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Ted's vision blog
#31
Enjoying this idea that things should always be moving. A constant refreshing. Moving on from a thought. That seems healthier. I think it's also why nothing works forever, you gotta change it up. We try to make this all concrete and systematic like.....just do this exact thing for 30 minutes, twice a day and it will fix everything and you don't have to do anything other than that. But surely that's not right. It's going to be a slightly different life change, in each moment, for the better. That's why everyone says "habits."

I wish more people would update and post on this site. I'm kinda thinking it would be better to do these shorter posts, kinda more like a facebook or twitter. It gets people talking more.
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#32
I've been out of the country for the last week, but still working on vision improvement. When I was away, I hardly write my glasses, and I really didn't feel the need for them. We were instructed not to touch our face so I steared away from palming. Instead, I practiced just looking into the distance as much as possible. There's always a way to use your visual system more effectively, and the views were incredible so this made it enjoyable looking into the distance.

I've had some success with watching movies without glasses. Its enjoyable when my visual system gets engaged with searching for what the images on the screen are. And the fact that its a moving picture means that I'm getting a constant re-stimulus.

I think I am slowly improving and I thunk a lot of this process has to do with patience. When you can't see something initially, you have to be patient, and narrow your attention to what you want to see.And you kind of have to ignore those somewhat less relevant things in your field of view.

I can't help but wonder if improvement will be a very gradual process or if it can happen in jumps. As of now, its seems gradual. But I'm fine with that.
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#33
ted Wrote:I've been out of the country for the last week, but still working on vision improvement.

hi ted,

some good thoughts.... just be careful not to put the cart before the horse. Vision improvement will come as you learn to let go of mental strain and it's effects of muscle tension. Whatever can help facilitate that, will facilitate better vision. The fact that you are enjoying looking into the distance is real positive. You don't have to see EVERYTHING in order to enjoy yourself. And the more you can enjoy activities, the less you think about your eyes, the more the mind will naturally relax. The side effect of which will be ..... improved vision.

ted Wrote:I can't help but wonder if improvement will be a very gradual process or if it can happen in jumps. As of now, its seems gradual. But I'm fine with that.

You don't have to wonder. As Bates demonstrated time and again, even with the worse cases, vision improvement can be instantaneous. And many, many people practicing NVI have experienced the same. Flashes of much improved or clear vision. As 'quick as a thought,' to quote the popular statement. However, and that's a big HOWEVER, most ignore, or overlook the rest of the story of people's challenges in maintaining that state. Learning to maintain it can be the part that takes more or less time, patience, and persistence. If you can't maintain it, you're simply not prepared to maintain it. And usually that's because people are stuck trying to do something directly to make their vision better.

As far as vision goes, expect little, and you'll always get little. Expect much, and sometimes you'll be pleasantly surprised.



Regards,
Andrew
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#34
That's is really a, wise, advice from Andrew.

Is your intention to improve your vision?, are you doing something to make it better?, then you are in the wrong road.
Vision improvement comes as part of this letting go process, you don't need to do anything to change or fix it. And when you do something, you do the wrong thing (like Bates said). It's a stop doing, giving up control.

From Mooji;
Quote:"Holding onto intention creates tension"
From U.G Krishnamurti .
Quote:"The total absence of will and the total absence of effort, all and every kind, may be called an effortless state, but that effortless state is not something that you can achieve through effort."

My two cents,
Best-
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#35
Just some thinking:

Why are we lazy?

Why would we ever be lazy, if we know that getting up and doing something is going to be better for us? We enjoy temporary satisfaction so much that looking ahead to the future, or to see a light at the end of the tunnel, is just more difficult. However, I think it's possible to overcome many of those bad laziness habits to a point where you actually DO enjoy getting up and doing something about it. One example is exercise. I used to not exercise much, and I didn't enjoy dragging myself out to do it. But nowadays, I really do enjoy getting out and doing something active. There are probably countless reasons for this change in desire, but two of the main ones include: experiential knowledge now that exercise will make me feel better, AND vicarious knowledge from reading and hearing over and over again that exercise is good and that the sedentary life is bad.

So I think habits, or anything that is really difficult to change, can be turned around from something dreaded, to something enjoyed. It seems like those initial steps, however, are the real trying part. How can we dedicate ourselves to something that other's SAY is good for you, but it just seems like a lot of work for us at the time? This one is difficult to answer. I think it just kind of comes from hearing something over and over again that we know is right, until we decide that, yeah, it's going to be better for us in the long, so just go ahead and do it.

