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Who is your guru?
Many overlapping questions here.
1. When I see more blurry vision, yes it is always accompanied by my having disconnected my attention from the environment around me and gone into my head. When I re-connect, if I can relax, I see more clearly and feel an expansiveness, my breath deepening, my body awareness further down (say from my head to my heart or belly).
2. and 3. When I want to clear my vision or practice consciously at the chart, I know I need to relax and pay attention, in a curious student way, not in a driven, have to do it perfectly right and now! way.
4. My vision gets worse when I'm not connected to the environment visually, not present or sware.
5. Yes, seeing clearly is accompanied by a feeling of no effort, but it is not like being asleep -- "no effort" like an effortless joyous run in the sunshine with the birds singing.
6. and 7. already answered above
8. Yes, better vision is accompanied by clearer thinking, memory, and imagination for me. It's all connected.
9. Honestly, the anxiety about being able to clear my vision is so minimal now I don't even notice it. I think a lot of this comes from being aware of how very unclear it used to be, so even when it's blurry now, it's still SO much better! Spending time on negative thoughts in general is not a good idea -- what's the point?
10. I do not feel a reluctance to return to clarity, since I know if I don't want to see something, I can walk away or close my eyes or ask that the person stop what they're doing. I do experience a reluctance to continue practicing vision work, which just tells me it's time for a break or I need to treat it more like play.

Sean, I hope this was helpful. Ask if you need more, and I'd also be interested in others' answers to these questions. Sean, with all due respect, it feels like you're over-thinking this. How do YOU feel when things get clearer? What happens to your body and eyes and mind when things are clearer, or more blurry? What makes YOU want to blur things out? Of course you don't need to tell us, but pursuing those answers might be the most valuable exercise of all.
Hi Nancy

Thanks for the reply. I was asking Clark as she seems to have very good eyesight, to the point that (according to her post) it is automatic some of the time. So I thought she might have a valuable insight or two to share from both sides of the fence, as it were. But I appreciate your feedback too of course.

I perhaps should have made it clear that each and every one of those questions was the direct result of my own experience and I had just finished a reasonably successful chart session right before posting it, so all of these points were fresh in my mind. I don't lie awake at night worrying over these things. In fact I hardly ever give them any conscious thought whatsoever, probably like most people here, and that is I think part of the problem. I have been following David's advice and keeping a vision journal to try to refine my thoughts on this and of course the more you refine your thoughts the more specific everything gets. I agree that I probably think too much about this but we are probably all in the same boat and I am attempting to use this thinking as a tool seeing as it's one of the very few at our disposal.

When learning to dance I sometimes asked good dancers how they'd do a certain thing as I wanted to learn how to do it too. The most common response was "Just listen to the music and it will come naturally". Perhaps they didn't want to give their secrets away or just didn't know how to explain it. And if you do listen to the music it will take you some of the way, but not very far. (I appreciate this is probably an imperfect analogy for vision.)

There's a thing about all this. David has mentioned on a few occasions how he could spend time in front of the chart with no success only for it to clear when he was just about to get up. Something specific was happening there. Or when you try something yourself and it works, only for the next day for it not to. Again I think it's reasonable to suspect that there is something specific involved and that it's not necessarily just down to chance. And that it may in fact be possible to isolate these specifics and describe them.

Looking at my post again after the weekend it's no longer readily apparent to me wny some of the points are listed. Others are very clear. I think one of the overriding things running through it is the idea of cause and effect - that some of the factors which I associate with clearing my vision are the effect of something else that is the main cause. Say no. 6, where I mention seeing in a matter of fact way and not doing something different, just ceasing to do something which was stopping me from seeing. You know when you sit in front of the chart you are probably assuming an unnatural or wrong approach somewhere along the line that's enough to mess it up. On the other hand your attention is there and your head is clear and you are not allowing yourself to drift back into your thoughts so that is encouraging clarity of vision. Result? A degree of clear vision, but no more. Another thing I notice is that my mood will always improve when I see better. That makes obvious sense to anyone reading this forum. But the better mood is also, I think, a driver of the change, possibly more important than whatever I did or stopped doing that may have brought about the improved clarity. So I have also experimented with that idea in my practice, a bit like the AA's advice to 'fake it until you make it'. Maybe that's right and maybe not - time and practice will tell. But others may have already considered this and can perhaps save me time and effort.

