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.