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Ted's vision blog
#16
Hi Ted,
Great to hear you are improving by day,
I remember when I often used to think that if I cured my vision then it will never become unconscious, because of how conscious I had to be to get there, fortunately for us all, the more better the eyesight becomes the more easier and effortless it is to do shifting etc.. to a point where you reach perfect relaxation and simply carrying the knowledge that you already have your sight is enough and at that point analysing yourself can sometimes make it worse, the default state of the human is to see and hear perfectly and anything added causes problems, so it is similar to hearing a sound and asking yourself how or why you heard it and how to keep it, bates said the eyes should be regarded like a fingernail.
have a great day,
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#17
ted Wrote:Last thing, I'm learning that this whole effort in vision improvement is not going to ever be totally unconscious, I think. There is an aspect of conscious control that every human has, even if they don't think about their eyes. There is still an amount of conscious control going on there when they choose that they want to look at something. I got it in my head that once I had perfect vision it would all be better and I wouldn't have to think about it. Almost as if I wouldn't have a responsibility anymore. But that's not quite right. I think it's a weird, subtle mixture of effortlessness, conscious control, conscious relaxation, instinct, interest etc.

Hi Ted,
All well said.
The way I approach it, is if you are seeing clearly, with normal vision, you don't need to do anything else, you are already doing everything correctly. Leave it alone, just take it easy, and tend to your other matters, whatever that might be. You will always be director of where your attention goes, aside from reflex shifts from something unexpected. But you really do forget about 'how' you are using your eyes, and conscious of their shifts, unless you are thinking about it. What need is there, if the eyes are working properly? You don't think of your feet, leg muscles when walking. If a pro golfer with a finely honed swing starts to think about their swing, bad things usually follow. If you realize that vision is not clear, then you need to ask yourself some questions - am I staring, am I gazing off into nothingness, am I not blinking easy and regularly, trying to see too much all in one glance, concentrating too hard, or just not interested in seeing something. Eventually it becomes intuitive, and you don't have to even ask yourself anything, you just start doing what you need to do (as in shifting, attending to details, blinking, stop trying to hold onto one part of something, concentrating more than is necessary, etc.)
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#18
I appreciate the responses, it keeps the motivation up. Thanks y'all.
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#19
ted Wrote:-A good thought I had that seemed to help was.....imagine that you are going to draw as detailed as possible, the blurry point that you are looking at, including the double images, and things that just aren't "together." So, in order to draw this tiny point, you need to come to a conclusion as to what you are actually looking at, with as much detail as you can. This is a way for me to focus my attention on what I can see and narrow that attention to smaller and smaller specks. How does this sound to y'all?

Sounds good. What ever keeps you looking for more. It might stop working after a while because you're not being totally honest with yourself about your need to draw it, and you can only fool yourself for so long, but in the meantime you might get some good insights from it. I might steal that idea actually and put it alongside some other ideas in an article.

ted Wrote:The last one, I'm still thinking about. I'm not sure whether it is actually a good idea to look at tiny pieces of a blurry spot or if I should move on because I remember that Bates says the normal sighted eye never stops on a point that it cannot see. It merely moves on to another point. Then again, it does make sense because, while doing this, I'm not actually staring at one tiny point in that area, but I'm moving my attention from tiny point to tiny point. That's one spot where Bates' language can be confusing.

Go with what makes sense. If you can keep noticing different details in a small area, you can keep at it, and that's when you can get some sudden and noticeable improvement as things just seem to jump out at you and become clearer on their own. But if it's too blurry, you may need to look farther away for the next detail and keep doing that before you're able to perceive closer together details well enough.

There's always a solution, always a right thing to do, no matter what your level of vision. Bates tends to make it seem like if you can't do something perfectly then you better be able to do one of his other methods perfectly or you're SOL. I think that just makes people frustrated and lost, and there's no need for that.
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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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#20
David Wrote:Bates tends to make it seem like if you can't do something perfectly then you better be able to do one of his other methods perfectly or you're SOL.

