Natural 20-20 Vision Book (PDF)

May 14, 2016

Read or download the complete book: Relax, Smile, and Enjoy the View — Natural Relief for Eyestrain from Computer Use and Other Activities, self-published, 1997. Copyright 1997 Monica Pawlan. All Rights Reserved.

Most of the book is also available in the postings on this blog.

See also my posting on a vision game that can help improve vision:  ULTIMEYES: A Game to Improve Vision.


Using Strong Points and Developing Weak Points

November 12, 2009

You need to work on your strong points first and develop your weaker points later. The following story about a severely nearsighted hairdresser shows how this approach can be very effective.

The hairdresser started with the Long swing and responded well to it because she loved the feeling it gave her. Her teacher worked with her on motion telling her remember to perceive motion during the day.

Later on, the teacher worked with her on remembering the feeling of seeing print perfectly on a fine print card. They did no more memory work because this woman did not have a good visual memory. The memory of motion and the memory of the feeling of seeing fine print clearly were worked on simultaneously, and over a long period of time the woman’s vision improved when she practiced the techniques, but she was unable to apply the memory techniques in her daily life.

The woman did not have a good visual memory because she was not seeing much detail. The woman was more interested in feeling than visuals. To get the woman to start thinking and seeing details, the teacher started her noticing detail, color, and shapes in objects.

The teacher had the woman look at a tree and imagine a tiny leaf on the tree, and the woman suddenly saw the leaf on the tree. The teacher instructed the woman to use this imagination technique on everything including the hairs on her beauty parlor clients. This woman liked details so much she made a lot of progress with improving her vision and waking up her visual memory.

With things she could not see in the distance clearly, she would imagine or guess what these things could be, not trying to make them out clearly, but seeing what she could without straining and with interest and curiosity. She would move around the object visually, look for the shape, and make comparisons. She had to learn to be content to not see an equal amount of detail in the distance as she would see close up because this is the way of normal sight. People with normal sight do not see details in the distance the same way they see them up close, and do not try to see something, but imagine with interest what something might be in the distance.

After this, the teacher had the woman practice the Universal swing and keep the memory of the Universal swing going all day. The Universal swing widened the woman’s sense of space and got her thinking far away, and that in combination with thinking details swaying in the distance and close up stabilized her eyesight to normal.

Motion

People who like music like motion. If you have a good sense of motion and enjoy music, practice swings to music as follows. Baroque music is particularly good for achieving a relaxed state of mind, but of course, it is important that you like what you listen to, so, play what you like.

  • Let small details swing with the whole to achieve a central fixation of motion.
  • Practice edging and letting your gaze drift over pictures. As you do this, pay particular attention to detail and color because your ability to see detail and color will greatly improve when you refine your sense of motion.
  • If your vision is not improving, it is probably because you are not present in your body while you practice the swings. You need to develop an interest in detail by practicing central fixation techniques.

Note: People who are interested in shapes usually work with motion last, and people who are interested in motion, usually work with shapes last.

Curious about Shapes

One woman with a keen interest in shapes improved her night vision by contrasting the lights and darks by looking for the darkest dark and lightest light. This way, he avoided the tendency to try to see the same level of detail at night that he would see in the day. When he became good at this, he looked for colors while contrasting lights and darks.

If you like to look at shapes, use interest to improve your vision as follows:

  • Contrast shapes using central fixation and keeping an awareness of shapes in relationship to other shapes around them (peripheral vision). Try to not label the shapes, but see them in terms of color, texture, and relatedness.
  • Be aware of color when you look at shapes or when your line of vision moves from one shape to another.
  • Let your line of sight move across shapes and color. Never to try make out a shape.

Color

A young very artistic woman with a positive attitude began working with pictures. She started with bold contrasts of color in the picture. She could look at a picture up close for hours. When the picture was moved out 2 feet, she started to notice different colors. After a few seconds, the color suddenly became dull because she did not have central fixation at that distance.

After practicing central fixation with pictures, she could see much more subtlety in the colors and many more details in the pictures at greater and greater distances at home. She then needed to improve her vision at work.

People with a good color sense often also have a good sense of motion. So the woman started to practice keeping the Universal swing going at work where there is more opportunity for motion than for perceiving color. The final step was to keep the memory of colors she sees at home while she is at work. When she became proficient at these things, her vision improved dramatically.

If you have a keen interest in color, practice central fixation and edging on the outside environment or on photographs by focusing on the following:

  • Contrast colors.
    • Look for large contrasts.
    • Look for subtle contrasts.
  • Notice smaller details of color and the shapes formed when colors change within an object or when your line of vision moves from one object to another.
  • Develop a sense of motion while you see color.

