MIND AND SIGHT

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Paul's Pathway To Normal Vision A 3-Step Plan

This article will guide you along the most direct route to recovering your vision in the shortest possible time. If you need additional support, I have included articles that target specific challenges. Turn to them when you need them. On my website, www.mindandsight.com, you will also find a more extensive explanation of the rationale behind natural vision recovery.
Note: This program is for educational purposes only, and not intended to replace the need for a licensed qualified physician. You must be under the direction of your eye doctor while attempting to apply any of the information presented.

Introduction
This program is based upon the work of Dr. William H. Bates, who discovered the mind's role in vision around the year 1900. After 25 years of study, I have been able to develop his understanding into a practical at-home approach, Paul's Pathway to Normal Vision. Because Paul's Pathway is a return to your natural and normal way of functioning, it doesn't require the learning of any new skills—only the recovery of your natural innate eye/mind habits. The process of regaining vision may at first seem complex, but in fact it's quite simple. The difficulty arises only because modern thinking is unaccustomed to the concept of making gains by letting go. Ancient Chinese thinking describes it well in the phrase, "Yield and overcome." As you follow this step-by-step plan, you will learn how you are, in fact, producing the tension, first in your mind and then in your eyes, which interferes with your natural way of seeing. I will show you how to completely let go of this tension, so that your mind and eyes can function in a normal, natural manner. The result will be the return of the brilliant clear vision that you were born to have. To help you track your progress, I have incorporated various objectives highlighted in gray like this throughout the text Let's begin what may be the most exciting journey of your life.

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STEP 1
Achieve The Proper Level Of Mental And Physical Relaxation
The objective of Step 1 is to completely relax your mind and body. This step does not require you go without lenses; nor is it about getting clearer eyesight—those will come later. You are to simply relax deeply, to a level that is common to many of your friends and neighbors, but may, or may not be common to you. After you have laid this foundation of relaxation, you will proceed to apply it to your vision. Please turn now to the Levels of Relaxation Scale accompanying this article. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with each of the five levels of relaxation. When you've finished, determine the level you are currently on. You may find some overlap in the characteristics you observe for Level I and II, but the higher levels are discreet.

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I can now identify my current level of relaxation to be

Your first objective is to reach Relaxation Level IV, where you are no longer striving and the level necessary to recover most of your vision. Later, if and when perfect vision becomes the objective, you will practice while at Level V, which is effortlessness. I am going to walk you through some techniques to relax you, tools that have worked consistently with my clients. Use these techniques even if you are familiar with other relaxation techniques because they have been designed and tested to bring about the kind of mind/eye relaxation needed for vision recovery. We'll begin with palming.

Palming Practice Routine

1. As with all the methods you'll be using in Paul's Pathway, remove your glasses or contact lenses before beginning. 2. Rest your elbows on a desk or large pillow placed on your lap. Close your eyes softly, and cover each eye with the palm of each hand, cupping your palms slightly so as to not touch your eyeballs. This will block out most of the light.

cheeks.-4- 3. or appear to have a mixture of characteristics from several levels. or III. alternating between palming and eye closing until ten minutes are up. Many people. Note: If at any point while you're palming you begin to feel tense or uncomfortable. Use whatever routine works best for you. Some people find that counting backwards while palming from 5 over and over again deepens their relaxation. legs. stop palming. evaluate your current state of relaxation to see whether you've reached Level IV. Your breathing will have dropped to originate from your lower diaphragm. If you've achieved Relaxation Level IV. Just continue your relaxation. And you will not have a feeling anywhere in your body of your nerves being on edge. How do you feel? You will know you have achieved Level IV because your arms. u I can use one of the relaxation routines to reach Level IV in ten minutes. Refer to the article included in this package entitled Solving Your Inability to Relax that takes up the vital mind condition called central fixation. Practice your preferred routine until you can attain Level IV relaxation within ten minutes. you've evaluated yourself at Levels I. however. Palm for three minutes. Determining Your New Level of Relaxation Now. This may take you anywhere from a few minutes to several weeks. If none of the routines resulted in greater relaxation. you may need more fundamental assistance. Continue to count backwards from five if this deepens your relaxation. 4. Try relaxing for 30 minutes or more by palming and perhaps one or more of the routines described in the appendix titled Relaxation Routines. Use this technique if it works for you. Take your hands away from your eyes but keep your eyes closed. you may need a little more practice. Return to palming only if you feel it would be helpful. congratulations! If. Continue like this for 10 minutes. 5. When you can relax to Level IV within ten minutes. II. All of the characteristics of Level IV will be experienced at once. . Sit resting your eyes for three minutes. you are ready to proceed to Step 2. and jaw will feel heavy or numb. Go back to palming. even those without problems with relaxation can speed up their vision recovery by practicing it.

Look at your eyes with a mirror. taste. our mind must be in good condition to receive and process the light rays that constantly stream in from every direction. just opening your eyes will bring back the tension because of strongly entrenched habits. like hearing. Seeing. for most of you. However. The four most common eye muscle tensing styles are: ♦ ♦ • • Squinting Hard Blinking Forced Eye Opening Squeezing In Let's take a look at these styles one by one. and smell are designed to operate passively. We can consciously direct our eyes to what we see but cannot directly control the quality of our sight by trying to see. Although you cannot directly prevent your eyes from tensing by physically trying to stop it. This eye tension comes from a habitual state of mind that is constantly striving to see. . knowing how you tense your eyes will enable you to know when you need to relax. ♦ Squinting Narrowing or squinting to see is.-5- Step 2 Identify Your Style of Eye Tension The relaxation level you have achieved enabled you to relax deeply with your eyes closed. This calls for a receptive. the most common form of adding physical tension to the eyes. Keep in mind that you may be engaging in more than one of these habits. Your eyes may be chronically locked into a squint—either an exaggerated or very subtle form. touch. This released tension from all of your body including your eyes. Normal eyes are comfortably wide open. It will also keep you from purposely replacing the tension in your eyes just because you are accustomed to seeing in this manner. by far. effortless state of mind that is brought about only by relaxation. In order to see well.

