To remember something perfectly or imagine something in vivid detail, the mind has to be completely relaxed. People with photographic memories have very relaxed minds, and would have very clear vision if they knew how to transfer their extremely relaxed state of mind to how they see.
Memory and imagination techniques are practiced after motion and centralization techniques have relieved enough eyestrain so the mind is in a relaxed state. Memory and imagination techniques take the mind to a much deeper state of relaxation to refine the vision into sharp focus.
One day I was riding in the car with one of my students. He was having trouble reading the freeway signs, and I pointed out that he should stop fixating on the fact that the signs appear a little blurry and look for letters that pop out and notice the length of the word instead. But I told him to make himself present first by feeling his feet on the floor and hands on the steering wheel. When he did what I asked, his imagination awakened and he and found he could guess at the words on the signs with amazing accuracy. His vision also cleared.
Memory is an important tool for refining vision. If something is round and you remember it round, you will see its roundness clearly when you look at it. If you stare at a memory, the memory disappears. Perfect memory brings about the state of mental ease, mental focus, and a feeling of being in the present moment.
The memory techniques increase shifting and relieve any eyestrain you might have when you focus your eyes. This leaves your mind and eyes free to focus on what you see. Memory techniques work well when you have a good visual memory, or if you have normal sight at some distance (it does not matter what distance). If you do not have a good visual memory, the techniques can help you improve your visual memory, which in turn, improves your vision.
Types of Memory
There are three major types of memory: visual, kinesthetic, and auditory. Most people predominately use one or two of the three types. If you know your type, you can gear the memory techniques to your best advantage. You can also develop other types of memory by practicing the techniques according to the types of memory you do not use often or at all.
People who are strongly visual are thinner, well put together, have a higher voice, and use a lot of visual words. If you predominately use visual memory, slow down and lower your voice as a precursor to relaxation.
Practice flashing (described below) to encourage your visual memory. This works because the visual memory is faster than the auditory or kinesthetic memories and flashing requires quick image recall. Also practice central fixation.
People who are highly kinesthetic put comfort before looks. Some kinesthetic people respond to external sensations and are aware of their extremities.
Practice memory techniques by holding the object in your hand. Notice how it feels when your vision is clear as opposed to when your vision is not clear. Keep the memory of the feeling of clear vision.
People who are strongly auditory have a rhythm with their walk and ups and downs in their voices.
Practice the memory techniques by incorporating a short swing with the object. Also, keep a memory of the short swing at different distances at all times. Start the swing with your body moving, and then stop your body and keep the feeling of the movement.
Begin by practicing memory techniques on what is in front of you at a comfortable distance to take advantage of the state of mental ease you already have at that distance.
Goal – Palm and accept images (flashing). The palming part can be done with eyes closed or eyes opened.
Steps – Take breaks during the day and practice flashing with items on your desk.
- Place an interesting object in front of you when you palm.
- Open your hands quickly to get a mental image.
- Close your hands again to cover your eyes, and remember the image.
- Palm like this for five minutes every hour.
Other Ideas –
- Palm and remember a pleasant experience.
- Flash with a deck of cards by pulling the cards up one by one, looking at them quickly, saying their names out loud (ace of spades), and going on to the next card. This technique builds the visual impulse because there is not enough time to strain to see.
- Look at one corner of a simple picture, close your eyes, and remember the corner.
Explanation – Flashing is a good way to build mental images, and strong mental images help you see clearly.
Hints – If the memory goes away, it is because you do not have shifting to shift over the points in the image to maintain the memory of the image. Practice shifting by sunning, palming, and swinging.
Goal – Allow images to flow into your mind when you remember.
Steps – Practice this several times a day.
- Pick an object in your environment and let your eyes shift around it in a drifting swing.
- Close your eyes and shift around the object in your memory.
- Open your eyes and remember the feeling of the memory of the object with your eyes closed.
Hints – Relax when you open your eyes and do not try to see anything. Let the image flow into your mind. Elongate your head and neck to reduce the strain on your head, neck, and spine.
Explanation – Your eyes have to paint the picture in your mind by shifting. If you stare at the whole picture in your mind, you lose the memory. Keeping the memory with the eyes open prevents you from mentally projecting the picture out and causing eyestrain.
Memory of a Letter
Goal – Use memory to see print clearly.
Steps – Practice this technique whenever you read. If you are farsighted, this technique will help you see smaller print. If you are nearsighted, this technique will help you see print in the distance. Reading is covered in more detail in Chapter 7: Healthy Reading Habits.