When you look at color, see bold contrasts and move into subtle contrasts. Do not put a label on anything you see. For example, do not think of a bird as a bird or a tree as a tree, but think of them as shapes composed of color. Look at two similar areas of a color and ask yourself if you see more yellow in one than the other. Use objects that are obvious and close together so you can see the picture without strain. Focus on smaller and smaller areas of the picture.

Work with a partner and have the partner see colors and direct your attention to them by asking you what colors you see and if one part of the picture has more of one color than another.

Visual Memory

If you have a good visual memory, use it to improve your vision by concentrating on the following things:

  • Utilize central fixation when you remember an image.
  • Develop associated pictures in your mind. An associated picture is a visual image of something in your mind with all of the senses involved. Associated memories enable you to remember an image clearly and for a long time. Here is an example. Have a partner help by talking you through the picture.
    • Imagine someone you know in their apartment.
    • Place yourself in the picture with them.
    • Add motion by walking around in the picture.
    • Add smell by imagining flowers in a vase.
    • Add taste by imagining something in their kitchen.
    • Add other senses.

A disassociated memory is a picture of something in your mind with only the visual sense involved. For example, the memory of a letter floating in space without the memory of the feeling of looking at the letter. You can use associated memory to enhance the memory of positive experiences, and disassociated memory to reduce the impact of the memory of negative experiences.

If you have a good associated memory, remember a letter such as an o on a blank surface. Keep the memory going all day. Add motion to the memory by making the o a small dot moving around in your mind all day long. Add the Universal swing by connecting the dot to the first object you swing and keeping the dot there as you expand the objects in the swing.

Sensory Awareness

Develop a feeling of the difference between close and far vision by practicing the following:

  • Build your visual interest in objects near and far by noticing color, shapes, and motion.
  • Do the Universal swing.
  • If you are nearsighted, pretend you are looking close when looking far.
  • If you are farsighted, pretend you are looking far when looking close.
  • Notice how the face muscles feel different when looking different distances.
  • Remember the feeling of what you are doing. For example, remember the feeling of a person talking to you or of climbing stairs. Remembering feelings uses sensory awareness to keep you present in your environment.
  • Extend the sense of feeling into the world by creating an image of what it feels like to be in someone else’s shoes, to touch what they are touching, and to feel from where they are feeling.

Basic Practice

November 3, 2009

The following sections group the relaxation and vision building techniques into basic practice sessions. The groupings are suggestions to help you get started with your own practice plan. Because some techniques work better for some people than others, you will have to experiment to find the practice plan that works best for you. If you find you cannot stick to a program, you might want to find a teacher to assess your needs and customize a program for you, or work with a partner.

A partner or teacher can direct your attention to things you may not be aware of. For example, if you do not have a good sense of motion, you are probably not noticing enough details. A partner or teacher can help you pick out details. If you have a good sense of motion, but your eyesight is not improving, a partner or teacher can tell you to concentrate on other vision building techniques such as central fixation or memory.

If you wear glasses, you will find the first part of correcting your eyesight is overcoming the strain caused by the glasses. After that, you should concentrate on the mental state that caused your eyesight to weaken in the first place. To change your mental state, you have to awaken your interest at the distance where your vision is not normal.

Foundation Techniques

The foundation techniques provide the groundwork for techniques to come. The goal is to get a conscious experience of a different level of relaxation when you see.

Sunning

Sun for 10 – 15 minutes with your eyes closed followed by 5 minutes of blinking into the light. The light relaxes your eyes and mind, and the heat soothes tight muscles.

  • The light should be comfortable. Get the correct distance from the lamp.
  • Sunning can be done several times a day.
  • You can sun with your eyes closed until you are accustomed to the light.
  • If your eyes are sticking on the light, follow along the shifter.
  • If you start to stare at any time during the session, sun some more.
  • Start keeping a record of things that affect your vision.

Palming

Palm for a few minutes. Visual purple is depleted by light and replenished by darkness. Light and dark contrasts stimulate the visual purple. Palming gives the mind a new opportunity to go into a relaxed state. It soothes and relaxes.

  • Play music while you palm.
  • Turn your head from side to side with your eyes closed while you palm. Imagine the sun moving from one ear to the other to get a short swing going. Sometimes moving your head up and down is better than turning it side to side.