Getting rid of laziness is good, but also you don't want to get caught up working hard in the wrong direction, thinking that your doing great, and you will be rewarded, just because you are working so hard. Things don't really work that way, and (I think) this definitely doesn't work with vision improvement. It's more about working harder, smarter, and more effectively. That's what really accomplishes things and makes headway. You can work incredibly hard forever in the wrong direction, or you could not do anything at all. Both wont help you out very much.

Another way to say this is ...... not doing something half-a$$ed doesn't mean that you work really diligently, strenouosly. It could just mean that you are involved in something with your totality. Your whole person is gearing itself in that direction, rather that just being partially "into it." And also, working really hard just to say that you put a lot of effort into something and "should" or "deserve" to get results doesn't work either. You have to be effective and smart with what you do, or results won't come.
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#36
So I have had some success with just sitting up straight and looking at my test card from about 15 feet away. And not trying to do anything. Not trying to blink more frequently, not trying to shift more frequently. Just being there. If my eyes aren't moving, I just stay aware of what's going on, and if i feel any tension. If they are moving, I try and make sure I'm not putting any extra tension in them or forcing the movement. I also try and make sure I'm not forcing a blink. And the blinks still happen. I find it very comforting that I've realized I can blink without me having to consciously do it every time. My body isn't COMPLETELY rigid and over-controlled at least.

Now it takes a bit of courage to let yourself stare and not blink. Because I continually read over and over again to blink often and consciously shift. Why then am I experiencing some letters on the chart clearing up and some relaxation in my entire body? Hard to say, but I think I am finding/sensing the unconscious occurrence of a natural shift and blink. It is somewhere between forcing a shift/blink and stopping a shift/blink from naturally occurring. Now, I don't know about everyone else, but I feel like I have both problems occurring all the time. So I think one of my keys is going to be developing a moment to moment awareness and sensitivity to these strains, and learning the right thing to do to instead. The driving fear here is that if you learn to let go and in the end improve your vision, you will become more lazy, less productive, less motivated etc. Although I doubt that will happen, I'm willing to pay that price to be happier and less anxious as a person. I feel like if I stay in this situation for an hour or two I could really get somewhere.

On a different note, has any ever seen those "Magic Eye" books where you have to merge these messy pictures into one, 3D-like image by crossing your eyes, or by focusing to the distance while still looking at the book? I feel as though this is a similar situation as when I am looking into the distance at a light pole for instance. It's a double image most likely, but occasionally it'll just pop into a single image. Is this something you all have experienced when it comes to double images clearing up?


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This is some stuff I wrote a couple days ago that I never posted.

Quote:When palming - remember, imagine a happy scene, objects, people in motion, color, clear like a real life movie in the mind.
-Bates Magazine, Jan. 1920

I think this vivid, realistic, detailed type of imagination is important. I have recently been having some nice feelings and outcomes from visualizing and imagining my interactions with people, or visualizing how I want my day to go. It really does help. And there's not really any mysticism behind it. It just kinda gets you thinking more about what you want, as David says. And thinking more and progressing towards your desired goals, or path.

I'll just post the whole passage, it's a good read, with many reminders. It seems like these really simple things that Bates says to do, he just reiterates because people just have a hard time grasping how simple it is and because they want those surefire, quick ways to improvement. It's good to be reminded of the little things, and keep in mind that some little things add up to great amounts over time.

Quote:January, 1920

THE PALMING CURE

One of the most efficacious methods of relieving eyestrain, and hence of improving the sight, is palming. By this is meant the covering of the closed eyes with the palms of the hands in such a way as to exclude all the light, while avoiding pressure upon the eyeballs. In this way most patients are able to secure some degree of relaxation in a few minutes, and when they open their eyes find their vision temporarily improved.
When relaxation is complete the patient sees, when palming, a black so deep that it is impossible to remember or imagine anything blacker, and such relaxation is always followed by a complete and permanent cure of all errors of refraction (nearsight, farsight, astigmatism and even old sight), as well as by the relief or cure of many other abnormal conditions. In rare cases patients become able to see a perfect black very quickly, even in five, ten or fifteen minutes; but usually this cannot be done without considerable practice, and some never become able to do it until they have been cured by other means. When the patient becomes able after a few trials to see an approximate black, it is worth while to continue with the method; otherwise something else should be tried.
Most patients are helped by the memory of some color, preferably black, and as it is impossible to remember an unchanging object for more than a few seconds, they usually find it necessary to shift consciously from one mental picture to another, or from one part of such a picture to another. In some cases, however, the shifting may be done unconsciously, and the black object may appear to be remembered all alike continuously.
When palming - remember, imagine a happy scene, objects, people in motion, color, clear like a real life movie in the mind.
Shift on objects in the imagination and remember, imagine they are clear. Relax; dynamic and deep relaxation.
Famous scientists, artists, and others use this method when awake and before they drift off to sleep, working with the conscious and subconscious mind to visualize, work on a goal; art, science creation, invention, formula, health improvement, new home, job, business…
(Shift part to part on the flower on the right. Shift on the green dots: top and bottom, left and right, middle and in any direction.)


