Slight Improvements

Last Thursday:  I decided to palm for 30 minutes indoors.  Before= 10/200, After= 10/60. 😐 I expected better results since I palmed for so long, but I think I know why I did not go further than 10/60.  When I first started palming I felt relaxed and my mind was calm.  Then for the last part (the last ~10 minutes), my arms started to fall asleep and my back started to become a little sore.  I believe the physical strain from these things, plus the the fact that my mind was focusing on those two problems, prevented my mind/eyes from relaxing more.

Last Friday:  While I was at work I was sketching the lines on the wall (there are a bunch of vertical and horizontal blue lines (~5 mm wide) on a white background), and I was able to see oppositional movement (or the universal swing) very well. 🙂 While my eyes were moving along the lines it seemed as if they were following a small clear area without any conscious effort.  A way to imagine it would be if you turned off the lights in the room and then looked at things on a wall with the small light circle from a flashlight (the lights were on, so it wasn’t this dramatic).  Anyway, my eyes felt very relaxed as I sketched the lines and saw oppositional movement.

Today:  I sunned and palmed for a few minutes outside and was able to see 20/50 on the Snellen chart.  However, the letters on this line were just barely readable.  I saw them in such brief clear flashes that I almost didn’t have enough time to recognize them.

One final thing I want to discuss is the difference in relaxation I feel during palming as compared to after palming.  While I palm, I can consciously relax all my upper back, neck, and face muscles, and I am able to keep my mind on one thought (usually my breathing or remembering a letter).  However, once I remove my hands and open my eyes, I can immediately feel my face and eyes tense up.  I know that if my mind and body remained as relaxed as they are during palming, I would be able to see lower lines on the chart.  Therefore, I plan on rereading, in LIberman’s book, the technique of open focus.

When I have practiced open focus in the past, I was able to remain relaxed even when my eyes were open.  The relaxed feeling I acquire during this technique is very similar to how I felt as I sketched the lines at work (on Friday).  I think it will be befeficial for me to practice open focus until it becomes an unconscious habit for me.  I will start working with this technique this week.


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