I would really disagree with this. How discouraging. In that scenario, almost nobody would have a chance. Fortunately, he didn't even expect (or ever observe) that people with normal sight could maintain it perfectly, continuously, much less those trying to restore their vision. Sure, he got down to business and didn't have much time to waste - he ran a business and had appointments to keep, especially at the Harlem clinic, where they were limited to 10 minute appointments. You were lucky to leave being able to do something imperfectly, and work on it at home. Patients had to work on things for weeks, months, years, to get things as 'perfect' as possible, or so he describes.


Chapt. XII:
"Even the imperfect memory of black is useful, for by its aid a still blacker black can be both remembered and seen; and this brings still further improvement. "

" Even the smallest degree of relaxation is useful, however, for by means of it a still greater degree may be obtained."

This does not suggest to me, someone who is expecting that these methods HAVE to be done perfectly, or you're SOL.
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#21
Okay, it's been awhile, but I'm still at it.

Been trying different methods like palming, the thumb movement or body movement, reading lots of fine print which helps, and a few other things.

I had another realization about what attention is. You shouldn't have to think about where to look or when to look at something or someone, that's distracting. There shouldn't be hesitation. You look at something or you don't, but I think it's detrimental to get "stuck" in between with divided attention.

The attention should be the focus, i think. You should not try to observe life through your peripheral vision, I think you need to keep most of your attention on where you're actually looking. If something moves your attention and you don't look at it directly with your eyes, that's gotta be a strain, cause you didn't follow your reactions. On the other hand, if you move your eyes without your attention moving with it, that is a strain as well. So there is a real subtle difference that means a world of difference. And it's not as if you consciously "try" to forget your eyes, it's that your mind is focused and attending to what your looking at, your focused on your attention to central vision, so thinking about the eyes and the periphery just disappears. It's like forgetting about something by replacing it with something else to occupy your mind. In computer technology, memory isn't really erased until it is replaced by new data.

One question I'm pondering a little is what are normal sighted people doing with their eyes and attention when they are "zoning out." Or when they are thinking about something when talking to someone and they look away into nothing. Are they considering the details of where their eyes are looking? I don't think so. So then does this mean they are too involved in their mind, unaware of their physical presence? Everyone has to think at least somewhat. I'm thinking the difference is in the person's ability to let go of that thought once they are done, or how deep they go into a thought, or how much they repeat or cling to these thoughts. I think that repetitive clinging is kinda like being "stuck" like i described earlier.

This reminds me of another thought I had on the concept of staring. When one is staring, they are not focusing awareness on a tiny point at all, but they are trying to see many things at once. I used to be scared of "staring" so I started moving my eyes around. I'm pretty sure that's wrong thought. Staring means your attention is spread too thin, or divided up. Sort of like multitasking with your attention.

But anyways, been having some success and relaxation through keeping most attention on my center of sight, reading fine print even for just a few seconds, several times a day, palming, body movement/massage and have been able to get out of my head and notice repetitive, unnecessary thoughts by observing my hands massaging each other. Also, reminding myself to back up while reading school books or at the computer to just the point where its legible but that I must narrow my attention in order to see it. The last one is actually kind of a big thing I have drifted from that I want to get back to.
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#22
Interesting thoughts about thinking. I just wanted to throw in a thought of my own for what it's worth. This is just pure speculation and a complete guess on my part, but could it be that people with normal vision "switch" between thoughts often? For example, you asked what someone with normal vision does when he/she is thinking. My guess is that they are probably thinking only for a short while, before switching back to noticing everything around them (details, etc.) and then quickly shifting right back to their thoughts. So it seems that they in deep thought the whole time when in fact there is a lot of shifting going on. It reminds me a lot of visual shifting -- going from one point to another and back. Perhaps holding onto a thought means blocking out everything else.

