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mistakes
#1
What wrong ideas did you have about your vision before starting this process?
What made you learn that your previous ideas about your vision were wrong?
What mistakes have you made along the way?

I'm just trying to gather information. As many points as you can think of. So not what you've learned, exactly, but what you've un-learned or started to un-learn.
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"Half of our funny, heathen lives, we are bent double to gather things we have tossed away." - George Meredith
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#2
I have to try to see. (It's work, somehow not my natural state.)
I cannot give my attention to something without "trying".
I have to try to relax. (Again, it's not my natural state.)
If I'm looking at something I want to see clearly, I can't look at it too long or I'm staring, a big no-no -- I didn't get the idea of looking for smaller details within the same area for a long time.
People with good vision see everything clearly all at once.
The farther away it is, the harder it will be for me to see it.
The lower the illumination, the harder it will be for me to see.
A flash is a fluke, not my natural vision, which is blurry.
My vision can get worse easily, but it's a struggle, an arduous uphill climb with many opportunities to slip and fall back, for it to get better, and especially to stay better.
The more time I spend doing "Bates exercises" (chart work, palming, swinging) the better my vision will get.
Really relaxing is wasting time and not productive.
Since I've worn glasses for many years and got them very young, it will take me a long time to see 20/20 on a reliable basis.
Wearing weak glasses, which I have to strain to see through and function, will help me improve my vision.
I have to look at the eye chart from 20 feet away for the practice to count.
If I can't see a line on the eye chart clearly in a stressful moment, my vision is not improving.
Looking at bright sunlight is stressful and makes me want to close my eyes.
--------------------

What makes me realize that most of my ideas about my vision are wrong is being in the present and noticing how my eyes work NOW. Simple scientific method-like observation. The longer I do this, the more common sense (which isn't that common!) the Bates Method seems to me.
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#3
I always took it for granted that my myopia was caused by reading too much; it started about the age of 11 and I really loved books at that time.

Recently I started doubting, whether this was really the cause or maybe only one factor which accelerated and amplified an ongoing process, which had already started before.

When I look at old photos of the years before I got glasses, I find myself almost on any of them sqinting.
Although my eyesight was not bad at that time, I was obviously straining my eyes all the time.

And this is still my biggest mistake. When I don't keep reminding myself to keep my eyes relaxed, I very soon catch myself squinting again - even when I am reading at a comfortable distance.
The same problem when I practice with the eye chart. I always have to remind myself that I am training to use my eyes correctly and the aim is not to read as many letters as possible.
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#4
I make more mistakes than I can count or keep track of. My biggest, most common mistake is the locking/zoning out combo. I have a terrible tendency to avoid awareness of what I am looking at, so what usually happens is that when I look at something that requires little movement - say, a computer screen - I eventually find myself staring at it.
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#5
Great stuff! I'm gonna try to work most of this into a guide. Eventually I want to make a crystal clear explanation of how there is only one way to see that works consistently, for everyone, by ruling each thing that isn't a part of the natural process of seeing and justifying why it's being ruled out and what the alternative is. There are tons of little details that are important to how we see, and they need to be built from the ground up to make sure it's done right.
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"Half of our funny, heathen lives, we are bent double to gather things we have tossed away." - George Meredith
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#6
One of the mistakes I made during improving my vision was trying to produce the oppositional movement while swinging. This led to a great deal of frustration for me, because my eyes didn't feel more relax after swinging. Only after giving the long swing for a fair trial did I find out that the swing could only be observed, not produced.
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#7
I find it very difficult to palm correctly. I am confused if I should look at the vision field and relax or simply relax and don't think about anything.
I have tendency to think more about exercising then relaxing and using my eyes correctly.
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#8
blwegrzyn Wrote:I find it very difficult to palm correctly. I am confused if I should look at the vision field and relax or simply relax and don't think about anything.
I have tendency to think more about exercising then relaxing and using my eyes correctly.