you are using this style of tensing.> -6- ♦ Hard Blinking The normal blink is so light that it almost cannot be felt. the hard blink improves your vision for a few moments. or when your eyelids are already open. The forced nature of seeing this way will cause your vision to deteriorate over time. Try blinking your eyes so lightly that you can hardly feel it. If you frequently "adjust" your eyes by opening them wider. then. but it can be identified. Some people who use a hard blink both push down at the bottom of their blink and spring their eyes open. either when you are opening your eyes. It may be very subtle. are you really pushing. but it must be repeated frequently. or squeezing in at the sides of your eyes to alter their shape? I can now identify that my style of eye tensing is Releasing Your Eye Tension You are now going to experience what it feels like to tense your eyes and. be careful not to engage any muscles that affect the round shape of your eyeballs. Again. Did that feel uncomfortable? If so. If you feel yourself pushing down at the bottom of your blink. Specifically. what it feels like to open your eyes without tension. then you are using the hard blinking style to continually reinstate your eye tension. ♦ Forced Eye Opening Chronically forcing your eyes open past a point where they would naturally be open creates tension and is another style of tensing to see. Like squinting. Close your eyes comfortably for a minute and lift your eyelids. the adjustment may enable you to see a little better but in the long run is hurting your eyes and eyesight. you can be sure that the hard blink is your style of adding tension to your eyes. Squeezing is si milar to squinting but it doesn't give your eyes the same narrowed appearance. ♦ Squeezing You may be squeezing or pushing your eyes in at the sides. Normal eyesight requires no action on your part other than to comfortably open your eyes. .

If you have lost Level IV. you may feel uncomfortable or somehow "wrong" to see without your usual eye tension. Allow your eyeballs to feel like they are soft. Close your eyes and rest for 3 minutes. Feel all of your facial muscles letting go. briefly open your eyes by allowing your eyelids to move straight up as lightly and effortlessly as you can. b. Again. 1. relax deeply with your eyes closed until you regain it. or ceiling. you will quickly realize that seeing effortlessly is not only easier but eventually results in normal eyesight. 3. Using the Relaxation Scale. slowly counting backward from 5 to 1. relaxing to Level IV. open your eyes for only a second to a non-descript area such as a wall. relaxing to Level IV and opening your eyes without tension. Continue this until you relax to Level IV (as described in Step 1). Do not use even the slightest excess muscular action. Repeat this procedure for five minutes. however. That is because your eyes and mind have become accustomed to seeing with strain—being tense has actually become "normal" for you. In particular. over and over or palm as you learned earlier. including your jaw. and free. carpet. 4. round. If you are having difficulty realizing when you are losing Relaxation Level IV. Keep your eyelids open for only a second. Check your level of relaxation. Relax to Level IV and open your eyes to the blank wall. this will help you: a. With Relaxation Level IV in place. . As you begin to see without strain. then close them. followed by brief easy eye openings. observe if you still have the characteristics of Level IV. See below if you are having difficulty knowing when you slip from Level IV. 6. With the Levels of Relaxation Scale at hand. 2. sit in a chair where you can face a blank wall and also so that you can turn to face a sign or a set of letters that you cannot easily read. 5. watch that you do not affect the shape of your eyeballs in the process of lifting your eyelids. Most of your time should be spent with your eyes closed.-7- Easy Eye Opening Practice Routine Note: When you first practice this routine.

-8- c. Now. Repeat these steps until you can clearly tell when you have lost Level IV. What symptoms of recovery did you experience? Take a moment to jot down any experiences or observations you had about your eye-tensing style and any symptoms you had when you practiced this technique: . Symptoms of Release Certain reactions commonly take place when people release long-stored tension in the area around their eyes. go over the Scale to see if you have the characteristics of Level IV or have dropped to Level III or II.) Again. If you experienced any of these symptoms—as a result of relaxation only and not from tension—that's a good sign. by far the most common reaction Eyes feel tired and worked out Twitching or spasms in or around the eyes Aching around the eyebrow bones Aches and pains in the eyeballs Headaches . d.less common A pulling or straining sensation upon putting on your lenses (which are beginning to feel too strong). (Letters you do not see well cause you to lose your relaxation. These symptoms include: • • • • • • • Stinging and tears in the eyes. a sign that you are making progress releasing stored tension. This is common one week after beginning the program. turn to the sign and look at the letters.

Your eyes and mind will do all the rest. you will learn to extend your successful vision to minutes and hours. By doing Easy Eye Opening. merely opening your eyes and letting the light enter is all you need to do. open my eyes to a blank wall and know that I am staying in Relaxation Level IV. this is an alert for you to relax. You now have the foundation for better vision. even if you did not experience any of the symptoms. you were releasing long-held tension. so will your improved eyesight. Continue to practice Easy Eye Opening whenever you get the chance. You may have even seen i mproved vision with flashes (less than a second) or spells (several seconds) now in place. using one of the styles of tension. In this way. Extending your success means to learn the habit of remaining in Level IV or V throughout most of the day. the stinging or other symptoms will disappear as you release even more of your eye tension. u I can relax to Level IV. you will begin to connect clearing your eyesight with relaxation. When you continue to practice Easy Eye Opening. When you find that you are tensing your eyes. You may also be experiencing much improved eyesight lasting for seconds or longer. you now know what it feels like to use your eyes without strain. if you opened your eyes while in Relaxation Level IV. ._9 _ Your Eyes without Strain Whatever your experience with the above procedure. Although your relaxed state may have lasted only a few brief moments. allowing you to see well without consciously doing anything else to help the process. In the next and final step. an important step that will speed your progress toward normal vision. you have learned an important lesson that will put you on the path to recover your eyesight. Clear vision is effortless. As soon as your relaxation is lost.

you will find a modified scenes ladder in The Scenes Ladder and Your Specific Condition included in this package. Do not think you have poor vision for everything if you cannot see things such as small lettering or faces. begin by relaxing to Level IV with your eyes closed and move up the Scenes Ladder while staying in Level IV. . you must now learn to control your relaxation so that you are not pulled back into your old habits of straining to see.10 - Step 3 Maintain Normal. Having learned to relax deeply. However.. you combine the ability to release mental striving (Step 1) with the knowledge of using your eyes without strain (Step 2). regardless of what you are looking at. With each practice. For example. Reading unfamiliar signs is commonly more difficult than other objects because of your subconscious habit of straining to read them. During those periods when you go without wearing lenses. Some things you look at are more likely than others to evoke the mental striving and resultant eye tension that lowers your vision. you may see distant branches on a tree very well. Scenes that involve lettering or faces are often strongly associated with subconscious tensing and tend to be less clear until you develop the ability to maintain your relaxation. In order to practice developing your ability to maintain your relaxation. letters of the same size and viewed at the same distance may be seen very poorly. I have developed a Scenes Ladder that ranks scenes as they are increasingly more likely to be draw out your old habits of straining to see them. notice what you see well and what is blurry. The Scenes Ladder Note: If you are farsighted. Receptive Vision In Step 3.

