Edited to include a quick set up to this practice (13/05/12


This is a neat and insightful practice which can lead to seeing how mental unsatisfactoriness arises and how its cessation comes about via seeing how the mind 'focuses' and grasps at 'objects'. It is done via seeing how the brain cognises 'floaters' in the field of vision. These floaters can become a very useful and immediate feedback mechanism to see level of the clarity and purity of consciousness such as when the mind is 'grasping' at an object versus when it relaxes that 'grasping' and simply recognises seeing in the seen, cognising in the cognised. It is good for recognising continuous apperception/pre-symbolic awareness/point of sense contact. This is taken from this thread at the DhO. In the same thread are some interesting links to more info on floaters, relationship to thogal practice and their practical use as a tool in the yogi toolbox. This practice is best done looking at a clear blue sky or a light white or coloured wall or ceiling.

I will tell you from my own experience which may or may not relate to the other contexts in which floaters are discussed. There appearance, disappearance, level of clarity (such as seeing more details like refracted light and rainbow shapes to a great degree) within the visual field represents what sort of tendency of mind is dominating or in abeyance. * When the floaters are 'annoying' this is easy to diagnose. Aversion is manifesting as an annoyed 'you'. The floaters have become an 'object' of the mind to react towards and in this case due to conditioning, the reaction is one of aversion. The mind lunges and grasps for the cessation/absence of those floaters wishing they were not there. How unsatisfactory! This is unsatisfactory. * When the floaters become clearer, one can see how floaters towards the lateral or inferior sides of vision will move downwards really quickly as the eye focus tries to centre on them but since they can't be looked at head on, it is impossible. This eye focus movement represents the habitual tendency to narrow focus onto 'objects' within the field of experience, either in the visual field or other sense fields. A slight or gross frustration may result in not being able to stabilize focus on those floaters and hold them still. And the eyes keep doing

it, even though one might understand that it is impossible to do as the floaters are on the surface of the retina (or something like that). This is representing in my opinion, the habitual tendency to grasp at an object, to focus mentally in on it and establish a relationship with it. This grasping at and wanting to focus on the floaters is unsatisfactory. This represents that habitual tendency of the mind to want something, grasp at an object, but ultimately it results in unsatisfactoriness. * When one realizes that it is impossible to grasp at the floaters like so, and that grasping at them via 'eye focus' is unsatisfactory and never rewarding, then one can simply train the mind to relinquish that habitual tendency due to seeing its uselessness. When one relinquishes this habit, then the mind via eye sight will be naturally inclined to simply accept exactly what is arising in the visual field regardless of where the floaters are presenting, periphery or centre, it doesn't matter. There is a letting go of grasping at having eye focus land on them. When doing this, more floaters may suddenly appear in the centre and/or periphery as well that were not visible before. Insight into how many there really are and their details becomes more apparent and all because the manipulated eye focus was dropped to simply accept whatever is arising in the visual field without the grasping at 'objects'. The visual perception may then be more encompassing of all the centre and periphery. The eyes may still manifest the habitual tendency to focus on or follow the floaters that the mind wishes to see/grasp at/establish focus on. But since one is starting to realize that this is a useless frsutrating endeavour, one can relinquish the habit with more ease. One recognizes that simply allowing the brain to cognise the visual field without the need to focus on anything in particular, will lead to more visual displays becoming clearer. More acceptance of what is in the visual field will result via the relinquishing of that grasping tendency represented by the incessant eye focusing amovement. The eye movement will begin to calm down and become stiller and stiller until it is unmoving. The more one lets go of 'trying' to focus on a floater, the more the mind calms down and the more details of other floaters and refracted light details become apparent. The more the mind learns via experience to drop the manner in which it focuses on and grasp at 'objects' in the field of experience, the more peaceful it will become, It will drop that tendency to 'control' focus and fabricate off of it. The more the recognition of what the brain actually cognises and allowing it to become clear without 'forcing focus', the more unsatisfactoriness drops away within the whole field of

experience. The cessation of unsatisfactoriness becomes apparent. The mind simply recognizes the experience of cognising in the cognised, seeing in the seen with no 'you' neither here nor there. * When you allow the visual field to be cognised without any 'fabrications' (which as far as i see only arise due to the narrowing of the mental focus onto 'perceived' objects which are run through the mental memory banks, given a name, conceptualized and evaluated as good, bad, meh! and then reacted towards with craving, clinging which then gives rise to all the unsatisfactory moods and emotions and selfing process), the mind begins to perceive sense contact apperceptively, aware continuously of the point of contact of sense objects and corresponding sense doors, a bombardment of sense contact at all the physical sense doors simultaneously. There will be no room for any 'you' to arise, no room for any mental unsatisfactoriness either. What is learned from this approach can be applied to all experience, to all sense contact. This is just my current subject to change 2 cents. Quick set up to this practice: 1/ Find a place where there is a clear background like a blue sky, a white of light colour wall/ceiling. Sit or lie down to do it as you see fit. This is an eye open practice to begin with. 2/ Allow your gaze to be gentle and relaxed. You may start noticing our 'floaters' in the eyes. 3/ You may notice the eye focus trying to follow the floaters but they move away so it is impossible to focus on them. Recognise that it is impossible and frustrating to not be able to do. 4/ Relax your gaze and drop all mental movement to focus on the floaters. In a sense forget seeing the floaters in detail and simply allow you eye gaze to relax. This may take some practice. If you catch the eyes again trying to focus on the floaters, just relax and drop the focus. 5/ Allow you gaze to simply accept everything and anything within the field of vision. Nothing to focus on but the visual field is Allowed to display more and more details within the visual field naturally without any forced focusing movement of the mind and eyes.

That is it. It takes soem training to simply relax and allow one's gaze to be all pervasive yet unfocused. An unfabricated gaze. Rinse and repeat! Things, details, visual displays may result. If the mind grasps at them and makes them into 'objects' for the mind to grasp at, they will be lost, if the mind drops the grasping, they become clearer on their own and cease being 'objects', just phenomena in the visual field. What a feedback mechanism! Good luck!