Blinking

Practice blinking for a few minutes to help break up the mental stare. Transfer the feeling of relaxation you achieved through palming to blinking. A restful blink is when you close your eyes for a few seconds and remember the restful state of palming. After awhile the blinking obtains a restful state on its own.

The mind is straining when the eyes are held open. Once you get flashes of better vision, you might tend to stare and not blink and lose the restful state of mind. Blinking is essential at times like this. Blinking keeps the state of relaxation all day.

  • Blink with one eye. Close your eyes for a moment and blink the other eye. In time, switch blinking from one eye to the other without closing the eyes.
  • Use the air cushion technique to start a blink. Cover one eye and bring the other hand over the other eye pushing and suctioning the eyelid open and closed. Do for 5 minutes at a time 6 or 7 times a day.
  • Start the morning with 3 – 5 minutes of blinking to get into the habit. When you notice yourself staring, blink for a minute or two to break up the stare.
    Shifting.
  • Move your head from side to side or look from one point to another with a body sway.
  • See with your nose as if there is a paint brush or a pointer on the end of the nose. Extend your nose out with a brush at the end that brushes over every point on the way. Be careful to not go out on the pointer to see, instead of letting the images come in. Brush with your eyes closed and opened.
  • For close vision, close your eyes and use your finger to draw on a point between the eyes. The mind follows the movement of the fingers.

Motion Techniques

With enough practice, a sense of motion becomes natural because motion is integral to normal eyesight.

  • 10 – 15 minutes of foundation techniques.

– Sunning
– Palming
– Blinking
– Pressure points and massage
– Shifting

Vision Building for Nearsight

Nearsighted persons need to gain a sense of things moving when they move.

  • Finger swing.
  • Short swings, especially the sway. Keep the memory of the motion when you hold your body still.
  • Long swing to dynamic music for 15 to 20 minutes. Compare the long swing to the sway by going back to the sway. Notice the motion. Get a sense of the world moving by you rather than you moving through the world.
  • Edging

Vision Building for Farsight

Farsighted persons need to develop an interest in details at the near point.

  • Reading with memory of white between paragraphs
  • Finger swing.
  • Short swings, especially the sway.
  • Memory swing. Start with a sway, then keep the memory of the motion when you hold your body still.
  • Long swing with peaceful music for 15 to 20 minutes. Compare the long swing to the sway by going back to the sway. Notice the motion. Get a sense of the world moving by you rather than you moving through the world.

Nearsight and Farsight Techniques

The emphasis is on refining relaxation and vision building techniques.

  • Foundation techniques
  • Motion techniques

Vision Building for Nearsight

  • Swinging and edging.
  • Reading with very small print with an awareness of the thin white line. Move your head from side to side while you read to maintain involuntary shifting.

Vision Building for Farsight

Refine reading. Move the head from side to side while reading to get the involuntary shifting going. Direct attention towards the white and develop a sense of motion when you read.


Motion and Centralization

September 22, 2009

Centralization and motion are key to correcting eyesight. Some people work better with one or the other. Centralization is being fully present and aware in the moment. Motion is not being attached to any point by moving to the next.

An awareness of motion promotes flexibility because it causes your mind to stop trying to make things happen. If you are so flexible that you lack focus and direction, practice central fixation with an emphasis on awakening your interest in detail. This will make your sense of motion more precise.

If you try so hard to be focused that you lack flexibility and are unable to move on to new things, improve your central fixation by emphasizing the periphery, developing an interest in motion, and dodging.

Edging

Edging is brushing around the outline of shapes with your nose by letting your eyes follow the brush (your nose). The key to edging is to keep a relaxed sense of the points flowing into your mind while your attention moves around the outline noticing detail. Edging is a technique of motion and central fixation.

Goal – Incorporate central fixation and motion to see details along a line.

Steps – Practice edging to refine your sense of motion and centralize your mind.

  • •Remove your glasses and relax.•Find a line in your environment at a comfortable distance so you do not strain to see it. It can be the line where a wall joins the ceiling or floor, the edge of a table, door, or other piece of furniture in the room.
  • Feel your feet on the floor, close your eyes, and relax.
  • Open your eyes and move your head and follow your nose along the line noticing every point as you go and that the point you are on is the point you see best.
  • When you get good at this, add motion.
    – Notice each point as it comes into view, and notice the present point moving away as the next point comes into view.
    – Notice the point in view is the point you see best, and keep a feeling of the points moving into and out of view as you brush along with your nose.

Explanation – The eyes and mind must coordinate to take in small points of detail without skipping over any points in the line. You also have to be completely present in the room and interested in what you are looking at to not skip any points.