Be careful in continue with your palming work, or any other "exercise" meant to achieve relaxation if it's not working, you are definitely creating more strain and wasting your time (I tell you from my experience), and I'd go to recommend to stop palming since doing it wrong is useless. At least for now.

And you don't need to look at your vision field nor thinking about relax. Instead allow yourself relax.
When palming, focus in your breath and think something pleasant while letting images popup in your mind's eye. You may think you are doing it right, but you can't do it correctly becouse you are being commanded by your wrong thoughts that keep you away from the doorstep you need to pass through, at every moment.

No matter what you do, if you don't learn to control that...

Read Breathing and your mind blog post by David
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#9
Worrying about the vision does not help!
Yesterday morning I woke up with very tight muscles in the shoulders, neck, head and dry eyes due to the weather change. My close vision was off, not perfect and immediately I started to 'what if' worry why! Started to worry if its my neck injury (I wrote about this in the past on here and how it caused a variety of vision problems) and the vision will deteriorate. Then got a hold of my thoughts; remembered this happens a couple days every year when I forget to put on the humidifier; its low amount of tears on the cornea all-night from the dry winter air and heater. Kept blinking the eyes trying to create tears to moisten the cornea. Relaxation; When I STOPPED WORRING, THINKING ABOUT THIS the vision returned to clear.
Its perfect today and humidifier on all night.
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#10
Quote:What wrong ideas did you have about your vision before starting this process?

1) Nearsighted is something I am, permanently.
2) Squinting and holding the object as still as possible with my eyes improves my vision.
3) My vision will only get worse with age.
4) I can't see without help (lenses).
5) Visual acuity is static and set - it can never fluctuate from moment to moment.
6) I am a person walking through a two-dimensional, flat environment with details that should be sharp and clear at all times.

Quote:What made you learn that your previous ideas about your vision were wrong?
1) The three-fold combination of Bates' scientific and anecdotal experiences / hope and desire that Bates was right / experience of clear-flashes
2) Looking for details and being emotionally engaged with what I am seeing eliminated my impulse to squint
3) My vision is improving with age because of altered vision habits which are becoming more and more natural to me
4) Letting go of my glasses and working through the anxiety of not having them as a physical and emotional crutch anymore
5) Asking myself throughout the day - how is my vision now? How is my emotional state? How is my physical state and is there a correlation?
6) Taking long walks (without lenses) with the purpose of noticing oppositional movement cured me of 'the world is a 2-dimensional photograph' thinking

Quote:What mistakes have you made along the way?

I can genuinely say that I don't consider any of my steps along the way as having been mistakes. My progress has been consistent and steady. Anything that could have been considered a mistake was more like a temporary unawareness of a better way of doing something (and it usually involved an undiscovered habitual strain.)
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#11
Hi David

In ascending order of importance:

1 When palming trying to form a picture in front of your eyes, behind your eyelids as it were
2 Trying to manipulate images to what they should look like
3 It's all an unconscious or subconscious thing that I have hardly any influence over
4 It is comfortable
5 It can all be done on autopilot

Comments on the above:

1 Common mistake for beginners. The imagined image is more in the back of your mind. My view of imagination is that it's very similar to memory, just that it's creative and not passive.

2 There's a certain leap of faith in aiming to look at the big picture by focussing on one detail at a time.

3 David's latest blog post on looking for details is the best thing I've yet seen to debunk this idea.

4 In my experience neither comfortable physically or mentally. I'd nearly go as far as to say that if all this is comfortable then you're not doing it right, although there may be some lucky people this applies to.

5 This and no. 4 above are the big ones. The words 'attention deficit disorder' spring to mind.

Good question David. When I thought about it I realized (again) that (re no. 4) when I meet a 'wall' of resistance this is not really a major setback at all but rather a golden opportunity. I'd been finding it hard to settle down to practice, in particular blanking the mind and focussing on breathing and physical sensations. Now I realize why: the programming fights back. Thanks for that one.

