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Your Concentration of Attention
#1
Your Concentration of Attention
http//blog.iblindness.org/2013-01/your-concentration-of-attention/

I've written before about how you need to pay attention to each spot you look at so that your mind is fully engaged in seeing details. Here's another way of thinking about how and why you need to look at things in this way.

Each small object or small area you look at should be the most important thing in the world to you. The <strong>only</strong> important thing in the world. For the moment you forget about other nearby objects you just looked at. When you're stopped at a stoplight, for example, you forget for a few seconds about the stoplight, but you keep glancing back at it periodically to see if it has turned green. If you look at something else while in the same instant trying to remain aware of when the light turns green, you aren't paying enough attention to what you're looking at. Practice looking at a spot for a few seconds at a time, trying to focus all your mental resources on the spot by the force of your will.

You aren't tensing your eyes when working on focusing your mind in this way. You aren't trying to narrow your visual field down to the size of the spot you're looking at. You're trying to focus as much of your attention as possible on the spot, despite the fact that your visual field remains the same size and you aren't really doing anything with your eyes. It's an exercise in ignoring what you aren't looking at. Your eyes are doing exactly what they need to do while you work with your mind.

Change the spot every few seconds. It doesn't matter how blurry it is. Pick spots as small as you can, but large enough for you to see something, even if it's a mess of blur. Keep blinking, and let your eyes remain loose.

I feel that at first it's best to focus primarily on white or light colors and only secondarily on darker colors. Don't try to look directly at black unless you think there's another color within it. On an eye chart, for example, look at the white on the edges and insides of the black letters. Black is not a color. It's an absence of reflected light rays, and it isn't stimulating to the eyes.

If you practice this enough, you should find that it becomes easier to devote your attention to a spot without taking a few seconds before you are able to stop caring about surrounding objects, and you may feel the need to move to another spot sooner than a few seconds instead of staying on one spot for so long. The next spot can be close to the last point or far away. Closer is easier.

You should also find that you see a little better and your'e able to work with smaller spots, which means the distance between the spots can be shorter if you desire.

What you're doing is adjusting your mind's density of attention to fit the pattern it was designed to have, with a high concentration of data in the center and a decreasing concentration outside of the center, which in a simplistic sense is the way the retinal cells of your eyes are also arranged. I can't find a good picture at the moment to illustrate this. But the system can only work in harmony when these elements match. The system has to treat peripheral data differently than central data, and to do that, the system requires that you mentally treat it that way. There has to be no contradiction. When there's harmony, your eyes participate in a process where they are able to focus correctly and move easily and quickly the way they're supposed to.

So to sum up, keep reminding yourself of three things as you work on this
<ul>
<li>Keep your eyes loose</li>
<li>Look at white and other colors</li>
<li>The one spot you're looking at is the most important thing in the world</li>
</ul>
 

As I think about and try to explain these things or guess at what's going on, I'm going to start doing so in a more positive way. It's counter-productive to point out all the possible mistakes you could make, or to tell you what not to do. That just gets you focusing on what you don't want. It's better if you understand enough about what you need to be doing that you can decide for yourself whether something you're doing is helpful in reaching your goals.
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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
Again, this is right on target David. Recently I have been doing very similar things that I have recently understood when reading about central fixation and trying to understand this. To add a little to the article, if you do not feel comfortable doing this with your eyes open yet, I find it extremely helpful to do this in the imagination and simply do this with each passing daydream. It turns out to be very relaxing and the imagination comes to life. This is particularly easy to do when you wake up and right as you are lying in bed before sleep. Interesting things start to happen when you pay attention to things this way, the best of all is improved vision without all the annoying strains or eyes tearing up constantly.

Keep it up! I find that your posts are getting much more clear and concise as of late.
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#3
Thanks Dave,

Found this very useful.
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#4
David Wrote:Change the spot every few seconds. It doesn't matter how blurry it is. Pick spots as small as you can, but large enough for you to see something, even if it's a mess of blur. Keep blinking, and let your eyes remain loose.
The question is how do you do this without getting bored. For years now, I have been thinking that I could have improved had I known about the Bates method when my nearsightedness was still fairly mild. But I just can't figure out how to effectively shift, swing, etc. when everything is blurry.
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#5
Daniel Wrote:
David Wrote:Change the spot every few seconds. It doesn't matter how blurry it is. Pick spots as small as you can, but large enough for you to see something, even if it's a mess of blur. Keep blinking, and let your eyes remain loose.
The question is how do you do this without getting bored. For years now, I have been thinking that I could have improved had I known about the Bates method when my nearsightedness was still fairly mild. But I just can't figure out how to effectively shift, swing, etc. when everything is blurry.

You can stay interested by developing curiosity in what you might find in each spot. The amount of blur might be roughly a sign of how much your mind is disengaged from what you're looking at. Work with things a distance you can see better at.

Shifting and swinging isn't something I recommend, the way I prefer to focus primarily on the concept of attention or interest, so I can't really answer that part.
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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
Quote:You aren't trying to narrow your visual field down to the size of the spot you're looking at. You're trying to focus as much of your attention as possible on the spot

Can you further explain what you mean by visual field, and how that is different from attention? They seem almost synonymous to me.