-While it can be a bit more tiring, I feel like palming while standing is when I can get the best results. While standing, I will also sway, shift my weight from left foot to right, or maybe play some music and dance to it. I think anything that keeps an easy movement has been fairly beneficial to me. Also, I think it helps to image the world moving while you do this, and imagine it realistically. All this motion, I think, helps break up the stagnation, or stare.

-I'm thinking this moving, or rocking gently of the body is a help if your eyes aren't moving easily and naturally. However, if your eyes are moving easily and continuously, then you don't necessarily need to keep moving your body, or swaying. Because I see people with normal vision that seem to be not moving, but there eye's must be moving at least. So maybe it is that SOMETHING must keep flowing/changing/shifting/swaying. If it's not the eyes, then let it be something else that promotes this movement. Something simple like while brushing my teeth, I'll just shift my weight, from foot to foot as if dancing. It's just a gentle thing, but it eases a little tension it seems like.
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#37
ted Wrote:Now it takes a bit of courage to let yourself stare and not blink. Because I continually read over and over again to blink often and consciously shift. Why then am I experiencing some letters on the chart clearing up and some relaxation in my entire body? Hard to say, but I think I am finding/sensing the unconscious occurrence of a natural shift and blink. It is somewhere between forcing a shift/blink and stopping a shift/blink from naturally occurring.

Many people get the wrong notion about shifting and blinking, and try to employ some spazzy and erratic variation. Not saying that you've adopted that manner. While any kind of motion is better than no motion at all, you also don't want to overcook it. Same with blinking. The brain needs a chance to process detail, especially the recovering myope. It may seem like you are staring more, but maybe you were trying to do too much, and it just seems like when you slow it all down, and just take it real easy and simple that you aren't doing enough. Bates had patients shift very slowly at first, as they would strain if they tried to shift too fast, and would not realize the swing produced by the shift. The proper swing was always 'slow, easy, and continuous,' which reflected the motion of the eye. It's much less complicated than it seems. Finding that happy medium is a very good thing, sounds like you are developing a greater awareness. Keep imagining that slow and easy opposite movement as you sway, or as you look at any object or scene.


ted Wrote:(your quote from Bates) When palming - remember, imagine a happy scene, objects, people in motion, color, clear like a real life movie in the mind.Shift on objects in the imagination and remember, imagine they are clear. Relax; dynamic and deep relaxation.famous scientists, artists, and others use this method when awake and before they drift off to sleep, working with the conscious and subconscious mind to visualize, work on a goal; art, science creation, invention, formula, health improvement, new home, job, business…(Shift part to part on the flower on the right. Shift on the green dots: top and bottom, left and right, middle and in any direction.)

I'm not sure where you got this, but I would guess you got it from Clark's sight. This isn't what Bates wrote, just Mary's comments added to his text. Good comments nonetheless -
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#38
ted Wrote:-While it can be a bit more tiring, I feel like palming while standing is when I can get the best results. While standing, I will also sway, shift my weight from left foot to right, or maybe play some music and dance to it. I think anything that keeps an easy movement has been fairly beneficial to me. Also, I think it helps to image the world moving while you do this, and imagine it realistically. All this motion, I think, helps break up the stagnation, or stare.


I cannot seem to just sit still and palm; it seems to me to go against the whole focus on movement, so it seems counter productive to me. I definitely can palm better standing and doing a gentle say or swing while palming. I only palm for 6-10 minutes at a time though, as I must be too antsy to do it longer.
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#39
Just to qualify, this is all speculation. I haven't improved my vision that much to have faith in these ideas. They are just theories right now, but they seem right to me at the moment.

Are all eye shifts reactionary? I mean they must happen for a purpose other than to shift the eye itself. So I think you could say there is a reason behind every infinitesimal shift that people do, whether that reason was motivated by a natural, correct thing like a sincere curiosity to see something not in the central vision, or whether it was motivated by tension/anxiety of some sort. Now conscious shifting, I used to think, was not the way to go. But, c'mon. You gotta be reasonable here. People choose where they want to look, people with normal and poor vision do it. I think it's a combination of sensing something of curiosity in the periphery and then a split second decision that might be kinda-choice, kinda-involuntary, (I'm thinking it's some kind of mixture) in which something decides to move the eyes to that new location. Why didn't you shift somewhere else? Why did you shift there, but not to this other object that was also interesting in periphery?

