was writing, I thought about it and I think it’s possible that I’m overthinking it all. I think I might have just answered most of my own questions. I’ll report back in a few days. Hopefully, I will have figured it out by then.
Some advice, might be some wise thinking anyway:
My goal is a meditative approach.
There is a certain feeling when eyesight clears up when doing the detail search.
This feeling is interesting to me.
I will try to identify the feeling and let that feeling control further on.
It is a feeling of universal awareness, calmness, like my mind is listening and is ready to take in information, learn things, simple clarity of logic thinking and imagination etc.
I like details that contain contrast, that refers to the arrangement of opposite elements (light vs. dark colors, rough vs. smooth textures, large vs. small shapes, etc.) in a piece so as to create visual interest, excitement and drama." I like simple geometrical figures.
It takes about half an our at least for me to get improved vision, I need this time to calm down, to get lasting results.
However I sometimes manage to clear up my eyesight much faster, but then the improvement doesn't last so long, but it could take much longer. I think it depends on your meditative state in mind. If I am stressed I have no chance at all to improve. Then I just have to wait until the "wind" changes.
The improvement lasts as long as I concentrate on looking at the details of the same distance. When I focus on another distance I have to start all over unfortunately from blur again.
I think the cause is that my eyes are too different and cannot handle depth.
I need to recall some feeling and it takes some concentration to tune in to that feeling. It is most often simply not possible because I have too much to do and so on.
I got a bit depressed the other day when I realised that I maybe will not be able to get the meditative feeling due to that I have a too fast life simply.
Then I realised that my life was so fast because I cannot still tune in to the meditative feeling and this strengthened me to carry on to reach my goal of wakefullness.
I think we need to make it as simple as possible for the mind to synchronise, thus I think contrast is good, but it can still be an unclear detail actually I guess if there is some contrast in the unclear detail.

Good luck, I have the best goal in the world ! :Smile
@hammer: Then I suppose I'm not too far off the right track then. And thanks for the suggestions of interesting details. I thought about why I had problems and was staring and I realized something: I'm looking at objects that I can't see. Theoretically, there isn't anything wrong with looking for details in these objects, but clearly, it is more difficult to do so if you don't already have the ability to look for details. So now I've decided to look at closer objects with details that are more clear to me. As the saying goes, you have to learn to walk before you can learn to run...

As for the meditative mindset, it's all about slowing everything down and taking your mind off other stuff, which for me, can be really difficult but also very rewarding and relaxing once I accomplish it.
I have been sticking at this, putting aside half an hour every day to look at my Snellen chart. To recap, i found this easy at the start and then I found it harder to replicate, especially once I started using the Snellen again, rather than looking around me at buildings etc. And I had found it hard from the start to know what was I supposed to be learning.

However, when you are faced with the snellen you do find yourself learning, you have no alternative, no way out and here's some of what I found out:
1 Don't manipulate the blur or multiple images - accept the fact that the 'data' is already there, it just needs to be organized by your mind. Abandon any thought or reflex or whatever of control
2 Connected with this, ignore what your eyes are doing. Sometimes you have to blink as the tingling can get strong, but don't start 'helping' things along by blinking more - leave that to the eyes, get off the field here and let them get on with their own job (which they will do as soon as you stop interfering). Alright, blinking doesn't sound much and probably isn't, but I think the very idea that anything you are doing consciously to 'help out' is in fact part of the problem, if not the whole problem.
3 Keep the vision in one small place, one detail - I think the conditioning is to keep panning out to take in the wider picture. That is no help. (I'm not sure at this stage if you have to consciously have to do this or if the looking for detail will suffice.)
3 (and this is the main one) look hard. Now this sounds wrong but I find it works, you are looking with your attention not with your eyes (and the increased tingling in my own eyes confirms this). Also confirming this is the way I start to breathe deeply - this is relaxation as the same (harmful) conscious interference over the eyes is involved in holding up the breathing. Once the attention is strongly engaged in looking at the chart the breathing and the eyes are free to do their own thing. I will look at this more over the next few days and will be back to let me know if the above is correct or if I have to revise it further (I'm sure there will be plenty of revision). It is indeed, as I said before, a leap of faith as it's just you and the chart and nobody else (High Noon style) and you leave your eyes alone and really focus your attention. The leap of faith bit is that if you do this, if you abandon everything else your vision will clear. Fortunately it does. Smile Let's see if I can keep this up.
sean, it sounds like you're pretty much nailing it, or well on your way to.

From the feedback I've gotten, even though narrowing the attention to finding smaller and smaller details will by itself take a lot of the strain away, I think people still have a tendency to start building up strain while they do this, causing their vision to first get better as they look for details, then worse, and not really get better again. It would be good to include the instructions of blinking every several seconds to break the intensity up into chunks, so that the tension doesn't have a chance to build. And very brief palming every several minutes. Long periods of palming cause people to take longer to adjust to light again when they open their eyes, and that just makes things more difficult, so keeping palming at the minimum level I think is best. Seeing is a process of repeatedly finding details and losing them, so maybe that will help people avoid the mistake of trying to "hold onto" their improved vision. And not everyone is going to be blinking often enough, so it was silly for me to not even mention where blinking should fit in.

(see, I'm not ignoring the traditional Bates stuff - I just think any given thing needs to be put into a specific part of this procedure only when there's a specific need for it to help people avoid common mistakes)

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"Half of our funny, heathen lives, we are bent double to gather things we have tossed away." - George Meredith
@David: I'd agree with that last parenthetical statement of yours there. This IS Bates method stuff, maybe not exactly the way he would prescribe himself, but I would definitely consider it an application of good vision habits.

I've taken a break this recently so that I could get the more fundamental habits down, since it seems that my lack of experience in central fixation and relaxation make it near impossible to search for details correctly. One suggestion I'd like to make is that while you're looking for these details, it helps to either imagine a period in your head or "notice" a point in the peripheral as "worse". I find that one or the other, when done correctly, makes it less likely for me to strain my eyes and much less likely for me to manipulate what I am looking at. Perhaps not everyone needs to do that, but I find that it's beneficial to me.
Sean, I have also noticed that the "feeling" is built upon breathing in a relaxed way.
I have also noticed that you have to keep the attention on searching for details,
and the attention is also building the "feeling".
I thought once ago that seeing was something that you shouldn't be involved in to be able to see perfectly (kind of a sleepy mode), but I think I understand now that this is not the case, instead the attention is very important because it is you, it is the mind of you,
the attention is you that is awakening from the sleep of blur.
People say that you have to cure the mind first to get better vision,
I think the increased awareness of attention is in fact the mind that is beeing cured.
But, I could of course be wrong here, it feels that I have sound thinking and I was glad to read that you seems to have experienced the same.
Anyway I have noticed that if I (my mind) have the attention mode to shift on very small details my eyesight becomes improved to some degree that I cannot measure, but it is an improvement at least.
I feel like a person that has not been able to walk for a long time as his legs were to weak to be able to walk with,
but then he starts to train his legs and finally the legs gets strong enough to carry him, that is my attention is the foundation of seeing.
I think my mind improves when it comes to controling the attention on details, and this is important,
because you need to be very quick at the center field to notice your details around you.
I think my eyesight improves, especially on my weakest eye.
The focus is much more stable.
It is like adjusting the speed of the mouse to your computer I think, if you have poor attention then the mouse is too slow
and imagine to work with your computer when the mouse is too slow, it won't work right, but if you speed up your mouse then the attention is improved because the cursor follows where you look, and this is what I think I experience right now as my attention improves onto the details.

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