open your eyes on to the easiest rung of the Scenes Ladder. 3. Known objects such as furniture and cars 2. 4.e. 2.6. Faces and TV screens 3. While maintaining your Relaxation Level IV. ceilings. Do you still have the Level IV indicators that you had a few moments ago? If you have lost Level IV. i. Just as you did in Easy Eye Opening. .. Take a moment to monitor yourself. Unknown letters and HEaasrideer eye chart letters 5. Scenes of nature such as trees and grass 1. a blank or non-descript scene such as a wall. Blank and non-descript scenes such as blank walls. i mmediately close your eyes and regain that level. or carpet. and carpets The Scenes Ladder Practice Routine 1. open your eyes while maintaining your Relaxation Level IV. ceiling. Use whatever method worked best for you in Steps 1 and 2 (For more indicators of Relaxation Level IV refer to the Levels of Relaxation). Known letters and large signs 4. Begin by relaxing to Level IV.

Adjustment for Distance If you have difficulty seeing the objects in a scene clearly. 6. While in Level IV. Maintaining your relaxation for 45 seconds usually means that you could do it for much longer if you desired. keeping your eyes open for longer and longer periods as you find you are not losing Relaxation Level IV. Practice like this for one half hour. u I can relax and maintain Level IV with scenes on the first rung for 45 seconds with light blinks. 7. continue alternating opening your eyes on the easy scene and closing them. As you gain the mental control you . u I can maintain Level IV relaxation with unfamiliar lettering and signs for most of one half hour. Practice until you can easily keep your eyes open while remaining in Level IV. with each subsequent rung until you can retain your relaxation for 45 seconds before moving higher. u I can maintain Level IV with objects for most of one half hour. occasional losses. stopping at the rung prior to the one that causes you to lose Level IV.. Adjust the distance to a point where you see the object well and can maintain Relaxation Level IV. With each successive scene your vision should be quite clear. During this time your blinking should be so li ght that you hardly feel it. Continue. Continue up the ladder. in this manner. u I can see familiar faces and familiar lettering while maintaining Level IV for most of one half hour. Begin each subsequent practice by starting at the bottom of the ladder and view the scene for 45 seconds while taking your normal light blinks. u I can maintain Level IV with nature scenes for most of one half hour.12 - 5. it may be because the distance between you and the object is causing you to strain and lose your relaxation. When you find that you can easily keep your relaxation to Level IV for 45 seconds or longer with only brief. Practice this for about 30 minutes. you're ready to move up to the next scene of the ladder.

You will. Do this at every opportunity. I can maintain Level V with unfamiliar lettering and signs. • Most of my day is spent in Relaxation Level IV Achieving Normal Vision If you want to completely regain your normal vision. At first. This will not help you. have a tendency to look at something you cannot see well and then relax to see it better. I can maintain Level V with television and faces. I can maintain Level V with nature scenes. To completely break your strongly held eye/mind habits. you must concentrate on extending and expanding what you can see well. Instead. as I did. gradually move the object to a more challenging distance. Soon. only remaining in Level V for at least 45 seconds at each rung of the Scenes Ladder. bring your mind to Relaxation Level IV or V and practice your Scenes Ladder routine wherever you happen to be. Practice Throughout the Day In working on the Steps so far. Whenever you get the chance. I can maintain Level V with objects. such as during commercials on TV or at your desk. Follow the same process as before. you will develop the habit of relaxing and seeing clearly whenever you get the chance. . you must practice seeing with relaxation throughout the entire day. it will normally take you 5-10 additional minutes after you have relaxed to Level IV to achieve this level. you can do so by first reaching the very deepest level of relaxation that I call Level V.- 13- need to maintain you relaxation with that scene at this distance. you've limited your practice to periods that you have set-aside during the day. u u u u u I can reach Relaxation Level V and maintain it with blank walls. A Last Word It is important for you to practice as directed. however.

you can refer to one or more of the following articles that are included in this Basic Vision Recovery Series. Write to me at Paul@mindandsight.com ••• Supplemental Articles If you need extra guidance practicing Paul's Pathway..com 0 2001Mind & Sight R esources All Rights Reserved. For Step 1: Learning to Relax for Vision Recovery and Solving Your Inability to Relax For Step 2: Identifying Eye Tension For Step 3: The Scenes Ladder and Your Specific Condition www.mindandsight.. Material may be reproduced for personal use only. and would love to hear from you.14- Above all. we are very interested in how you are doing. .

wired chronically tense (e. clenched jaw) originates from the nose. fades in seconds Level V THOUGHTS: NERVES: MUSCLES: BREATHING: VISUALIZATION: SAME AS LEVEL IV receives the object immediately and accurately without sending for it. but easily noticed certain areas are tense freely from the nose mind sent toward object.15 - Appendix A LEVELS OF RELAXATION Level I THOUGHTS: NERVES: MUSCLES: BREATHING: * VISUALIZATION: constant leaping. hunched shoulders. full flow mind receives object in seconds. can he sustained without recalling fbr 20 seconds or longer * Visualization means picturing a very small familiar object. or flower. quiet. shallow and constrained mind is sent toward the desired memory which is fleeting and sketchy Level II THOUGHTS: NERVES: MUSCLES: BREATHING: VISUALIZATION: rushing. mindandsight. rushing.. memory of object is momentary and vague Level III THOUGHTS: NERVES: MUSCLES: BREATHING: VISUALIZATION: infrequent. few thoughts no awareness of nerves much weight to the entire body at once. calm and not intrusive slightly on edge portions of body feel weighty originates from both the nose and diaphragm (middle stomach) memory of the object comes slowly without seeking and lasts for moments Level IV THOUGHTS: NERVES: MUSCLES: BREATHING: VISUALIZATION: quiet. period at the end of a sentence.g. but not prominent moderately on edge.. such as a pencil eraser. Material may be reproduced for personal use only . thoughts highly on edge. including cheeks and jaw drawn from the diaphragm exclusively.com © 2001 Mind & Sight Resources All rights reserved. 3-6" below navel.

