Practicing central fixation establishes peripheral vision because to see one part best, there must be other parts on the periphery within the scene that you see less clearly. As your eyes learn to shift over a wider area, the periphery becomes wider. When you look with interest, your attention is effortless and you see one part best with an awareness of details and motion in the periphery.
Peripheral vision practices help farsighted persons get interested in seeing one small detail in relation to the entire scene, and nearsighted persons open up to the world around them rather than closing peripheral details out of their field of vision
Opening Peripheral Vision
Goal – Keep the peripheral vision open when practicing central fixation.
Steps – Isolate an object in the picture or on your computer desktop and notice whether the object is more interesting by itself or in relation to other objects in the picture.
Explanation – This allows you to use your whole field of vision and see more details. For some people, the peripheral perception comes gradually after moving from point to point has been practiced for awhile.
Hints – If the point you are looking at is less clear than the point in the periphery, you are practicing eccentric fixation. Eccentric fixation is when the diameter of the center point is so wide is has blurred from the effort to concentrate at the center. Since central fixation is an involuntary technique, eccentric fixation diminishes and finally goes away if you allow interest to come up while you shift between points of interest. Be sure the picture you have is colorful with a lot of interesting details, or play with the background and colors on your monitor to make your computer desktop more interesting.
Seeing Points in the Periphery
Goal – Think of the points you are not looking at directly as less clear than the point you are currently looking at (the reverse of seeing the point you are looking at best).
Steps – Shift over a card, picture, or your computer desktop from point to point seeing the point not looked at as less distinct. Move the card or picture further away or move your chair back from your computer and repeat, but now be aware that the card, picture, or computer is in the room as part of the whole scene.
Hints – Ask yourself if you see a difference in clarity between the point looked at directly and the points not looked at. As your vision clears with practice, start comparing closer and closer points. Cultivate a sense of space around you to widen your field of vision when you notice points in the periphery. Do not move to close points if you feel a strain. Blink and palm to prevent or alleviate any strain.
Pick an object in your environment and be aware of it moving in your periphery all day.
Notice the obvious motion of close objects in your periphery as you look at more distant objects that do not appear to be moving. This will transfer the sense of motion to the distant objects.
The Universal swing helps farsighted persons get interested in seeing one small detail in relation to the entire scene, and helps nearsighted persons open up to the world around them rather than closing peripheral details out of their field of vision. Practice the Universal swing with music for 10 to 15 minutes at the beginning of the day and carry the swing with you throughout the day.
The following suggestions for practice involve noticing color, contrasts, and details in a picture at a comfortable distance. Practice these suggestions as described, then transfer them to your computer desktop.
- Notice detail in front of you. Take a picture and seek out the details. Take the picture away and describe the picture. To remember something, you have to scan around and see every point with one part best. Different details appeal to different people. Close the eyes and remember the details. Open the eyes and search out what you do not remember.
- Play music while looking at the picture. Incorporate the movement of the music with moving around in the picture and picking up detail. Let the music light up a point in the picture.
- Be aware the point left behind is less distinct. The awareness of less distinct can be an easy awareness of some detail that is missing.
- Alter the distance by moving it out a few inches.
- Practice central fixation on different objects and faces. This transfers the experience to something off the paper.
- Practice central fixation with letters.
- Widen out the sense of peripheral vision. Be aware of the whole scene at one point in time, but do not try to see it.
- Look at a picture and pick up the subtlety of the shades.
- Bring the attention to contrasting colors. It is necessary to remember to contrast and compare.
- Look at an object and get a sense of perspective by placing perspective lines going in toward the object. This makes the mind aware of things farther away appearing smaller than they appear up close. Check the appearance by measuring with your fingers.
- Mentally train your mind to see things larger and smaller. Put objects back and forth in front of your face and call out, Larger! or Smaller! If you have difficulty seeing the objects, contrast colors instead. This may help you to see the objects.
- Pick a color in the picture and be aware of it as you drift over the picture with open eyes and closed eyes.
- With closed eyes remember the points in the picture and the details.
- Be aware of contrasts between colors and textures in the picture.
- Notice shapes.
Explanation – Drifting over a picture and picking up details breaks the stare and tendency to try to take in the entire picture at once. It also gets the mind involved in seeing. The eyes do not see, they take in light. The mind sees.
Hints – The attention is what focuses the eyesight on objects. Central fixation is being attentive where you are looking.