Just to mention no. 10 briefly. As my earlier posts have made clear I have experienced this reluctance to return to clarity many times. So I am interested in your response. Again, I'm not being smart but do you think that's all that's to it?

No harm sticking my neck out and saying this stuff. David and others (inlcuding yourself) have already given me valuable steers, which I wouldn't have got if i'd just sat there and kept my mouth shut. Wink
Nancy (and others)

I'm coming back into the room again just after leaving, like Columbo.

"Ask if you need more"

Yes, any more specific responses to any of the questions?(!)
The reference to Columbo made me laugh. I knew someone who went to high school with him (Peter Falk the actor) in Ossining NY, and reported that Peter was sometimes left in charge of the class when the teacher left the room. He'd take out his glass eye and place it on the desk, freaking out all the kids, saying "I've got my eye on you!" and everyone would behave perfectly.

Right now I don't have much more to add, except that more than half of these 10 questions seem to me to be about returning to being aware or fully present in order to see better. Believe me, I am not there yet but know it's necessary if I am to improve further. Just simple awareness of my posture, sitting evenly on both hips, with my spine straight and not leaning into the computer, is essential and I am always reminding myself about this. Since I came from such a very strong prescription, I probably have more bad habits (or wrong thoughts) to correct than other people do, but I may also be paying more attention to what I'm doing to even be this far along.

I see the reluctance to return to clarity (#10) as a very personal item, requiring individual investigation, with no one answer fitting every case. Is it one more "chore" when you're already feeling over-loaded? Is it "work"? Does the pain in you face or eyes make you want to stop? Do you feel like you don't have enough time, or that it's not happening fast enough? Is the clarity scary, with no safe blur to hide in? Is there a victim feeling, like "why do I have to do this when everyone else can see without having to spend time at the eye chart?" ? Ask yourself these questions (or any others that pop up) and explore the answers. You know yourself better than anyone else does.

Yes, I'd also like to hear from Clark or someone else whose vision is close to 20/20 most of the time. Thanks for your questions, Sean, -- I'm sure many other besides me have them too.
Hi Nancy;

here's answers;

Since my neck injury in 2009 my vision was goofed up in many ways but it ok now.
I do get very tight eyes, vision goes to 20/30 occasionally if at computer all day writing my books.., or if I lift too much with the right arm; pulls on neck injury, tension in eyes, neck especially when I have to wait, immobile, neck tension while the computer, website gets stuck. Any long holding the body, neck tight, immobile, crooked, frustrated, bored, pushing head forward. Have experienced bit astigmatism when neck injury acts up especially if the air in Worcester is bad, lot pressure in sinus. I turn on the humidifier, air filter and its ok in a few hours.
Because I know its normal for vision to fluctuate as Bates describes; I have always done that switching, shifting on close, far objects with both eyes, one eye time, more with less clear eye, then both. I also 'break the teachers rules' and do it a special extra way that works mainly accommodation, UN-accomodation, and shifting, central fixation in each individual eye. (Will teach you this if ya want by snapshot picture with my camera.)
This switching, shifting (and central fixation thrown in) always brings the vision back to better than 20/20 in 1-2 days and has kept me out of glasses since high school. Many people tell me this is not the Bates method, but it is; he taught people to shift on a fine print card or other close object, then on a sign... in the distance, back and forth.
Otherwise I just do shifting as a habit as need it if notice I am staring.

Answer to first questions; yes, usually when eyes get tired, stiff and 20/20 line is identifiable but 20/30 line is clearest; my mood is bored stressed out from computer work or the neck, shoulders over-pulled.

2 - Usually don't do anything but quit for the day, relax to get back to normal.

3 - Looking at chart letters or other objects to practice shifting; when practice is FUN and I really get into it thinking about what I am looking at, looking at the small parts or just moving around the chart with either deep relaxation or Aldous Huxley's dynamic, active relaxation its clear, but; I have also found that many times when I let my mind drift to imaginary thoughts, scenes (positive) not associated with the chart, the letters are suddenly crystal clear. I notice the eyes move with the internal thoughts on their own. Always the daydreaming results in perfect feeling of mood, happy, relaxed. Teachers tell me never to daydream, to close the eyes but I like to daydream looking at the clouds, trees.. and I know this is normal healthy. If the eyes space out, stare, stop moving that may cause strain. So just shift or resat, close the eyes. I like to mix daydreaming with open eyes, pleasant scenes and with closed eyes palming.