Let me know what you think.
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#23
Yeah that's pretty much how I think it goes too. They don't unnecessarily hold onto thoughts. Maybe their thoughts are a bit more free flowing, in general. David talks about in his post "how to look at stuff" how maybe people with better vision ground themselves more often when doing mentally intensive tasks. So this might mean letting go of the thought and coming back to physical sensations for a second, or letting go of the thought and moving on to another comfortable thought. Yeah, and maybe when they do go "zoned out" it doesn't last long and they recuperate easily from it. Hmmm.....
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#24
Some thoughts on blinking:

I don't think I have been giving blinking enough credit. Maybe because I was scared of putting effort into my blinks. Now, I think if you are to err on one side, I would say err on the side of blinking slightly too much than slightly too little. So if you are unsure if you should blink or not, or if you feel a slight pull to blink, go ahead and do it.

I've noticed how, when I am placing too much awareness in my periphery, like trying to see someone out of the corner of my eye for instance, that I do not blink. Blinking helps me to "let go" of whatever I was "stuck" on and to penetrate the stare with something. It's a bit of a reset, and it also makes it easier for me to shift almost unconsciously at this point. Also, when listening to someone, I sometimes stop blinking because I'm nervously trying too hard to concentrate and not get nervous. So, I'm allowing myself to blink a little more. Not too much to where people can notice that I'm blinking too much, but just more than I have been. Also, noticing how often others blink is helpful. I think myopes tend to blink less.

Also, I like clarknight's advise to practice, and then not practice. It helps one relax to stop practicing for a moment, to realize what you are consciously doing, and then start practicing again. You can notice a difference between the two states.

I think people with normal vision blink naturally when things start to get slightly uncomfortable. I've noticed how someone might blink right when you turn you attention to them but they are too busy or have no interest in turning their eyes towards you. Like if you see them from far away and they are at a computer. They noticed you in their periphery and the blink helps them let go of it.

When Bates recommended that you blink often, or other sources suggest it, I can't see any other way that can happen rather than consciously at first. Maybe overtime one can begin to feel when one needs to blink, instead of blinking slightly too much. And then maybe over an even longer period of time, it becomes more unconscious.

I dunno, does anyone have any other ideas?
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#25
ted Wrote:When Bates recommended that you blink often, or other sources suggest it, I can't see any other way that can happen rather than consciously at first. Maybe overtime one can begin to feel when one needs to blink, instead of blinking slightly too much. And then maybe over an even longer period of time, it becomes more unconscious.

I dunno, does anyone have any other ideas?

Hi Ted,

I think you are correct, if it's just not happening on an unconscious level, as frequently as it should be, then consciously directing more blinks may be helpful, if not always for your vision, but also for the health and moisture level of the cornea. And I agree, better to err on the side of a little too many, than not enough. Just like shifting... and similar to shifting, think of making those blinks as light and effortless as possible. Myopes are adept at ignoring the subtle signals of uncomfortableness that signal the reflex to blink, or even to shift. So the signal may be there, but suppressed for one reason or another. As vision improves, so does the sensitivity of the nerves, and more normal levels of reflex blinking; but I think one can always slip back into ignoring the signals. Blinking should be a moment of rest, as Bates described, and it also causes a slight shift (downward and inward) and recovery/correctional shift(s), on an involuntary level. So they are very integral to avoiding the impulses to stare.
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#26
I am in a self created bubble.I fear seeing further than this, because I fear change, in myself and in the world.

To improve your vision, you must first get comfortable with your current vision, and slowly move it out.

You look at things closer than they really need to be. Step back, you can still see it. Get comfortable with this.

Don't overwhelm yourself. The fastest way to improvement is in taking off as much as you can chew.

Improving to 20/20 will not solve all of your problems, but it will help in unforeseen ways. (Pun intended)

You can do it. And it will help you to do so.

Remember to back up and push the boundaries of that bubble.

Might as well improve your vision.
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#27
I'm thinking maybe one of the causes of bad vision is due to impatience with not being able to see something. When they look at it, they can't see it and they panic and do something like move closer to it or squint their eyes. Instead, I think what they need to do is be patient, breath, blink a few times.....and just wait..........and blink........and stay "in the moment" and be okay with seeing something by discerning what it is over time rather than instantly see it. So, maybe if one reverses this process, becomes patient with points that aren't quite distinguishable, blinking, than maybe something can happen.