Hints – Maintain a smooth motion with your eyes and head. Do not jump over points in the line. If you find you jump over points, take a few deep breaths and palm. It might help to find a line at a more comfortable distance.

If you have worn or currently wear glasses, you probably have an unconscious mental habit of straining and you might strain when edging. If so, practice for short periods only, palm before and after edging, and keep an awareness of motion and see one part best while you practice.

Edging and Swinging

When you become proficient with edging, add swinging.

Goal – Use swings to widen your field of vision.

Steps – Your eyesight should be fairly good before you attempt this technique because if it is not, this technique will can create a strain.

  • Remove your glasses and relax.
  • Find a line in your environment at a comfortable distance so you do not strain to see it. It can be the line where a wall joins the ceiling or floor, the edge of a table, door, or other piece of furniture in the room.
  • Get a short swing going across the joint using a head swing or body sway.
  • Once you have the swing going, notice an object in your periphery and keep it swinging with you.
  • With the object swinging in the periphery, find an area along on the joint and see one part best.
  • Keeping the peripheral swing going, edge along the joint seeing the point you are on best, noticing the point move away and the next point moving into view.
  • Edge along the joint in both directions several times.

Explanation – This technique lets you see points along the joint the way a person with normal vision would see them: with relaxation, motion, central fixation, and peripheral vision.

Hints – Make sure you keep breathing and do not strain. Keep the points along the joint moving and the object in your periphery moving.

Dim Light and Night Vision

When your eyesight improves, you can refine your vision for dim light and night vision. Contrast is more subtle in dim light. At a distance where your vision is clear, dim light does not affect your ability to see. It takes imagination to see in dim light or at night at a distance where your vision is not clear because your eyes are not shifting or centralizing. People who practice central fixation see more contrast and see better in dim light.

One man who had a keen interest in shapes used this interest to improve his night vision by contrasting the lights and darks by searching for the lightest light and the darkest dark. Once he became good at this, he started to look for colors while contrasting lights and darks. Over time as he became good at seeing details in dim light, his vision improved tremendously.

If you are having trouble seeing in dim light or at night, your peripheral vision is shutting down, you are not noticing details, or both.

  • If you see in the periphery, but have trouble seeing one part best, you need detail work.
  • If you see one part best, but are unaware of objects in relation to other objects, you need periphery work. See “Peripheral Vision” on 41

Accept What you See

Goal – See objects in dim light as they are.

Steps – Sit in a dimly lit room and let dark things be dark and light things be light.

Explanation – This reduces the strain of trying to see objects in dim light in a way other than how they really appear.

Hints – Do not strain. If you find yourself straining, palm or swing.

Awaken Interest in Details

Goal – Wake up an interest in detail, shapes, and color in dim light.

Steps – You can practice this technique alone or with a partner. If you have a partner talk to each other about the details you see in the dim light.

  • Sit in a dimly lit room and start noticing dark, the light within the dark, and go on to contrasting light and dark.
  • As you progress, find smaller and smaller areas of light and dark, and then start contrasting colors.
  • Add motion as you move from light to dark, dark to light, and from color to color.
  • Notice different bands and continuation of color.
  • Compare hues and be aware of shapes.
  • Drift over the memory of details.

Explanation – The peripheral vision shuts down in dim light due to strain. Noticing details alleviates this strain and opens the peripheral vision.

Hints – Start with details that interest you.


Centralized State of Mind

September 10, 2009

A centralized state of mind is when your mind focuses with a relaxed interest on one tiny point at a time, and moves quickly, but unconsciously, to the next point. When you have a centralized state of mind, you see best where you are looking and less clearly where you are not looking. The state of seeing one part best is also called central fixation.

Central fixation can be demonstrated by looking through a pinhole in a card. The objects seen through the pinhole appear clear because your mind is looking through a tiny point which forces it to centralize. When your mind is in a state of central fixation, your eyes shift over the entire scene taking in crisp, clear details one at a time without judgment. Judgment prevents a centralized mind because details judged are details not perceived as they are.

Central fixation is absent when there is no sense of motion, the mind and body are not relaxed, and there is no central point of vision because the mind and eyes grab and try see too much at one time. The only way you see more is to be relaxed and present with a centralized state of mind. The goal of central fixation is to see with sharp clarity, not to just recognize shapes. To see with sharp clarity, central fixation must be practiced without effort.

Vision building techniques for central fixation do two things: build interest in
detail and bring up the peripheral vision. You can alternate between both types of techniques. It is not necessary to be good at one to practice the other.