Quote:You aren't trying to narrow your visual field down to the size of the spot you're looking at. You're trying to focus as much of your attention as possible on the spot

So, for example, you're looking at a Christmas light or some light outside when it is dark, and this spot is just a big circular blob of a single color. D'you look directly at tiny spots of the blob, like looking within the blob? And also, should you be looking at the center of this blob rather than the edges? I'm thinking this because the outer edges of light of the blob aren't even there in reality. They are just obscured by your blurry vision and that's how you are perceiving them. Then again, what is my reality here? I am comparing what I see in the this moment to what I would see through glasses. Maybe this blur is more real than that image seen through glasses. And maybe that image seen through glasses needs to be forgotten, because we have to work with our current state of vision. Or maybe that sight through glasses is beneficial to help us imagine what might be there. I dunno.

I've had some success focusing my attention on tiny, tiny spots of the blur, smaller and smaller if I can. And I see the blob sort of pulsing. And then all of a sudden it can shrink in size. I don't know how exactly but it happens after I have been narrowing and narrowing my attention. I can't hold it though, and the blob will usually pulsate towards a larger radius blob.
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#7
Quote:You aren't trying to narrow your visual field down to the size of the spot you're looking at. You're trying to focus as much of your attention as possible on the spot, despite the fact that your visual field remains the same size and you aren’t really doing anything with your eyes.

I think this is a very important statement, because it is a description of 'normal' vision, that is what people with normal vision do. They don't do all the weird things with their eyes like short sighted people in order to see something clearly, they don't tense their eye muscles or squint and they don't narrow their visual field down to the size of the spot.

They just 'see' the center of the visual field differently - with central vision - and the perypery with peripheral vision, but not because of the different way they do something with their eyes, but because the focus ot their attention is always so much 'centered' that it covers only one spot.
Quote:And the smallest possible point can't really be blurry, because it's a spot of only one color or a single detail.
But
Quote:As long as you hold onto your peripheral vision, your central vision and entire visual system will suffer.
(See: David's method)

That is, as long as your attention is equally 'spread' on the whole impression you see - the blur as well as the the details you are able to see more clearly - it is not focussed.
You have to
Quote:You have to, in a sense, completely let go of your peripheral vision.
That is let go of the perception of the blur and concentrate on what you can see clearly.

The more you focus your attention on some clear detail (without paying attention to the fact that there is still a lot of blur in your vision), your attention will be more and more focussed, the more you pay attention to what is clear, the less you pay attention to the blur - until you finally your focus of attention comes down to "the smallest possible point [which] can't really be blurry" .

So your visual still remains at the same size, but the centered focus of attention is 'transforming' your vision in that way, that central vision will be restored, you will more and more see clearly what you are focussing. On the other hand, peripheral vision is 'out of the focus' of attention an the blur is not perceived.
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#8
ted Wrote:
Quote:You aren't trying to narrow your visual field down to the size of the spot you're looking at. You're trying to focus as much of your attention as possible on the spot

Can you further explain what you mean by visual field, and how that is different from attention? They seem almost synonymous to me.

Your visual field is everything your eyes take in in any instant, whether it's in the center or edge of vision. Your attention is on what you're thinking of or visualizing. You could be thinking of something not even within the space of your visual field, like something you saw earlier today. But I don't know how much that benefits vision. When you think of something within your visual field, your eyes will be drawn to it, and you'll process it more fully than if you try doing it in the reverse order, moving your eyes to it and then trying to think of whatever your eyes happen to be on.

ted Wrote:
Quote:You aren't trying to narrow your visual field down to the size of the spot you're looking at. You're trying to focus as much of your attention as possible on the spot

So, for example, you're looking at a Christmas light or some light outside when it is dark, and this spot is just a big circular blob of a single color. D'you look directly at tiny spots of the blob, like looking within the blob? And also, should you be looking at the center of this blob rather than the edges? I'm thinking this because the outer edges of light of the blob aren't even there in reality. They are just obscured by your blurry vision and that's how you are perceiving them. Then again, what is my reality here? I am comparing what I see in the this moment to what I would see through glasses. Maybe this blur is more real than that image seen through glasses. And maybe that image seen through glasses needs to be forgotten, because we have to work with our current state of vision. Or maybe that sight through glasses is beneficial to help us imagine what might be there. I dunno.

I've had some success focusing my attention on tiny, tiny spots of the blur, smaller and smaller if I can. And I see the blob sort of pulsing. And then all of a sudden it can shrink in size. I don't know how exactly but it happens after I have been narrowing and narrowing my attention. I can't hold it though, and the blob will usually pulsate towards a larger radius blob.

Some things are just too boring for you to care about seeing. If you find yourself unsure whether to look at the center of a blob or the edges, you might need to look for something more meaningful. Technically it's possible to work with anything, but realistically your chances are better with something more interesting, because one of the main goals is to get your mind more engaged in visualizing what you're looking at.
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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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