The habit of tensing to see is often deeply rooted and may take you considerable time relaxing to replace it. As soon as you have succeeded with alternating between sunning and palming.. in the office.16 - Appendix B MIND AND SIGHT RESOURCES Disclaimer: This program is for educational purposes only. the objective is not merely to do the routine but to gain deeper relaxation as indicated by the Levels of Relaxation scale found in the appendix. You are much better off if you can practice relaxing anywhere and at any ti me. it won't be long before simpler routines will also work for you. but the rest needed to alternate between sunning and palming. About half of my clients could relax well with either eye closing or palming. and not intended to replace the need for a licensed qualified physician. You must be under the direction of your eye doctor while attempting to apply any of the information presented. The simpler the routine is for you. to those routines that were successful with people who had more difficulty. . the easier it will be for you to turn to it. I would first try simple eye closure. Generally speaking. I moved down the list to palming. Remember. After this li sting. and if this did not relax them deeply enough. I have added some specialty relaxing routines that everyone might test. and then alternating between sunning and palming. Your specific objective is to achieve Level IV or V relaxation within 10 minutes. sunning. Relaxation Routines These are relaxation routines that I found most effective with my clients in the order of what was best for people who could relax most easily.

turn so that you are not directly facing it. By using either a 120-watt indoor spotlight.-17- A. Monitor yourself for this. Use other relaxation routines. It may only be a minute or two. and stop palming just as soon as you believe it is not relaxing to you. Perhaps we have innate an ability to relax in the warm sunlight. Did you find that you could keep track of time. If sunning produces a soothing feeling and enables you to relax. back up from it until it is just comfortable. in a holder bought at any hardware store. Time yourself for three full minutes using a watch with a sweep second hand. this si mple routine is probably all you need. If the light is too bright. Palming should be comfortable and pleasant to do. If the sun is too bright. If palming relaxes you quicker and deeper than eye closing. or the actual sun. Sunning Many people relate light and warmth to relaxing. and deepen your relaxation as found on the Levels of Relaxation scale? If so. Eye closing Use this routine if you find you can relax from simply closing your eyes and consciously letting go. Palming Some of you will find that you can best relax by the palming routine presented in the Paul's Pathway article. Continue relaxing with your eyes closed until you feel you are ready to palm again for a short ti me: C. and you should decide early if it is for you. Since this routine simulates the relaxation of sunning on a beach. changing to another routine such as palming to alleviate boredom. such as palming. B. sit comfortably allowing the light to shine on your closed eyelids. many find it especially relaxing. I routinely had people alternate between . It is good to sun like this for as long as you find that it is peaceful and relaxing. I found that many people could only palm successfully for a short time before they begin to tense. this can be a real treat for you. placed about 6 feet away from you. only if you wish. Some people can palm with ever deepening relaxation for a long time. Palming is often very relaxing or merely tenses you. However. allowing the warmth of the light or sun to pass over your closed eyes. It is often helpful to turn your head gently from side to side a few inches. When teaching. use this as your main relaxation routine.

Your guide can time you. intruding thoughts or a subtly anxious frame of mind. Alternate Palming and Sunning Using Counting Backwards If you have never really relaxed at will very easily. I suggest that you alternate about every three minutes. in this way. This routine of alternating between palming and sunning with counting backwards was the one routine I used for everyone who had difficulty relaxing. many start their routine but frequently talk themselves out of continuing. if you have difficulty with rushing thoughts. eventually you will find that silently saying a new number with each out-breath is a good pace. assist you in staying with it the routine for at least 30 minutes. If you have many rushing thoughts. until your mind is calm and relaxed. this routine of alternating between sunning and palming is often very powerful. Especially. Do not try to visualize the numbers.-18- sunning and palming approximately every three minutes. it is easy to forget what number you are on. feeling they are too busy or are not successful. Some of you may prefer to strictly do three-minute intervals of each routine with a timer. include counting backwards with this when and if it seems to help you relax. and. and tell you when to switch to the other routine. In this way you can let go of negative. palming or sunning. Try adding counting backward to the other routines of eye closing. tensing thoughts or an anxious frame of mind. it may help to repeat the number 1 over and over until your mind settles enough to keep track of counting backwards. Also. D. By counting backward from five repeatedly. but do not try to prevent it if a picture of each number arises naturally. suggesting they stay longer with the routine they enjoyed most and found most relaxing. you can place your mind on the neutral thoughts of the numbers. counting backward will probably be a strong addition to your other relaxation routines. Suggestion: Use a friend as a guide if you find that you need help with the discipline of staying with your routine. Counting backward Use counting backwards to strengthen the relaxation affects of the other routines. For instance. staying longer with the routine you enjoy more. E. . and using the other to break any monotony that develops. I often chose 5 as the number to count backwards from because. Often the above routines are interfered with by worried. Count at whatever rate seems comfortable.

curved on the top. Take up the next letter. Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. the "B" is straight on the left. The body should be loose with your arms moving freely. and curved on the bottom. 2. Memory of alphabet letters Some people automatically relax to recall something neutral or pleasant. This is all. In this relaxation routine you recall each capital letter of the alphabet with your eyes closed. keep your head and shoulders as one unit. you might give this a try. and curved on the bottom. 3. Start with one minute and work up to five. Long Standing Swing This routine is for those who are very restless physically. Lie on the floor or a firm bed. The "C": is curved on the left. Set a timer. curved on the right. lifting the other heel. open on the right. If you know you enjoy visualizing or recalling. After doing the. Dead Man's Pose Sometimes any instruction just makes a person try harder. For instance. and spread your arms and legs comfortably. Your eyes should be comfortably open allowing the scene in front of you to appear to move rapidly in the opposite direction you are moving. loosen your belt or any clothing that is restrictive. curved. or open on the each of four sides. lift your left heel and turn your head and body to face a wall to your right. Add counting backwards only if it adds to your relaxation. Others find it a chore and tense to the task. For those of you who make an effort to do everything. curved on the top. and have a hard ti me sitting down to relax. Determine in your mind if the letter is straight. .-19- SPECIALTY RELAXATION ROUTINES 1. Now swing back. A comfortable pace is about 20 complete back and forth swings per minute. until your head and body face the left wall. Going through the entire alphabet this way can be very relaxing. long-standing swing for 5 minutes. it is often best to start with this dead mans pose of relaxation. Complete permission to do nothing at all for 10 or 20 minutes is all that is necessary. you may be able to settle enough to sit down and alternate sunning and palming as described above.