I just thought of another one, which I rank equal at no. 3 in my list:
Relaxation will solve everything.
Not in my experience it won't, but it could be argued that the reason it doesn't is because I'm not relaxing perfectly. Same difference - how do I get there? Smile
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#12
David Wrote:What wrong ideas did you have about your vision before starting this process?
What made you learn that your previous ideas about your vision were wrong?
What mistakes have you made along the way?
I'm just trying to gather information. As many points as you can think of. So not what you've learned, exactly, but what you've un-learned or started to un-learn.

Well David, I think you are doing such a good job, I really wish I could help out, but I am not seeing a fast progress, in fact I have a very slow improvement, but my vision improves gradually anyway and I am quite happy for this, so I write about some of my thoughts and how I think that I will get better improvement later on. Maybe you can get some clues out of it for what it is worth. I know you already know almost everything about vison and I am also starting to feel that I acknowledge my final insights.

I remember long time ago when I was a kid that I kind of suddenly thought to myself that it was cool to see small details at far distance, I remember thus my thought I had when I discovered this. So I thought then that it would be "cool" to regularly check out details at far distance, this was thus new to me but it was a sound natural thinking that looked promising, I remember that I actually tried this also soon after I had thought this. What happened was a surprise to me. What I expected to be "cool" was not at all "cool" to me, I looked at a detail at far distance and very soon afterwards I thought to myself, " I have looked enough now on that detail, I am ready !", then I thought "okay, this was just one detail, now I have just another infinite amount of details left to study", so what happened was that my mind took a decision that it was easier to see everything clearly at once than having to see details point by point. "ready" is really a weird word, in hindsight what was ready actually, did I even have a goal at all.

Actually I have tried to analyse why my mind took this decision to stare instead, or took the decision to fall back into staring again. I think every human have a little hunter in their mind. As you know all predators are lazy. If for instance a lion realizes that an antelop is too strong, then the lion will not make an effort to catch it, instead the lion will rest instead. So my conclusion is that the mind makes a decision that is based on what is most energy efficient in the long run, taking the whole in consideration.
So my mind took a decision to stare, due to that my sub conscious knew that it would require less effort, compared to having to go through an infinite amount of points in your vision field (point by point).
But, there is a but. Because in our society we have to use our central vision field a lot more than we had to in ancient times, and this means that we do not get enough relaxation anymore. The mind then makes another decision that it will require too much effort and strain to see details again, because the eyes (and visual habits) have become too tensed. So the vision gets trapped into strain, hangs into a blurry state. It is so obvious. Smile I think everyone here understands it already by now, and that it is a software problem.

The only solution to break free from all strain is to relax, and it is a quite extrem relaxation I guess that is needed in order to loosen up the strain. As with all kinds of physical training you have to be consitent about it over a longer period, two years maybe or even longer.

What I have unlearnt is to think in negative terms and instead think more positive instead. One mistake I have done along the way is to not be aware of my thoughts and not be aware of how my thoughts manifest into strain. This power of thought is something that I have realized when I palm, but it is quite new insights I got there. I think it will make the difference. There is a new sensation that I also have gotten recently and it is a sensation of that my eyes are really resting when I look at a detail (or scanning a detail). It is like looking into a tunnel of pure relaxation and non disturbance, the tunnel of serenity Smile, this is so "cool" that it is witten in the stars, I cannot stop looking into this "tunnel", I say to myself that it is okay to just look at this detail and ignore those that does not interest you. Remark that I have good peripheral vision despite that I look into this tunnel of serenity. This was also a surprise to me. I wish everyone would be able to experience this tunnel of serenity, where time seems to be non existing to you or at least not so important.
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#13
hammer,

Quote:But, there is a but. Because in our society we have to use our central vision field a lot more than we had to in ancient times, and this means that we do not get enough relaxation anymore.