One Saturday after a hard week I was in my backyard spraying weeds. My mind was off dealing with tensions and unresolved issues from the previous week when I became aware of the fact that I had lost eye and mind coordination and was not practicing the healthy habits of seeing. My vision was very blurry, but I realized I was in the perfect situation to practice the healthy habits of seeing, regain my eye and mind coordination, and clear the blur. Actually every situation where you see can be considered a perfect situation for practicing the healthy habits of seeing.

I started to look for motion as I moved around in my backyard with the weed spraying apparatus and immediately felt some relaxation. As I moved the nozzle over the weeks, I looked for one part best and noticed how one point falls away as I moved to the next point. I also noticed the colors and varieties of the weeds in my backyard.

My mind really wanted to take me away into my tensions, but I just kept the healthy habits going and after 15 or 10 minutes my eyestrain was relieved and my vision lost its blur. However, I was very careful to not fix on the clear vision because fixing causes clear vision to blur. I maintained my eye and mind coordination by looking for motion and seeing one part best and gradually thoughts started to flow into my mind without taking me away
with them.

Relaxed Awareness of Detail

Goal – Look for interesting details in your daily life.

Steps – Practice this technique at all times, and especially at the computer.

  • Get a picture that you like with a lot of color, contrasts, and details. It can be a photograph from a book, a calendar, or magazine.
  • Hold it at a comfortable distance so you can see it without glasses.
    • If you are very nearsighted, the comfortable distance is going to be very close, perhaps up against your nose and you will only be able to see part of it at a time.
    • If you are farsighted, the comfortable distance is going to be as far out as it has to be for you to see it.
  • Remove your glasses, take a few deep breaths, and relax.
  • Begin looking at the picture by recognizing shapes, colors, and lines – whatever you find interesting.
  • Let your eyes follow your nose as you shift over the entire scene picking up interesting details.
  • Close your eyes and palm.
  • Open your eyes and repeat, but this time notice details you missed the first time.
  • Practice this technique at different distances (closer if you are farsighted and farther away if you are nearsighted).
  • Transfer this technique to your computer desktop. That is, let your eyes follow your nose as you shift over your computer desktop picking up interesting details.

Explanation – When you notice what you see, you see more because you are present and centralizing on more details.

Hints – Do not focus on what you do not see, but on what you do see, and do not strain to see what you cannot see.

Seeing One Part Best

Goal – Learn to focus on one point at a time.

Steps – See one part best as you go about your daily life.

  • • Find a shape on the picture and shift your eyes over it noticing that the point you are looking at is the point you see best.
  • Do not stop on the point you see best, but continue to the next point
    immediately.
  • Transfer this technique to your computer desktop. That is, shift your eyes over something on your desktop seeing one part best.

Explanation – Central fixation helps you see with the fovea of your eye. The fovea is the part of the retina capable of the most acute vision.

Hints – Never test your vision. Instead, see one part best or notice motion.

Being Aware of Motion

Goal – Be aware of motion as you shift around the picture.

Steps – As you see one part best and shift over the picture, make sure you move your head and notice the part you just looked at moving away as your eyes focus on the next part. Transfer this technique to your computer desktop.

Explanation – The field of vision is focused at a constantly moving point. This requires eye and mind coordination where the conscious mind is centralized and the unconscious mind is aware of the periphery.

Hints – Notice that the previous point is less distinct from what the eyes are
currently noticing. Cultivate the state of mind where something is always
being left behind. Move on (shift) without being stuck (even partly) on the last point. Point with your nose, move your head, and allow interest to be there. Do not test your vision. Instead, see one part best or notice motion.

Varying the Distance

Goal – Have a centralized state of mind and an awareness of motion when looking at pictures at different distances.

Steps – When you become comfortable at one distance seeing one part best and shifting over the picture with an awareness of motion, move the picture closer to you if you are farsighted or farther away if you are nearsighted. Transfer this technique to your computer desktop by moving your chair closer or further away, or changing the size of the screen font.

Explanation – Details perceived in the distance are different from details perceived close up.

Hints – Focus on what you do see rather than on what you do not see. Keep looking at one part best with an awareness of motion at the new distance. If you strain, you will not be able to do this. If yofind you are straining, change the distance to a comfortable distance.

Sunning and Central Fixation

Goal – Use full spectrum lighting to practice central fixation.

Steps – Sun using two full spectrum lights where one light is brighter than the other. As you move your head, notice the difference in the brightness of the lights and that one light moves away as the second light comes into view.

Explanation – This is a useful technique if you tend to strain when practicing central fixation on pictures or objects.