Material may be reproduced for personal use only . Your Favorite Colors Some people relax better by visualizing or simply remembering. repeating them over and over again for 3 full minutes. they get out at the bottom very relaxed. Let go of each color when it comes to you and comfortably take up the next one. 5.-20- 4. Going Down the Elevator An interesting routine that some people have found successful is to imagine they are going down an elevator and relaxing a little more with each passing floor. Always evaluate yourself according to the Levels of Relaxation scale. Finally. If you find it easy to recall colors. Mindandsight. They then repeat the i magined elevator ride. Choose your three favorite colors and recall them each as vividly as possible. then this routine will probably be relaxing to you.com © 2001 Mind & Sight Resources All rights reserved. Go from one color to the next.

I will show you how to open up and relax so that you can concentrate in a receptive way. causing many problems. You must be under the direction of your eye doctor while attempting to apply any of the information presented. you may have a more fundamental problem with tension. Concentrating in this manner is common today. sunning. The very style of your thinking is probably striving and narrowing instead of opening and receptive. . Solving Your Inability to Relax (Learning to Concentrate without Tension) STEP 1 SUPPLEMENT By Paul A. The solution to this problem with concentration is also an excellent pathway to complete vision recovery. and not intended to replace the need for a licensed qualified physician. In this article.MIND AND SIGHT RESOURCES Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only. Anderson If relaxation routines such as palming. including tension and poor eyesight. Solving your difficulty with concentration will enable you to remain relaxed even when you are very busy. eye closing and counting backwards are not working.

There is no work to it. At the outer edge. but does reveal that attempting to focus too intently hinders rather than helps concentration. Since both our eyes and mind are constantly moving. This example is. which was meant to be open and receptive. you see many things while walking down a crowded street. try to concentrate very intently on each and every word individually that someone is saying on TV or the radio. you are really attempting to exclude information from peripheral parts of your awareness in favor of just this one central thing. Perhaps you are doing this without knowing it. but receive the focus of your attention best of all. . you go after a sight. When you do this. but see and think of the things you are looking at directly best of all.. Thoughts don't have to be sought after. nor does information have to be seized upon. the thought of a memory is enough. There are many different levels of concentration of your sight and thoughts. Think of a drop of water falling into a still pond. Normal concentration occurs when your awareness is spread out to receive all things coming your way. from very sharp at the center to increasingly blurry or vague toward the periphery. sights. The smaller this central point of focus. etc. of course. thoughts. you will quickly realize that you are not concentrating well at all. the wave is so slight as to be hardly noticed. When concentration is normal. such as sounds. Haven't you ever told a friend who was trying too hard to recall something "Just relax and it will come to you"? To illustrate this to yourself. Remember the earlier illustration of listening too intently to a speaker? The striving ultimately causes you to be torn between your last focus of attention and your current one. you will not have the fluid mind condition to let go of each word or thought in order to concentrate on the next one. You may have unwittingly acquired this constricted form of concentration in the classroom when your teachers asked you to focus on just their words. the better your concentration. an exaggeration. For example. sound or thought instead of allowing it to come to you. This overly narrowed form of concentration stresses your mind. Faulty Concentration With faulty (overly intense) concentration. You will lack the letting go element of normal concentration.-2- TYPES OF CONCENTRATION Normal Concentration The mind was meant to operate receptively. If you strive toward the object of your attention. the largest impact is at the center with smaller and smaller waves radiating away from that center.

whichever you prefer. . including let go. This pulling sensation is your inability to let go of sights in your periphery and see (and think) of them less clearly. People who cannot relax often try to do everything. If this is what you do. They have a distinct tendency to focus you toward just what you are looking at. They may even be a source of stress! LEARNING CORRECT CONCENTRATION Demonstration Do not use lenses for the following demonstration or later practice because they will interfere with your ability to let your awareness spread out to receive all things. Sit in front of it where you can see the bulb fairly well. Correcting this form of concentration will enable you to relax deeply because relaxation is the very essence of letting go and allowing our awareness to spread out. It should be a comfortable feeling. Take the lampshade off of a lamp.3 we must let go in order to think of and see the next thing clearly. You have just learned the rudiments of proper concentration and started on a course to improve your concentration and relaxation. Look further away from the bulb if there is a pulling of your attention. Correct concentration allows your mind to see and think of the light bulb less clearly when you look away from it. This may be 2 to 10 feet away or more. Notice that you can see the li ght bulb less clearly in your peripheral vision and allow it to be there comfortably. Turn it on or leave it off. you already know that relaxation routines do not necessarily help you relax. 1. 2. You will be able to see how well you let go in the demonstration below. whatever it takes to see it less clearly than when you look directly at it. 3. This is the problem I have been talking about. you should not feel li ke you want to see the bulb better than you do. Now look away from that light bulb toward any other object far enough to see the bulb less clearly because it is now in your peripheral vision. exposing the light bulb. which is a desire to see the bulb equally well when looking away.