I never really had a problem with negative thoughts until after the neck injury; had the vertigo, trouble walking, many vision, hearing and other problems and this caused stress, so the fear, bad thoughts and the injury together caused the vision problem. After the neck started to heal and balance improved, my thoughts went to positive again and both conditions improved the vision along with practice of Bates method. Eye doctor tried to prescribe glasses; distant 20/60 and 20/40 in other eye, astigmatism in both. No prescrip for close. Had very bad sinus problem from neck injury interfering with all organ functions in the head. I let the eye doctor think i would take the prescrip. so I could get a good exam from him; was fearing detached retina, stroke from the bad chiropractor's neck injury. Once I knew the eyes were healthy... the extreme fear went away. Got back into Bates Method with more confidence. The vision improved fast and in 3 weeks when the glasses were ready the vision was so good, could not see through the prescription. Stepped on the glasses and left them in the optometrists lobby. Told him to keep this on my record as proof because I practice Bates Method. Constantly trying to sell me lasik. The eyesight improved before the new chiropractor and therapist helped repair, realign the neck, back. I did alot myself with the Dorn Method (only some is safe in my condition) and Meir Schneider's movements postures. Some vertigo returned when the docs treated me, but was less and the injury healed over the next 11/2 years. I know chiropractic is dangerous even when done by a honest, experienced one. More vision improvement after the good doctors treatments.
One morning when had dry eyes from the dry heat, my close vision was blurry; worrying like crazy; then blinking... humidifier and it cleared. Was only dust, film on eyes from the air.

5-When the vision goes better than 20/20, yes, I definitely feel a very clear, centered state of mind. Thinking is sharp, positive, optimistic, go, go go!

6-My vision usually becomes most clear if practicing for fun and then, afterward when not practicing, later that day or next days; the brain, eyes just 'get it' I realize they are at optimum function 'on their own'.

7- When do deep relax in Alpha, Theta, breathing or daydreaming positive I feel like my best self, the best have felt through life; the true real me, the happy place all people have within them and also a feeling of going forward to even better things and happy with the place am at now in my home, body, mind, spirit.

8-yes, the memory, imagination is easy when vision very clear and when eyes not tight; when they move free, easy, zip along on a object, page, eyechart in a split second if needed and pick up everything visually, mentally as I need. If I get a headache, tense eyes; even with palming the memory is off.

10- No reluctance to return to clarity cause just take it for granted, know the normal eye function is to return to clear. When had neck injury, went hospital 3 times with symptoms and at times before things started to heal with honest docs treatment... I did worry if the body, vision would become worse. Never wanted to stay in the bad state.

A thought;
Notice sometimes when you try hard to figure out a formula, or problem or remember something and it just wont come yo you.
Then when you stop thinking about it, do something else; it pops into the mind.'
Maybe vision is like this.
A famous scientist used to take 'catnaps' to let his brain; conscious awake, then subconscious asleep work on the problem; When he awoke; he had the solution.
Clark, thanks -- this is very helpful. I'm so glad that even though your vision is quite good now, you are staying connected to this community so we can benefit from what you've learned. The one thing that struck me personally from what you wrote that I have to do a better job at is shifting my focus near and far and back. When I do the chart I rarely look at anything else. When I'm at the computer I frequently shift to a nearby chart, or out the window. But too often, I hate to admit, if things in the distance are blurry I just accept that and shift my gaze closer where there is more clarity, rather than shifting around the blurry distant object seeking greater clarity there. I will start doing this differently now. Thank you.

My dream teacher Robert Moss has written often about the daydreaming state being the source of creativity for writers and artists and scientists, as well as their night dreams. His "Secret History of Dreaming" book on this is fascinating, chronicling several historic figures like Mark Twain and Wolfgang Pauli and Harriet Tubman whose dream practices played a key role in their accomplishments.
Hey Nancy,

Yeah, that computer can get to you. I meet people all the time that use the computer and say their vision is lower. I can tell just by looking at their eyes; shape is either bit long (football like) or short and irregular and burnt out look.

