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Difficulty with the Bates method
Andrea and David,
David is right -- the Dali Lama wears glasses! In my previous post I was only giving meditation as one of the techniques which helps me relax, in answer to Andrea's question. When I first started to make progress at improving my vision, feeling like I had some control over the process no matter how unsteady, I wanted to share it with everyone, teach the little bit I knew, especially if I saw them in thick glasses or obviously straining their eyes in some other way. It was like when I started running daily in the 1970s, and thought running was the answer for everyone since it did so much for me. Most people who know me are aware I used to wear strong glasses and contacts, and they can find out more about this from me, but most just aren't interested or think it would be too much work. If I sense some actual interest I'll give them what they seem ready for, but for the majority I just notice their habits (in case they ever do approach me for help), but say nothing. My energy is better focused on myself. I wouldn't approach a severely overweight person and talk to them about a healthier lifestlye!
Hi Nancy,

I like your line: my energy is better focused on myself. I have had that thought, but I am torn sometimes if it is too selfish. However, with a clear head, I know that I can preach nothing until I have secured a more or less permanent normal vision for myself. About the obese, I have one thought: imagine a World where people were not educated about what causes weight gain. When a person put on a few extra pounds, he/she would go to the doctor, who would tell them to eat more! They would tell nothing about the negative health effects of being overweight.
I especially feel sorry for the children. I see more and more toddlers in glasses. Medical profession is going against not just Bates but their own latest theories and discoveries, which I have been reading. According to "them", emmetropization of the eye is not complete until 4 years of age and sometimes later, so what the hell are they doing putting glasses on the babies??
I get obsessed with things, too. I happened to be the one telling runners that swimming is much better for their joints. :-) When I had my baby I was getting pissed off at the whole system for giving women epidurals and the formula ads and the whole nine yards. But these things have (luckily) passed. I hope that over time, I can look at the Bates Method as a personal choice I took and not something I need to constantly analyze/advertise, whatever. My mind is tired of the obsession.


Are you the same Dave that called palming The Palming Meditation? Or did that David sell his website to another Dave?? ;-) YOu have planted the seed in me to go forward, read what others have to say and analyze success and failure and interpret the Method in a way that I could finally begin to understand it. So What if someone went one step further and called everything in the Bates Method Meditation?? Is that too crazy? The palming, the shifting, the sun treatment, the swinging. Why not? It is after all, all about obtaining the Perfect Imagination at all times at all places, isn't it? When one's mind is at rest, one will have perfect vision because it is impossible to relax and strain to see at the same time. (Just some of the quotes being thrown back at ya, which I became familiar with thanks to all the hard work you have put into making this site. BTW, I want to thank you! You are an awesome person for doing this!)
I wish I could mechanically cure my eyesight, but it didn't quite work. Imagine me, someone who can never see black when closing her eyes. Never able to imagine anything, not even a letter, a line without some hazy cloud covering it. I know that it is my own thoughts getting in my way. Imagine someone who has completely lost touch with the present moment. I have spent the last at least 20 years re-living the past, or calculating the future in my mind everywhere I was. My vision was about to take a plunge (with episodes of fleeting blindness in the middle of the speedway), when I finally found your website. The magnitude of my madness is difficult for anyone to comprehend and that's why I am thinking that learning meditation may be the answer. Do you have another suggestion?

Also, I would really like to know if someone doesn't agree with something that Bates have said. For many years, I accepted some things, but others just seemed too extreme. I am, over time, becoming a Bates purist, accepting it 100%. (I am not worthy of being called that, but hopefully one day, I could be.) So people here may think otherwise, they may have thoughts, even contradicting evidence to what he has said but out of respect to others or something perhaps they won't say anything. But I do feel controversies here as I read everyone's posts. I wish people would stop beating around the bush and say what they wanted...

Thanks guys,

Good post. The last bit, where you talk about imagining someone who can't imagine black etc, got me thinking a little. And really we can do it, and perfectly too, it's just that we aren't used to the idea. David said something a good while back now about us all, no matter what the degree of refraction, are really just a step (a thought?) from clarity if we just stopped doing what it is that is making our vision worse. At the time I thought, what IS he going on about, but I think he's right you know.
Here's the link to what I was just saying:

<!-- l --><a class="postlink-local" href="">viewtopic.php?f=1&t=856&hilit=mindfulness</a><!-- l -->

The thread is well worth another look. I've printed it out and I'll read it at home later - in a relaxed frame of mind of course, with a few bits of 'organized' shifting (as ooposed to free for all) shifting thrown in for good measure...
Here's the link to what I was just saying:

<!-- l --><a class="postlink-local" href="">viewtopic.php?f=1&t=856&hilit=mindfulness</a><!-- l -->

The thread is well worth another look. I've printed it out and I'll read it at home later - in a relaxed frame of mind of course, with a few bits of 'organized' shifting (as ooposed to free for all) shifting thrown in for good measure...
I wrote the below reply this morning and then lost it when I must have forgotten to submit it. Then I hit the back button in my browser several times and it was still there! Whew!


I should clarify. I've changed my view somewhat on the relative weight of things. It's like when you bake cookies you are only going to get so far by mixing the dough over and over. Meditation and any of that stuff helps relax the eyes and mind, and someone with long-standing problems might benefit from quite a bit of that, but its main benefit is for preparation, and that's just the beginning. The real work is in the process of searching for the smallest details you can find, both in dedicating time to practice it and in applying it throughout the day as you look at everything. I think people avoid this due to confusion about what staring is and tend to avoid anything that produces a feeling of intensity with the eyes because of the idea that they're straining. To go back to the metaphor, it's like the cookies being warm when they're done, but that's describing what it's like when successful, and it makes a lot more sense that they would be warm once you take the step of baking them rather than before. Good vision feels relaxing compared to poor vision, but it's because the person's process of vision is being done better.

Robert at described a thing that's known in the field of neurology, the existence of higher and lower resolution spatial fields in the visual cortex of the brain. The idea is that people with blurry vision have switched off this part, or maybe multiple parts, of the brain. One way to activate it is by looking for the smallest details you can find. And apparently not doing so will deactivate it. It helps explain a number of things, like why vision can go from blurry to clear so quickly and back again just as quickly in what seems like separate states and why visualization ability seems to also be on or off, at least to certain degrees, rather than gradually better or worse. It helps explain what it is we're doing when we look for smaller details, or how it's really a mental thing that we're encouraging and turning on rather than anything to do with our eyes. The only thing is we have to use our eyes to do so and start up that feedback loop between the eyes and high resolution field. And that's why better vision feels more intense - it isn't because of the level of detail from the aligned light rays, because glasses to fix blurry vision don't produce an effect to equal that same type of intensity. It's because that part of the brain is woken up and there's some serious energy going back and forth to the eyes that you aren't used to. Or something like that.

Site Administrator

"Half of our funny, heathen lives, we are bent double to gather things we have tossed away." - George Meredith
Thank you. It is still just the beginning for me. All I need now is more patience and an open mind to go on. I will succeed or die trying...


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