dose your eyes and relax for 3 minutes or longer until you reach a deep level of relaxation. 2. more relaxed and well on your way to recovering your vision. . 1. (Level IV or V on the Levels of Relaxation page. the objective is to learn to stay sufficiently relaxed so that there is no sensation of pulling or desire to see the target cup well. were receiving your sight and thoughts. you can become better focused. Keep your second cup at a distance where you can see the target cup less clearly and without tension. Take two coffee cups and place the first (target cup) in front of you on a table or the floor. Check to see if you can see it less clearly when you look at your second cup. In six months time or less. at a distance you can see well. close your eyes and relax for a full 2 minutes. close your eyes. If you are not able to let go of seeing (or even the desire to see) the target cup as well as the second cup. Both cups should be approximately the same distance from you. Place the second cup about 5 feet away and to the side of the first cup. 3. Instead. by increments. lead yourself to become fully relaxed and at the same time develop excellent concentration skills. Every moment you spend practicing will be of value to you. rest. Once you can let go and see your target cup in your peripheral vision when looking at the second cup. you can. Extending your Ability to Relax and Concentrate By moving two objects closer together while keeping one in your peripheral vision. move your second cup gradually further away until you get that comfortable feeling while seeing it less clearly. If you still get that pulling sensation. move it a little closer.5 4 Did you notice if you had a torn feeling between the light and looking away that made you feel that you still wanted to see the light clearly even though you were not looking at it? Did you yawn when you looked away and saw the bulb less clearly? Was it a surprising released state for you mentally when you were far enough away to let go of seeing the light clearly? That yawning was a release of tension because you were not trying to see but. 4. allow yourself to see it less clearly in your peripheral vision. instead. When you have the heavy desire to see the target cup as well as the second cup. As you did with the light bulb. but not necessarily perfectly. you can steadily correct your concentration. then shift your eyes or head to look at the second cup. If you get that pulling sensation or a desire to see both cups equally well. You may need to close your eyes and rest them for up to a minute or two. By practicing in this way. As with the light bulb.) . Important: Do not jump ahead and move the cup too closely too soon. and look again at your second cup. practice looking first at the target cup to see how well you see it.

Revised 2/01 . you will be able to see one side of one cup better than the other at a distance of 30 feet. Mindandsight. The last step will be to move that cup gradually away from you. Everything else. After repeated failure to see the second cup less clearly but yet comfortably. increasingly less clearly as it is further away.. Wherever and whenever you practice. Make sure that you do not experience any tension to see it better! Any sensation of wanting to see the target cup as well when you are looking away means you have lost your poised concentration. move it back to your starting point for the day and practice again seeing the one cup in your peripheral vision less clearly. Subsequently. Just find two objects in your surroundings that more or less match the distance apart of your cups at home.. i. or any two items that are close enough to be seen fairly well yet far enough apart to allow you to practice seeing worse when you look away to the other object. When you look at a leaf on a tree. and see everything else peripheral to that center. the rest of the tree. With perfect concentration.e.-5- 6. you see the leaf better than all that surrounds it. Material may be reproduced for personal use only. Practicing Here and There You can practice improving your concentration almost anywhere. Central fixation of mind parallels central fixation of sight. You will eventually be able see the second cup less clearly when it is placed right beside the target cup. It could be a picture on a wall. Central Fixation-The Concept Your eyes see best at the center of your sight. (Remember. and laying the foundation to improve your eyesight. Stop and close your eyes and rest until you can do it easily again. looking back and forth. you will be improving your concentration. you will see one side of one cup better than the other. Although many things can be on your mind at once while walking down the street. one side of versus the other. all practice is done without lenses). etc. anytime. The mind operates with central fixation too. This is central fixation. Occasionally you may have to separate the cups a little further than you once had them.com © 2001 Mind & Sight Resources All rights reserved. is seen less clearly the further away it is from the leaf. the grass. relaxation. the words of a friend you are conversing with are thought of best.

at first. If you find you are comfortable with one. Learning to Relax for Vision Recovery STEP 1 SUPPLEMENT By Paul A. Instead. until finally I would ask myself "am I really relaxing?" The answer was always no! What follows is how I found my way out of this difficulty and was able to learn complete relaxation. Switch. You must be under the direction of your eye doctor while attempting to apply any of the information presented. and not intended to replace the need for a licensed qualified physician. I would not be surprised at all if you were really impatient with your relaxation. then stay with it longer than the 3 minutes. if you are a person who never seems to be relaxed. I had to learn that relaxing was not something I had to do. though. Often. especially if you seem never to be relaxed. never really slowing down. And learning to let this happen takes time. Rather. after . the difficulty for those having trouble is getting started on the right foot. expecting it to "happen" in just minutes.1 MIND AND SIGHT RESOURCES Disclaimer: This program is for educational purposes only. and it seemed my thoughts just kept churning away. First. It helps to vary your routine Try either palming or sunning (see descriptions under Relaxation Routines on the site) for 3-minute intervals each. yet everyone can learn to relax completely. it was something I /et happen. Anderson Relaxing can be difficult for some. nothing seemed to happen! I would sit with my eyes closed for a long while. do not expect anything for at least twenty minutes. and then switching to the other one. When I began with relaxation routines.

Refer to the Levels of Relaxation to measure your progress. You should not feel that you are shying away from the light after your eyes have had 30 seconds to adjust. the easier it is to let go again. and then simply repeat it. the longer the day goes on.. It is! The more often you successfully let go of your tension. Do not try to visualize or "see" the numbers in your head.2 the three minutes if you find you are beginning to get anxious. Sun for 3 minutes (use a timer or glance at a second hand to know when time is up) 2. Stop. just say them to yourself silently. and do not push on if you are becoming bored or tenser. Do not expect it to last at first Those who have difficulty with relaxation are often disappointed. and the fresher you are the easier it will be. Eventually though. Relaxing from higher levels of tension is more difficult. this may mean facing away from the sun toward the bright sky. The point is that you want to begin having some success. Back to sunning for 3 minutes (this time counting backwards from 5 over and over during the 3 minutes) 4. Comfort and peace are the feelings you want to experience. Do the counting at a rate that you are most comfortable. Do not expect too much at first If you find that after twenty minutes. if at all possible. adds up to deeper and deeper relaxation. do not sit close to the light! The light from the lamp or sun should not feel bright on the closed eyes. Fatigue plays a role in our relaxing. repeated often enough. Count backwards from 5 to 1. When sunning. Continue switching back and forth like this between palming and sunning for 20 minutes. such as numbers. and do not want to . If using the sun. A Sample Practice Routine 1. you will find counting at a rate of one number per out breath is comfortable. so make it easy on yourself. you are a little quieter mentally and that some of your muscles have relaxed. Count backwards over and over again The big problem with relaxing is often rushing thoughts and it helps if you can switch your thought to ones that are neutral. Give it time and you will find that shallow relaxation. Now palm for 3 minutes (repeating the number one over and over every time you breathe out) 5. Continue alternating like this. every three minutes. Also. for a minimum of 20 minutes and up to 1 hour. Switch to palming for 3 minutes 3. Morning practice is often easier For those having difficulty relaxing. the morning is a better time to practice. count this as a success. the more tense many people get.