I think it goes wrong when there is something that strikes interest, and you have a desire to shift your eyes there, but something holds you back from shifting. Could be fear of making eye contact, fear or BREAKING eye contact, fear of moving, etc. On the other hand, you could find yourself in the situation where you forced a shift, but there was no good reason to look at that object. It was more of an avoidance thing, like if you see someone at the end of the hall, and you both make eye contact 100 feet away. Some of those glances the next few seconds might be an avoidance type glance in which you had no interest in seeing what you actually looked towards. Rather, you were more interested in NOT seeing something (i.e. not making weird, prolonged eye contact or something) Why did you do that? Did you just feel like you needed to shift somewhere? You weren't even that interested in shifting where you did. So there's some confusion here.

Two days ago I started out by trying to practice "seeing the point not regarded, worse," one of Bates' techniques. I was shifting between spots of two letters, noting that the previous one was seen worse. That worked fine, but it was distracting trying to focus on two images at once. So I just started looking at one point. I would look slightly to the side of the point, note that it wasn't as easy to see, and then I would shift directly on the point, and note how much easier it was to really see the thing. I would take my gaze to the side at varying distances with varying results. There was a specific distance I liked at which I could still see my point in my periphery, but I could definitely tell that it was not as visible as when I looked directly at it. If I looked further away than that distance, I couldn't hardly see my point in my periphery, so it was a kind of "out of sight, out of mind" thing. I wasn't as involved. And if my side gaze was too close to my point, then I couldn't quite tell what I was really looking at, or where my central vision was. So I think finding the right distance to shift away from the point of interest in this practice, is important.

So anyways, that worked pretty well, and I had a little bit of clearing up. Then later that day, while I was out and about, I sort of evolved this idea into something else. I began practicing noticing an object in my periphery that seemed interesting, and shifting directly to that point. So I was really using my periphery here, and actually observing through my periphery, sort of waiting for the most interesting object to emerge, then I would shift to it to REALLY see it. Now I had to go pretty darn slow, my attention just wasn't that fast in finding an interest, and then shifting to it. I'm kinda thinking this goes back to when Bates says that at first he had patients shifting slowly, and that too fast of a shift could be a strain. Maybe I can slowly integrate this process until it becomes a good habit?

One thing I want to add is that I have been trying this shifting thing at lots of distances, and to nearby points, or something very far away. I think the basics of it is the same, though. And this kinda ties back into when I talked about shifts being reactionary. There is a motivator or a reason why you shift to where you do.
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#40
-It's going to be a matter of developing an awareness to immediate tension build up and learning to constantly avoid it until it becomes habitual.

-In times of clearer vision I feel like I have to be very careful and keep a moment to moment awareness so as not to allow tension back in. This should surely become easier with more experience.

-I'm starting to move my eyes more, and it feels more natural, rather than forcefully flailing my eyes around like in the past.

I feel like I am getting somewhere. It's becoming easier for me to sense stress in my eyes, it's something along the lines of a feeling or sensation in my head, eyes, and body that could lead to a headache if it continues. I am becoming able to avoid that sensation by blinking or shifting. I also know it's possible to blink too hard, to shift with too much strain, and that does no good either. There is a subtle point here. The feeling is subtle, but definitely there. I'm starting to think the saying is true, "God is in the details."


Things that have been helping:

Looking into the distance
I am becoming able to really release some unnecessary strain while looking into the distance. Looking at far away moving objects is really good. I think our eyes are better able to sense changing stimuli rather than something static like a street sign far away. It gets the mind a little more active. So I will stand, as relaxed as I can, and look into the distance, observing what I see while paying attention to sensations in my body, face, and eyes. I think this has been immensely helpful in developing more sensory awareness.

Palming

Palming standing up seems to work best for me. Standing up keeps me aware and allows me to stay more alert to subtle changes in in the eyes. Listening to music while palming helps me gently move my body to the music, which helps break the stare. I'll imagine the world moving under my closed and covered eyelids, and notice how I am almost continually am blinking and shifting even while palming (Does anyone else notice this?). I've been able to carry some amount of this relaxed blinking and shifting even with my eyes open.