- Find a letter such as the letter Z on a printed page (black print on white is best) and look at it at the distance where you see best.
- Remember it when you close your eyes and retain the same relaxed state with your eyes closed.
- Look at the floor and open your eyes maintaining the memory of the Z.
- Repeat, but this time when you open your eyes, look at a blank wall keeping the memory of the Z.
- Repeat, and this time let your eyes move up the wall keeping the memory of the Z. If the Z begins to fade, go back to the object and regain the memory.
Explanation – When you make an effort to remember, the memory fades.
Memory of an Object in its Environment
Goal – Have perfect memory at different distances and at a small point. Create a relaxed state where the mind does not go out to see, but light flows into the eyes and is registered by the mind. A simple memory of anything with detail can sharpen your vision.
Steps – Pick an object in your environment to remember. Shapes, letters with serifs, or any object near you will work. It should have enough detail to keep your interest, but not too much detail so it is difficult to remember.
- Recall the object with your eyes closed until the visual memory is equal to or close to equal to the real object. The size, color, and position relative to your periphery should be the same with your eyes closed and with your eyes open.
- Recall the object with opened eyes against a blank surface in the room (a wall or table top) at your best distance.
- Try other distances. If the memory starts to go away with opened eyes, recall the object with your eyes closed.
- Recall the object with opened eyes against detailed surfaces in the room (carpet or closed drapes) at your best distance.
- Try other distances.
Explanation – Memory works the same way as vision. The mind shifts over many points to get the image. You remember an object when you have an image of the object – its shape, color, position in relation to the periphery, and you maintain the same feeling with your eyes closed that you had with your eyes open. Do not make work out of the memory. Just think about it.
Hints – Do not project the memory out. Remember the object with your eyes open at the same distance and size as it is with your eyes closed. Ask yourself if the object is on the wall or in your mind. It should be in your mind. If it is on the wall, you are not being present when you see and present when you remember. Memories can help the vision if you bring yourself into the present.
If you get a negative after image, you are remembering with strain. If you tend to strain on a memory, move a part of your body to break the strain. If you have trouble getting a mental picture, you do not have central fixation developed enough. Go back and practice the central fixation techniques.
Practice the “Memory of an Object in its Environment” on 49, but use an apple or other fruit as the object. Include the crunch, taste, and smell of the apple as part of the memory.
One Eye at a Time
Practice the “Memory of an Object in its Environment” on 49, but work with one eye at a time by covering one eye. This will correct a distortion in the open eye.
Goal – Use memory to improve vision at the far point.
Steps – Close your eyes and pretend to draw pictures on your extended hand, or make a 1/4 inch circle on your forefinger with your thumb.
Explanation – These techniques bring the attention in and create an internal swing that moves with your mind and eyes.
Hints – Be aware of points in the circle by counting numbers. The thumb works best when you are aware of the connection between you and your thumb.
Goal – Use memory to improve vision at the near point.
Steps – WIth your eyes closed, draw letters of the alphabet with your index finger on bridge of your nose between the eyes.
Explanation – This brings your attention in.
Hints – If you have a turned-in eyes, draw the letters on the side of your temple instead.
If you can keep a memory when looking at the blank surface, but lose the memory when you look at objects with your eyes open, the best thing to do is dodge to a blank surface or to closed eyes. Dodging allows the memory to stay because it keeps the mind from fixing on what your eyes are seeing.
Do a short swing on an object and remember it swinging with your eyes closed. Now remember it swinging with your eyes open. Practice the memory swing whenever social conditions prevent practicing short or long swings.
Hold two cards at different distances. Look from one card to the other and retain the memory of the last one while looking at the current one.
Palm and have someone read you a story. Create mental images as you listen to the story.
Find a small black dot such as a solid black period in text. Use memory and palming to remember the black dot. Get a short swing going with the dot in your mind.
Keeping a Memory when Seeing
Find an object you like and remember it all the time to maintain the state of clear vision. For example, think of an apple, and look in the distance and remember the apple.
Stimulating the memory stimulates the vision and vice versa. If you remember detail, you think details, and therefore, you see details. Keep a visual picture in your mind at all times.
Keep a a picture of yourself before you wore glasses near you to help you remember the state of mind of clear vision. Never remember blurred vision. Take yourself back to a time when you had clear vision by talking about it to a partner or friend.