Take things in the proper order. If your mind goes back to the same rushing state as soon as you end your practice. I was amazed. Although I did not relax every time. I felt calmer. Set the ti mer for the number of minutes you plan to relax doing a certain routine such as palming. Learning to relax will mean for you the return of living without a barrier of tension "protecting" you from knowledge that is in front of you. Feeling always short of time. It is just that you have habits of rushing anxiety associated with all activity. Activity for you may mean merely getting up from a chair or beginning a conversation! It did for me. it may be of great help to get someone to guide you through it. Have someone direct you If you continue to have difficulty relaxing. I found that one day I was sitting in front of my light. you can let go of watching the clock. This will enable you to be more comfortable and not feel you are wasting your time. and this was a beginning. learn to relax deeper first. your program must first enable you to relax deeply at will. In this way. try several until you find the one for you. Just practice frequently and know that. Just tell yourself. before you can expect to restore your eyesight. as I found it was quite common. Twenty minutes had passed and I felt a little more relaxed. A different routine may work better for you. do not be dismayed. I knew then that I could learn to let go and so I practiced sunning twenty minutes 3 times a day. and then you will find yourself seeing better. It helps if your guide tells you when to start palming. I also think that you need not worry about being overwhelmed with something . do not make seeing better the objective. because you have given yourself permission to do this routine for x amount of minutes regardless of your success. many times I did.3 recognize their relaxation at all because it doesn't last very long. Rather. then you may have psychological problems that arise when your mind settles enough to focus. and time just slipped by because I forgot what I was doing. and then 3 minutes later when to stop. In this way you give over control to someone else and release yourself from constantly questioning if you should go on. they feel that they cannot waste a second! Do not expect to see better If you are having difficulty reaching the deeper levels of relaxation. Most adults to some degree use tension as a barrier to knowing certain threatening information. The big obstacle to those who cannot relax is that their anxiety makes them impatient. "I will be doing this until the timer goes off. Find the right routine and stick with it For me it was sunning. Don't be alarmed by this. Realistically. It is best that you have this knowledge. and they interpret this as being always short of time. it will probably help you. in time. learn to relax. It helps to use a timer If you can get a timer at a kitchen store or drug store. so there is no reason to worry about it". your state of relaxation will last longer and longer. and what to do next. Relaxing (routines) makes you nervous If you find that you become fearful during your relaxation routines.

Relax as often as possible Just as soon as you begin to have success with your daily routine. without your screen of tension. You can look forward to a new clarity about your past and present. I recommend that you just be kind to yourself and relax only as long as you can without going too far into the state of tension that may be coming over you. in all available "in-between" moments. Revised 8/01 . and go deeper on those days when you are comfortable with relaxing.4because you will not be able to receive knowledge that you cannot handle knowing. The scope of benefits from deep relaxation is much wider than better vision. Also. Material may be reproduced for personal use only. enabling you to make better decisions. Mindandsight. Take it easier on days you feel threatened by your newly relaxed state. you will have more energy. I suggest that you use it frequently throughout the day.com © 2001 Mind & Sight Resources All rights reserved. You will find your progress to be very satisfying if you do.

or for what I refer to as flashes of improved vision. You can release this tension consciously by relaxing deeply. Anderson Many people can relax enough to see well for moments. You may not feel as though you are holding much tension in your eyes. only to find it immediately return as soon as you begin to look at something. Only later did I learn that they were indeed the beginning of my improved eyesight that was quickly undermined by my old habits of tensing my eyes and mind. you also lose the very notion that relaxation is connected to improved vision. Unless you are made aware of it.MIND AND SIGHT RESOURCES Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only. I have found that vision fades when old habits of tensing to see return. These old habits are both eye tension and a subtle "seeking to see" mentality. But it is difficult to connect these fleeting glimpses of i mproved vision to anything permanent. In a split second. you can be sure that you are. Identifying Eye Tension STEP 2 SUPPLEMENT By Paul A. but if your eyesight is below normal. you may think it is incredible that you could have lost your relaxation and your improved . and not intended to replace the need for a licensed qualified physician. you not only lose your improved vision. This can cause your improved vision to fade after just a flash. You must he under the direction of your eye doctor while attempting to apply any of the information presented. I originally disregarded these flashes because I did not know that they were legitimate improvements.

Although much tension will be released during the upcoming routine. your eyes are not unduly tense. If you put on your glasses after relaxing for three minutes. It's a wonderful sense of freedom and receptivity. as this will happen naturally as you release tension. Your eyes may then seem to feel strange and "loose. also. Don't do it! Instead." You may have a strong urge to tighten them to get rid of this "incorrect" feeling. Relaxation will take care of everything. The Release of Your Eye Tension • Right now. Normal and natural eyesight. you probably do not feel any tension in your eyes and strongly believe that. on the other hand. Habits of tensing your eyes and mind can be deeply entrenched. Your eyebrows may be pulling down. When you put on glasses or contacts. Gently probe with the tips of your fingers around your eye sockets and between your eyes to see if you feel any pain. When you relax deeply and then open your eyes gently. continue to relax. as you must begin to seek or strive to see to the degree of your prescription. they may begin to ♦ ♦ ♦ • . do not try to open them wider. and other muscles around your eyes are probably contributing by narrowing your eyes into a partial chronic squint. you may notice that you must blink hard or otherwise "adjust" your eyes. the more firmly in place the tension is likely to be. If you see that your eyes appear to be locked into a kind of squint. Close your eyes and gently probe your eyeballs through your closed eyelids. Years of seeing through lenses cause you to believe on the subconscious and conscious level that this is what you must do to see. Your mind. I can best describe this seeking state as staring. Any dull pain is an indicator of tension. This adjustment is the tightening that is needed to see clearly through lenses. some of your chronic tension will remain and only be released over the period that you fully recover your eyesight. requires no action on your part and has a different feel to it altogether. You can just assume that your eyes are relaxing as the other muscles in your body relax. However. Your eyes are probably not fully open as they will be when your natural vision is returned. your eyes must tense and tighten to see. other than poor vision. goes through a similar adjustment. that tension-free feeling is present only because your strain is subconscious. Take a look at your eyes in a mirror.2 eyesight so quickly. The longer you have worn lenses and the worse your vision. or looking to see. as if your sight was taking place out in front of you rather than in your head.