Another thought:
This patience means that you can't look at as many things quickly. So you kind of have to let go of some other things in your periphery if you want to be patient with the current point and give it a chance to come into focus.
It's like when you don't have enough time in the world to do everything, the unimportant stuff goes away and you must narrow your focus on things that matter most. Got to go, that's all for now.
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#28
It's starting to feel as though I am relearning to see, pretty much from scratch. Babies do it naturally somehow. I think this is because programming is much easier than reprogramming. Anyways, here's an update on myself.

No matter the size of the shift, it still counts. You should always shift. It could be a blink, it could be a shift. It could be so subtle that it almost appears to be only a thought. In doing this, I'm finding a bit of freedom here and also realizing how serious of a problem and how much of an effect this problem has had. I think it is imperative that I become comfortable with shifting wherever I want to, whenever I want to, naturally, with no hesitation again.

I find that when I do this, I begin affecting the people around me, and I often wonder whether I am making them nervous. I know what matters in the long run, and what I must do, but it's just curious how we affect each other subliminally.

One of the biggest helps is reading the computer from a more relaxed, far away, distance. Getting comfortable with this, knowing that you must narrow your attention and be more patient in order to read anything on the screen. I think eye chart work is basically that. Different size texts allow for working with different amounts of blur, some more legible that others.

If you don't know where to shift, or if your avoiding looking at something out of some sort of fear, then you still must shift, wherever you are currently looking. And these shifts don't have to be noticeable hardly, just enough to keep from that awful, strange, stress building plague that overtakes and entraps a person. Get out! And keep it up! Because it is actually LESS exhaustive than staying put.

Has anyone ever had a mind block while giving a presentation or while just talking to someone? I used to fear that a lot, and I think the reasons are somewhat related to this idea of stagnation vs fluid movement of body and mind.

I'm gonna post some words I wrote down to try and describe effortless action in a bit.
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#29
Ok, time for an update.

The other day, I dunno how it happened, but I got tired of forcing my eyes around so I decided that I was just gonna stare, I didn't WANT to shift so much. so I started getting an idea: I was just gonna sit there, staring at some text or a letter on the computer screen, and just sit and wait for my eyes to shift, or my eyes to blink. I was tired and fed up with trying all these methods. I was tired and annoyed because it seemed like just about every shift I do seems to be forceful.

I dedicated my self to the idea that I could sit and stare at one spot, and not blink, and that it would be alright. What's the worst that's gonna happen? My vision gets a little worse? Well that really aint so bad, and at least I'll see SOME change in my sight. So I stuck with it. Beyond everything that has been said about staring and blinking it seems that this should have made my eyes worse. I'm thinking either I am very much misunderstanding the concept of staring or that I actually DID make my vision worse, noticed what I was doing was wrong, and went about somehow correcting it and thus seeing an improvement. In any case, I have noticed improved vision.

I think it is really good to be able to change your vision. Say your looking at the eye chart at something fairly blurry. It can be an okay thing if you find out that something is making it worse. You know then, that there is some sensation within you, or thought, or whatever, that has blurred the letter. I think this is where it takes some patience and you have to stay in that moment, looking at that letter for a while, until you start to get an understanding about waht you are doing that is causing the letter to blur (or to clear).

This feeling of "accepting the blur" seems kind of similar to that feeling when some mucous gets on your cornea and makes things cloudy for a second. But in this case, there is no cloudiness, it's just the blur, but you still feel the need to blink hard. Instead of doing that, just do nothing, and see what happens.

All of this is very similar to the very first time that I proved to myself that my vision could improve. I had heard about Bate's saying that consciously making your vision worse by staring at a point could actually be beneficial, so I tried it. I looked at the tiniest point on a letter of a book that I could, and committed myself to not shifting whatsoever and not blinking whatsoever. I was never able to hold out for longer than, I dunno, 30 seconds maybe. But I kept trying over and over again. and out of the blue, things cleared up every now and then. And I was seeing fluctuations in the clarity of the letter. It was really assuring just to see a change in vision whatsoever.


