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how to visualize
#1
This is why I'm hesitant to answer emails from new visitors. They tend to disappear again. Did he get my email? Did it go into his spam folder? Did he give up the next day? Who knows.

But he was asking about how to visualize, because with his eyes closed he gets no picture at all in front of his eyes.


Don't make the mistake of trying to form an image in front of your eyes, as if on the back of your closed eyelids. That's a very common mistake. When you first think about a tree, notice that a very vague image flashes through your mind. There is at least some sort of vague form. You aren't only thinking about the letters t-r-e-e, you're thinking about the actual thing, and to do that you had to have at least some kind of dull impression flash by.

Now notice that this doesn't happen in front of your eyes. It happens elsewhere in your mind and has nothing to do with your eyes. It's easy to want it to happen in front of your eyes because then you can squeeze your eyes and feel like you're forcing them to do something, but in your mind there's no muscle you can contract to make yourself feel like you're trying. So no matter how bad the image is, that is the place where you work on it. Some people imagine that this place is more in the back of their brain, which may help.

And then to work on visualizing there, keep breathing and working on relaxing your eyes, body and mind as I've written about. And keep moving from detail to detail, even if you don't see them. For example, imagine one leaf on a tree, but as soon as you do, whether you had any success or not, immediately imagine another leaf, or a different part of the same leaf, or a branch, and keep moving between the things back and forth to keep yourself from trying to stay on one point. You have to keep stimulating your mind with a new detail. You will have a temptation to stay on one detail and wait for it to clear up. Don't do 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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#2
I feel like what makes this concept of visualization so difficult for me to grasp and to pursue is that it's just hard to see how this plays into everything, how this actually leads to improvements in vision. Knowing the science behind this a little more (or well developed theories) I feel would kind of convince people of this technique. I have had some really good experiences trying different imagination techniques, but I'm just not sure what to imagine, for how long, and I'm just wondering how do people with normal vision use theirs? What types of thing are they visualizing, and how often are they in those images vs. looking at the outer world.

The best techniques I've come up with are the following:

I'll pick a color, say yellow, and I'll just imagine as many different things as I can that are yellow, or have any yellow whatsoever. I'll spend just a few seconds on each before moving on. It's pretty much impossible to do this without visualizing each thing.

The other method is going through the alphabet, and choosing a category, say people. I'll try and think of one or two people with the letter A, visualize what they look like, and then move on to the next letter. This one keeps me a little more occupied for longer.
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#3
(09-13-2014, 12:19 AM)ted Wrote: I feel like what makes this concept of visualization so difficult for me to grasp and to pursue is that it's just hard to see how this plays into everything, how this actually leads to improvements in vision. Knowing the science behind this a little more (or well developed theories) I feel would kind of convince people of this technique. I have had some really good experiences trying different imagination techniques, but I'm just not sure what to imagine, for how long, and I'm just wondering how do people with normal vision use theirs? What types of thing are they visualizing, and how often are they in those images vs. looking at the outer world.

The best techniques I've come up with are the following:

I'll pick a color, say yellow, and I'll just imagine as many different things as I can that are yellow, or have any yellow whatsoever. I'll spend just a few seconds on each before moving on. It's pretty much impossible to do this without visualizing each thing.

The other method is going through the alphabet, and choosing a category, say people. I'll try and think of one or two people with the letter A, visualize what they look like, and then move on to the next letter. This one keeps me a little more occupied for longer.

"Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things"

Julie Andrews may not have been thinking about vision when she was comforting the Von Trapp children, but it is very pertinent nonetheless. Do as Bates did with his patients, a good starting place is remembering/imagining things that are familiar, comforting, pleasant memories to you. Those are the things that will have a chance at creating the greatest visual impressions for you. Bates got to know his patients unique likes and dislikes (optimisms and pessimisms) very quickly, so they could be exploited in their treatment. If not something familiar, something with pleasant associations in your memory banks, it'll likely not be as effortless to recall. And you want it to be as quick and effortless as possible. If it takes more than a second, you're starting to engage mental effort. Let your mind wander over different parts of your visual impressions, or scenes, and as David said, don't let yourself stagnate on any point, even if not clear. Bates warned against imagining things stationary. That's a strong myopic tendency. What is your favorite letter? Are you familiar with it's shape, each side - curved, open, straight, etc.? Use this technique to imagine said letter/letters with eyes closed, then when looking at them on a chart where you see best, alternating.
People with perfect sight are imagining continuously perfect what they are seeing. They don't need to think about how they are doing it, they are doing it all the time, in real time. Just as they don't have to practice shifting, swinging, because they are doing it continuously without realizing it.
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#4
Imagine what you see - see what you imagine.
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