I'm having trouble describing everything at the moment but I feel like getting this stuff written out, and seeing if anyone can relate to any of it. When someone posed the question to Bates: How often should you practice? His response was: ALL THE TIME. So how d'you sum up, in just a couple paragraphs, everything that you have been sensing and experimenting with pretty much all day every day? I guess you just have to do the best you can. Thoughts?
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#41
I've also experienced the eye contact thing. I wonder if it's some latent fear from childhood where when I got into trouble my parents woudl be like "look into my eyes and tell me the truth".
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#42
shocker Wrote:I've also experienced the eye contact thing. I wonder if it's some latent fear from childhood where when I got into trouble my parents woudl be like "look into my eyes and tell me the truth".

Well it's possible. But in all reality, it probably has a lot of causes over time that have added up to create the current situation, or habit, that you experience when interacting with people. I've noticed mine dwindling a bit, and just that tiny bit feels like an immense relief. I can talk fairly relaxed to people, listen better, make normal eye contact, and am enjoying talking to people MUCH more. Don't forget to shift, and to blink. But be careful, because you can overdo it too, and you might start weirding people out. It took time for you to develop this bad habit of anxiety while around people, so it makes sense that it will take some time to get better. The best you can do is keep trying, and figuring out more about more about how you tick, what you need to do, what you need to stop doing, and how to release your mind a little bit and become more normal again.
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#43
Thanks for the reply ted. I also noticed that focusing on one eye at a time is a lot easier than looking into both at once.

I just took the time to read through all your posts (was just skimming before). You really have a way with words, because many of the things you were experiencing I am experiencing but had trouble putting into words. Especially with the palming and trying to block out every spec of light!

I'm definitely subscribed to this thread.

I may start a thread of my own similar to this because I think putting my experiences into words would be helpful to both me and others. ( and I don't want to derail yours).
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#44
I appreciate the response. I think, when your describing a personal experience its best to describe it in own words rather that use over-used words like "strain" or "try to see." I really dont know what those mean exactly, and Im pretty sure this eye/head/body tension cant be summed up very well with one word. But yeah, thanks, and go for it! Check out some of the others' blogs as well, they have benefited me a lot.
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#45
No matter how much time you put into it, how much devotion, if you are not truly with it, not truly eager to improve, you are going to let your mind continue to distract you from your imperceptible, subtle, continuous, bad habits. The mind can be such a distraction, telling you you should do this, telling you it's not working, telling you to try something else, when the one thing you should actually do is shut off the mind, not listen to it, keep going, and see where this experiment can go. You don't know what's best for you based on feel, most definitely if you are a myope. You can't always just try to do what feels "relaxing", or comfortable. If we are changing chronic, unconscious bad habits here there has to be some amount of discomfort involved. This is when it gets tricky. You have to get yourself into a situation in which you are closer to seeing your own behavior, with less mental chatter, and in that situation you have an opportunity to really see what you are doing that's hampering your eyesight/release of anxiety etc. So you have to find a place that's "vulnerable" to change. A place that's conducive to greater awareness, like standing. This is where I've been.

There is a book called "The Dao of Natural Breathing" which describes a standing meditative position in which the legs are slightly bent. I can't remember if the tailbone is drawn towards the front or back, but I had better luck with pushing my buttocks out, allowing my belly to open, and letting my hands hang loose wherever they may. This opens up your lungs and abdomen, allowing you to breath better. It can be uncomfortable after a while, but you will probably be able to sense things better. So it's not about what's comfortable, but what helps the most.

Being in this position, and standing 1 to 3 feet away from my eye chart, I stand there, feeling my body, my breath, noticing I can breath deeper, noticing chronic tension coming to the forefront of my attention. To let go of these requires me to let go into a sort of paradigm shift of sensation, in which the stress in the legs almost feels good, I breath better, deeper, I can feel that "hot" breath of air leaving my lungs. It feels as though that hot air has been trapped for a very long time. And I feel a patience a calmness that I usually don't feel. This is not a comfortable position, I have tension in my legs, and it's a workout to hold it. But what I get from it is worth it. And it's something that almost seems to be a choice. I get so fed up with mind that in one instant, I choose to stop it, and get down the "nitty gritty." I'm sick and tired of this rambling mind, and I want to change. So I change. I intentionally quiet my mind, and am able to go into the sensations that I described above, and usually as a consequence things on the eye chart clear a little. Clearing is not the goal, becoming aware of myself is, and letting go of things is, vision improvement is ONE of the many ways in which to measure how well I am doing.

So you can get into a vulnerable higher aware, very conducive to change, environment like the one I described above, which helps a ton, but if you don't stop the mental chatter and really, fully dive into what you are doing, you will be constantly distracted and get nowhere. This is not something that's easy, yet it's almost as if you've always known within what it is you really need to do. You have just been avoiding it, every second of the day, for years.
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