Here's that switching exercise; I think I have posted this somewhere before.
Do it relaxed, as close to normal eye function, no effort as possible;
Start with the usual Vision Teachers routine;
Place a finger or other small object in front of the eyes, at eye level, between left and right eyes in the center of the eyes visual field. The finger is about 7 in. to 1 foot away. Line up a distant object directly beyond and in line with the finger;
a House, tree...

Practice switching back and forth on the finger and distant object;
+Shift part to part on the finger,
+Then switch to the distant object; shift on it.
+Then switch back to the finger; shift on it.
+Then back to distant, then close, then distant...
Shifting on each object can be 1-5 seconds or longer as is comfortable, easy.
Remember to do some detailed central fixation; shifting point to point on tiny parts.
If you want; Do a little memory imagination; shifting on the object with the eyes open, closed, open and imagining it clear.

Do this routine with;
+Both left and right eyes together.
+Then with one eye at a time; right eye, then left eye, then right, then left...
(patch the eye not in use)
+Then practice a bit more with the eye that has less clear vision; 10-20 seconds (If one eye has less clear vision.)
+Then a couple seconds with the other clearer vision eye again to keep a balance.
+Then; both eyes together again.
(When practicing with one eye at a time; start with the clearer vision eye so you get the best memory pictures stored in the brain. In this example the mans left eye has less clear vision so he starts with the right eye.)
This routine works, improves; convergence, accommodation for close vision, divergence, (UN-convergence), UN-accommodation for distant vision, shifting, central fixation...

This is what some teachers tell me not to do, but some students, self-trained teachers teach it. 1-2 articles in Better Eyesight magazine may have a short reference to this.
I stumbled on it myself in high school after reading Huxley's book. This is a main way my vision stayed clear for years and to present;
Do the #1 routine above with the additional directions below and with only one eye at a time (never with both eyes together or strain, brain hemisphere, eye muscle imbalance, strabismus, astigmatism, blur can occur)

Place the finger or other small object directly in front of one eye, 7 inches -1 foot away,
with the finger directly in front of the eye, in line with the eyes pupil, the one eyes central field. (other eye is patched) Move the finger outward, away from the eye enough so the eye can see a distant object directly beyond, in line with the finger and eye. The finger and distant object are in front of the eye, not in toward the nose or out to the side of the eye. The eye looks straight ahead, directly at the object of visual attention.
(When looking at the distant object, after shifting around on parts of the object seen around the finger, the edge of the finger tip... and then back to the finger, then to the distant object... a few times; move the finger down a bit so the eyes pupil, fovea centralis, 'central field' can see, move on all parts of the object without being blocked by the finger. Then when looking back to the finger; move it up again so its in the eyes central field.)

Do the switching, shifting, central fixation back and forth on the close finger and distant object. Notice that less converge, divergence occurs with this routine. Mainly accommodation, UN-accommodation, shifting, central fixation occur and improve for each individual eye. The outer eye muscles and inner lens muscles get the most work out.

(When practicing with one eye at a time; start with the clearer vision eye so you get the best memory pictures stored in the brain.) In this example the mans left eye is less clear so he starts with the right eye.

RIGHT, CLEARER VISION EYE; (Left eye patched.)
+Shift... on the finger.
+Then switch to the distant object, shift on it.
+Switch back to the finger, shift on t.
+Then to the distant object, shift on it,
+Then the finger...
Remember to do some detailed central fixation; shift point to point (tiny part to tiny part)

Next, do the LEFT, LESS CLEAR VISION EYE; (Right eye patched.)
+Shift... on the finger.
+Then switch to the distant object, shift on it.
+Switch back to the finger, shift on t.
+Then to the distant object, shift on it,
+Then the finger...

+Do the RIGHT EYE again.
+Then the LEFT EYE and a bit longer; 10-20 seconds with the left less clear vision eye.
+Then a few seconds with the RIGHT clearer vision eye for balanced vision.

+End by doing the normal #1 routine on top of this page with close and distant objects between the left and right eyes, at eye level;
Both eyes together, one eye at a time... This keeps the vision, left and right brain hemispheres, left and right eyes, eye muscles balanced, working together, integrated.

Relax, allow movement of head, eyes. Neck is relaxed. Its best not to hold up the finger, arm; use a stick or box to hold up the close object to eye level to enable complete shoulder, head, neck relaxation, freedom of movement.