In what way? From my perspective, anyone living in rough conditions, now or in the past, has the same need for central vision in everything they do. They have to spot things on the horizon, snakes in the grass, tracks, things hiding in the bushes, food, poison oak, and be able to do all detail oriented work like sharpening tools and weaving. There isn't a single task that requires a person to discard the way of looking at things correctly by freezing the eyes and diffusing attention. Peripheral vision still works just as well, if not better, when the eyes are used right. You see things better and quicker, so you see more things in more detail, and you remember them better.

I'm not just nitpicking for the sake of disagreement. It has to do with how we think about what's an appropriate way to use our vision in different situations. People with good vision haven't developed any extraordinary skills; they just use their eyes pretty much the same way all the time. The right way works fairly well all the time without change.

I'm confused about the second part of your sentence, because at the end of your post you acknowledged that when using your central vision in a certain way you feel relaxed.
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"Half of our funny, heathen lives, we are bent double to gather things we have tossed away." - George Meredith
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#14
David Wrote:What wrong ideas did you have about your vision before starting this process?
What made you learn that your previous ideas about your vision were wrong?
What mistakes have you made along the way?

I'm just trying to gather information. As many points as you can think of. So not what you've learned, exactly, but what you've un-learned or started to un-learn.
Hey! Didn't stop by for a long time but I guess it's time to settle the vision problems once and for all Smile

One of the things I've figured out was that excercises didn't cut it for me. I would do the exercises a lot for a period of time and would sometimes have minor improvements during the excercises but not after. Palming mostly worked for me especially in the evening when I was tired(thus more relaxed). Sometimes I could see pretty clear after a few minutes of palming also noticing the quick fadeaway into the "normal" state - blurry bits in the distance. I came to a conclusion that doing some excercises once per day and hoping for a miracle won't cut it. Vision habbits need to be dealt with throughout the day when one uses vision instead just for practice. While practice for me has value because you get a feeling for what may be wrong.

Another thing that comes to mind is focus. With focus I mean how do you and on what to focus. I've noticed that focusing on the image you have in your head on what you see usually results in staring like effects. I get all white foggy mist in front of my eyes when I stare. So there must be another way I thought. So one day I imagined the central part of what I look at falls somewhere inside my head onto something. I would have some minor improvements by imagining it that way however I've yet to keep it up for all the time.

Blinking was also one of the things I did wrong and fixed. I used to blink "rarely" having eyes open for long periods at a time. I managed to improve that by (don't remember how). It didn't cause a noticable improvement as far as I recall.

On the practical side, I am a programmer and spend a big part of the day in front of the computer screen. I used to have the desktop arranged so everything was on the bottom side of the screen which made it more difficult to see from the normal sitting position. I've since rearranged all the stuff so I spend most of the time looking at the top of the computer screen which makes it easier on the eyes and I don't need to look down bending my neck to see it most of the time. Also there's a really important habit that I mostly managed to throw away. After several hours behind the screen you get a tendency to lean on one hand and move closer or just bend your back so you're closer to the screen . If you observe carefully you probably see that many people behind the computer screen do this like in libraries, public services, colleagues at the faculty. I think it's a bad habit, possibly a vision habit as instead of relaxing you tense behind the screen and compensate by moving closer to it.

Last but not least. I've failed at changing other habits at first. But(!) I eventually did change them which made me come back to my vision habits as well. If at first you don't succeed try try again! Smile
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#15
sean Wrote:4 In my experience neither comfortable physically or mentally. I'd nearly go as far as to say that if all this is comfortable then you're not doing it right, although there may be some lucky people this applies to.

People like to get into a routine of doing something for their vision that doesn't really help. When it's comfortable and not confusing, the practice may be creating new avenues of deception to mask the real issues and really just reinforce their existing programming while changing some aspect of it to make it appear as if the overall pattern has changed. That's what I would do, if I were programming that were seeking to preserve myself.
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"Half of our funny, heathen lives, we are bent double to gather things we have tossed away." - George Meredith
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