Practice it consciously on occasion. This tightening is then left in place when you open your eyes. ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ Identifying and releasing your eyestrain is a very important element in your recovery. Tunnel vision is seeing only the chair in front of you and disregarding your hand out beside you. right. It is as light as the wings of a butterfly and cannot be felt. Put your hand out to the side of you and notice how vague your vision is of it when you look straight ahead. Practice closing your eyes lightly when this uncomfortable feeling is overwhelming and you are tempted to replace the tension. Such symptoms are the release of your subconscious tension into your conscious mind. Instead. left. Light is coming into your eyes from a wide circle in front of you. Material may be reproduced for personal use only. Your mind is now allowing you to experience feelings that it did not allow you to be aware of when your tension level was high.-3sting and you may feel some pain or aching. This is the way eyesight is supposed to be. this entire circle is a part of your new vision.com © 2001 Mind & Sight Resources All rights reserved. Your clearest vision is now at the center of this wide field. You see objects directly beside you very poorly. you actually push down at the bottom your blink and tighten your eyes. Once you have restored your normal vision. as if it was not a part of your visual field. and things are seen increasingly less well toward the periphery. causing it to become subconscious again. up and down. Don't do it! By blinking hard. The feeling of stinging and the strange unfocused feelings may be very strong. but it does so by restoring your habitual level of strain. you will not experience this discomfort at all because you have released all of the tension in your eyes. The specific knowledge of your style of tensing will allow you to observe the physical aspect of your tensing to see. Blinking hard will get rid of your pain and discomfort. Seeing through lenses brings about tunnel vision where your peripheral vision is disregarded. As you progress. Since you are seeing receptively. Mind andsight. it is a mere tapping. ♦ You may feel like blinking hard to replace the normal feeling that you are so accustomed to having in your eyes. The true normal blink is relaxed and has no pushing down at the bottom. you will only experience this aching or stinging when you reach deeper levels of relaxation. Revised 8/01 . you may have to close your eyes more than they are left open! Opening your eyes in this relaxed way you will give you your first experience of receptive vision. At first. These sensations are a good sign if they've been brought about solely through relaxation.

perhaps ten feet away. Anderson If you are farsighted or have other problems using the Scenes Ladder. you cannot maintain it with objects. and not intended to replace the need for a licensed qualified physician.-1- MIND AND SIGHT RESOURCES Disclaimer: This program is for educational purposes only. In this case. You must be under the direction of your eye doctor while attempting to apply any of the information presented_ Tailoring the Path to Your Specific Condition STEP 3 SUPPLEMENT By Paul A. where you can look toward the wall. Difficulty Seeing the Objects Rung of the Ladder When working with the Scenes Ladder. look at a blank wall with the object in your peripheral vision. you will find special assistance here to use the ladder effectively. You will find a point. you may find that although you can maintain your relaxation and tension free eyes when looking toward a blank or non-descript scene. maintain your .

The time you spend seeing a blank wall without effort will be invaluable as you move up the scenes ladder. you will be teaching your subconscious mind to let go and see.-2relaxation. This may be accomplished in a short period or take you many weeks. (It will be blurry. This prepares you to see the next scene in the same manner. it may be that you are making the mistake of trying to see clearly.) As this gets easier. but in either case. Remember seeing more clearly will not help if blinking hard or tensing in any way produces it. They may be from separate strains or the same strain. The preparation is the objective of the practice. By gaining experience seeing effortlessly. you will be able to look at the object directly without losing Relaxation Level IV. Overcoming one will usually enable you to overcome the other. It may help you to skip down to the instructions on overcoming your difficulty with bright light. What you need to learn is to open your eyes while being firmly in Relaxation Level IV without tightening your eyes in any respect. Recovery from your nearsightedness will also resolve your astigmatism. With practice. Nearsightedness and Astigmatism If you have a fairly high degree of nearsightedness. The objective of the Scenes Ladder practice is to give you experience seeing receptively without mental or physical strain. move your eyes closer to the object. relaxation to the effortless state will resolve both. . and see the object in you peripheral vision. you most commonly also have some degree of astigmatism. as peripheral vision is much less sharp than central vision. and work with this simultaneously with your nearsighted condition. Nearsightedness and Low Light Almost everyone who is nearsighted has some degree of difficulty handling bright light. Using a blank wall or other non-descript scenes will prepare you to see other more challenging scenes with out effort and strain. Nearsightedness If you are nearsighted and having difficulty using the scenes ladder.

so you need to practice with a different set of scenes. reading distance difficulty In this case. Large familiar letters with much space in-between at reading distance 3. Small objects such as a pen or pencil at reading distance 1.-3Farsightedness. Medium to large print at reading distance 4. In order for you to learn to see with receptive vision. use this Scenes Ladder: 6. your strain is not with distance. Devote more practice time to the eye that sees less well. Small print at reading distance 5. presbyopia. but with closeness. Blank paper at reading distance Amblyopia Eesir Amblyopia can best be recovered by working with central fixation. covering the good eye with a patch. . See the supplemental article for Step 1 titled Solving Your Inability to Relax and practice with each eye individually. Large letters with much space in-between about 3 feet away 2.

Double or Multiple Vision Use the regular Scenes Ladder to overcome this condition. Practicing with this set of scenes below (while achieving Relaxation Level IV) will allow you to see once again in bright light without sunglasses: 5. You begin to strain in the false notion that it will help you receive the light more comfortably. Solving Your Inability to Relax. your effort or strain is associated with bright light.-4- Astigmatism Only Again. A shady sidewalk or the ground on a sunny day 2. Just remember that your eyes will not see a single image unless you are in Level IV or V Relaxation. this usually involves a problem with central fixation. the opposite is true. Objects indoors in a fairly bright room 1. Refer to the practice in the supplement titled. grass and other natural scenes on a sunny day 3. Seeing in Bright Light In this case. in a darkened room . Trees. The bright sun-lit sky 4. Actually. The blank scenes on the first rung are especially important because you must learn to see receptively before you will be able to practice seeing other things well. Indoors.

Material may be reproduced for personal use only .mindandsight. starting with bright daylight and proceeding to increasingly dimmer light for each scene.com © 2001Mind & Sight Resources All Rights Reserved. To overcome this type of strain.-5- Seeing in Low Light This condition is often associated with nearsightedness or farsightedness/presbyopia. You may tense to low light and separately to distance. use the regular Scenes Ladder but gradually reduce the amount of surrounding light. www.