I use Davids shifting on details... directions in his articles, blog when practicing this.
Also practice on my astigmatism chart and do the tracing, movement swings with eyes, central field (nose-feather optional) moving on the lines on the chart.

Do this routine and you wont have to practice at all for months and may need it only 1-2 days for 1-3 times a year! Relax, Shift, Central-Fixation on details as a healthy habit whenever a object is new, unfamiliar, unclear and this will prevent blur.
Clark, thank you again. I like your switching exercise very much. I am seeing more temporary clarity already using it.
Yeah, first time I used it in high school that happened; in a few minutes vision became clear and I could see the leaves on a distant tree without glasses. Works up close too for presbyopia; 3 objects placed 3-6 inches apart.
Let me know your ideas on why this works? I wrote mine but may be some other reason I am missing.
Clark, I'm sure there's more to it and will let you know what else I think of. What's coming up now is that the different distances give my eyes a chance to be "successful" (see clearly), and that optimistic "I can do this!" attitude carries over to the part I can't usually see as well. I held a pen with small printing on it up in front of my eyes last night when I looked at the chart, the detailed busy chart about 5 feet away and the pen maybe 8 inches, and kept switching back and forth between them. I realized I have been taking my good close vision for granted and only "practicing" distant vision, unconsciously sending myself the message that close vision is easy and distant vision is difficult. This is programming I don't want to keep. Thanks again.
sean Wrote:I'd be grateful if anyone else with good vision in general could give specific feedback

Would like to chime in a bit on the original 10 questions, as I am frequently dancing on both sides of that fence, you might say...
First, a short snippet of where I was, and where I am now. When I began all this back around 2005, I was seeing between about 20/150 and 20/175. I started wearing glasses/contacts once in college, and wore them for the next 25 years or so. My acuity now is between 20/15 and 20/40. I am mostly seeing with normal vision throughout the day, but there are many variables, so it can fluctuate, sometimes for the better, and sometimes for the worse. It can probably change a couple times a minute, or several times, depending on the task and conditions. Sometimes I can maintain it more stably for several minutes. My goal at this point is to fine-tune things, to improve the quality and consistency. (for example, I'd like letters on the 20/20 line to be more consistently dark and sharp, not just be readable). And to be able to do all that under less favorable conditions.

1. I wouldn't say so much that it is a matter THAT I'm thinking, than it is HOW, and WHAT I'm thinking. Am I nervous or anxious about something, such that I am unable to stop dwelling on it; am I concentrating too hard to remember something, or is something frustrating me, or stressing me out. I would say yes, those things tend to make the process of retaining good vision more difficult. On the other hand, I have gotten lost in my thoughts many times when imagining or recollecting happy, humorous, fun, positive things, and clear vision remained unscathed.

2. Well, I feel I have to do Something, even if it is something as simple as taking a couple deep breaths, tell myself to stop staring, make more frequent shifts, and/or blinks. Mostly, however, I need to draw my attention inwards to sense and let go of any feeling of tightness, tension that creeps in around my eyes and inside the head. How I do that is difficult to explain, it's more of an innate ability that has been cultivated over time and much practice of sensing inner tension.

3. When I shift I think it is best, for me anyways, to think if keeping it as light, and casual as possible, and not get too specific about looking at anything, not even points of fixation. Think too much about it, and it gets counterproductive. Thoughts can either be on what I'm looking at, (as long as I keep it as just stated), or on completely other things, while I keep my gaze actively moving around. Just noticing and directing attention is the ultimate goal, I tend to think. When vision is best, things just pop out at you, you don't have to do anything to get them, other than direct the attention.

4. answered, in 1.

5. Absolutely.

6. As stated above, it's mostly a matter of sensing and letting go of/stopping this grip of tightness that creeps into the body/head/visual system.

7. Yes, physically, like a tightened grip has loosened, let go. Sometimes it much more subtle that at other times. Mentally, it feels like a relief, like something has been stopped and dissipated. With it comes a sense of inner calm, an overall positive feeling. You feel more in touch with yourself, more sensitive and aware.

8. I was always horrible at remembering certain things, like names, and don't think that that really changes, but overall, all the faculties seem to operate with a greater sense of calm, ease, and less 'fog.'

9. Not really, at this point. A little frustration, sometimes.

10. If there's any reluctance, it isn't something I do consciously.

Hope that helps.




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