I should mention a big difference between how I did it in the past, and how I am doing it now. In the past, I noticed that I would start holding my breath while doing this, now I let myself breath normally. I would also TRY to lock my gaze on the one tiny spot (i.e. not LET it shift). Now I just sit there and look at it, waiting for my eyes to move. If they do move, I take note of it, and try and get a sense of: did that feel easy? Did I actually want to look there or was I forcing that shift? That blink, did I plan that one out, or did it just happen out of necessity? I think this is getting very deep down to some programming and very subtle habits of mine. Like every shift means something. Why did you just shift there? Were you actually interested in looking at it, or were you just "checking" your eyesight on it?

Now I have read about the fact that people with normal sight shift 70 times a second, and that shifting should be fast, easy, and continuous. What I'm thinking is that while I am actually trying this technique, I am doing the micro-saccades thing. Meaning, I am still shifting around that tiny point, it's just that I'm not aware of those shifts, my focus being on noticing the quality of those larger shifts or blinks, whenever they happen.

====================

Oh yeah, and some quick notes and words I jotted down discussing effortless action.

No effort, but there's still movement.
Nothing that leads to increased, chronic body stress or a headache
Without hesitation, without the shift being too fast, though.
It isn't work, and it doesn't hurt.
Doesn't cause nausea, discomfort, tiredness
Not something you have to remind yourself of?
It is not laziness.
It's like dancing. You are moving but it's fun. If you think about it too much, then you get tense and it's no fun.
Not stopping natural pulls, and tendencies.
You could say the perfect vision is the color black. And that any effort is a color. So good vision is the "absence" of color, or effort. Just an analogy.
Doesn't mean that no energy is used, but that no excess energy is used. And you aren't getting in the way mentally.
There are degrees of effortlessness. It's not like an all or nothing type deal.
Like walking normally, naturally, then all of sudden thinking about how you walk, and it gets awkward and unnatural.
You can't calculate each shift of the eye.
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#30
If everything affects everything then everything you do matters, at least to some extent. If you want to really improve your vision, I think it it going to be a life change. Because if you are changing the way you see in every moment, then these moments adding up throughout the day ARE going to lead to something different, a different way of life, a better life. To lead to a better life you have to make room for the better things. To do that you have to drop the other things, you others ways. You have to accept the fact that you are going to live a different, better life. You have to make up your mind that that is what you want, and you ARE going to get it.

So each thought, each feeling, every little ability to relax further or every thing that helps, helps. They add up. Some more than others, but that doesn't mean you should ignore the little things. Since this seems to be a game of subtlety anyways.

I have had a lot of success in being able to relax using body work, massaging my feet in the grass, rubbing hands and arms, palming in frequently intervals, moving my body, rocking it back and forth to music or something, rocking my knee up and down, tapping a rythm, etc. It all helps in movement and helping me forget about "what to look at" "what am I supposed to look at now?" etc. It just goes away, because I am distracted/comforted. I think Meir Schneider is on to something with this. Alas, since he has over 5000 different bodywork exercises, and Bates has so many techniques as well, I'm sure there is always more to learn.

Just the fact that Bates has so many different techniques seems to imply that improvving your vision isn't an easy task and it can be very complex. So trying a lot of things I think is important. It's difficult because it doesn't seem like there's an easy, fast way around it. That being said, I think there are easIER and fastER ways to it. That's what this whole place is about, and I thank all the people that help along the way on this forum and other sites.

Also, you must be very, very honest with yourself if you really want to improve. That's just part of it. Like......it's no longer about what is easy to do, but what is right to do. Maybe down the road I'll find that that this "right" way actually becomes easier. But, when changing habits, it's always difficult.

I'd like to know when you all had break through moments in improving your vision. I think I am reaching one this past week, because I have felt more relaxed that I have felt in a while, and I am consciously doing it. So, what kind of jumps did you guys make, what were the things that really, really convinced you of this process and just motivated you even more to continue improving in this direction, which can sometimes seem like a shot in the dark, this vision improvement.

Which is why I think Bates says, remember your successes, forget your failures. Any success is better than nothing.
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