Seeing the Flash/Open Focus

Sunday night I decided to practice open focus and the “vision meditation” of seeing the flash from page 92 of Liberman’s book, Take Off Your Glasses and See. I practiced them at the same time because I think open focus is meant to be a constant action even while doing other vision meditations.  I practiced these techniques for about 30 minutes while reclined on my bed (with a back-rest cushion thing).  Here are my results/notes:

  • I was able to see 10/50 on the Snellen chart quite clearly, and I even could see the form of the letters on the 40 line (these letters came in such brief flashes that I could not recognize the letters, but I could recognize their shapes).
  • I generally allowed my eyes to move wherever they felt drawn.  This is from the open focus technique; you are supposed to let your eyes move unconsciously and in a relaxed manner.  You let them move to see whatever object in your peripheral vision is catching your attention.
  • I was able to see oppositional movement well while sketching the frame of my closet and other lines.
  • The top letter (200 line) was very black.  Usually it is seen as a dark gray color.
  • I was not able to see too well the “wobble” in the vision that Liberman describes.  This is supposed to happen when one first opens his eyes because he has not had enough time to strain yet.  The wobble is the change from perfectly clear vision to one’s normal vision (which is blurry if one has myopia, astigmatism, etc.).  While I could tell that there was some change in my vision immediately after I opened my eyes, it happened in an instant.  Therefore, I could not distinguish the differences.
  • Every once in a while I would palm for about 10 seconds just to give some variety to my eyes.

Based on my results, I believe that for me palming and open focus provide different and complementary results.  Palming is useful when my eyes are closed, and it allows me to relax the muscles of my body (especially my upper back, neck and face) and my mind to a great extent.  Open focus is useful when my eyes are open, and it allows me to keep my eye muscles and mind relaxed so that I am able to let my eyes move to wherever they are drawn.  I think that open focus is more beneficial once I open my eyes because there is a smaller change than with palming.  palming = darkness -> full light, open focus = less light through the eyelids -> full light

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2 thoughts on “Seeing the Flash/Open Focus

  1. emilylouise519 says:

    I looove that “back-rest cushion thing.” It’s totally comfy =]

  2. mark825 says:

    That wasn’t even the point of the post 🙂 , but I’m glad you like the cushion.

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