Vision Practices Continued...

"Many think that 2D vision, frontal visual lock, etc. means concentration and focus  but we don’t want this kind of tunnel vision fixity of concentration.” -SH

More Vision Practices  

Staring eyes mean tension, locked joints, and poor balance. We need many strategies to learn not to stare. Less TV. Less computer. More time in Nature! More Feldenkrais®!  But that’s unrealistic for most of us, so here are a few ideas to try. Spend only 30 seconds on each one. The benefit comes from the effect that will come from your daily use of these exercises.


  • Imagine a pencil on the tip of your nose. Outline what you see. This requires small, relaxed movements of the head and neck – the opposite of fixity. 


  • Test yourself right now. Close your eyes. What did you do? Did you stay in close focus memory? As if reading a book or watching TV or using a computer. Try it again: this time when you close your eyes practice far distant visual memory, wide angle vision, relaxed breathing and body. Practice that! Especially before bed.


  • Wide angle vision. Soft eyes. Like a butterfly landing. See 3D movement - swaying or walking. Look around the room like this, for 3 minutes at a time. Anyone who uses a computer, will usually be staring at objects all day long, forgetting that as a child he used to have a better way to use his eyes. 


  • Close your eyes and visualize a very familiar location, such as a particular room in your home, or your office space. By keeping the eyes closed we can more easily visualize in 3D, full color, open focus, wide-awake alert awareness, with movement and perspective and emotional content. With eyes open, the eyes would exert their usual way of being on the brain – staring, seeing in two dimensions instead of three, etc. This is a wonderful practice to do just before falling asleep. It will restore some semblance of natural brain/visual function as we sleep, instead of sleeping staring eyes and tense body, as most of us do. 


  • Let the head turn as you read. All young children do this. We learn EXTREME fixity of head and neck (relative to eye usage) at a computer or cellphone display. We must somehow loosen the screws of such fixity.


  • Acupressure for eyes. You can Google this. There are many ways to do it and they all feel wonderful. Our eyes and the surrounding muscles get too tight! They cry for relief and this is one wonderful way to provide that relief. 


  • Shift to wide-angle vision throwing an imaginary ball. Eye-hand coordination with soft and open focus (as when we throw an object) is how the brain actually evolved. To stare at a target as we throw is just perpetuating a bad habit of visual fixity or staring that we learn from TV and computer monitors. 


  • Ankle and talus work to soften the vigilant eyes. This means you play like a child on supple ankles. Hop on one foot. Walk toes in, out, on inside of feet, outside, walk backwards, eyes closed stand on one foot and do dance movements, etc. All this will make your ankles smarter and more supportive, so your eyes can be free to be happy and freely looking around like a child, and not be tied to the job of helping take care of your fragile balance situation –staring down at the ground in front of you. That is practically the somatic definition of old age


  • Forgiveness, gratitude, love, enthusiasm, and patience: softens eyes, helps balance. Anger = staring eyes. It makes balance worse. Start to understand that your emotions will always express through your eyes, and your eyes controls your muscular tonus and body organization. 


  • See from the center of the head. Start with eyes closed. Forget the two eyes. Look at your left ear from the center of your head (as if the low brain between the ears=medulla= actually was a magical eye) then the other ear. Look through the skull behind you. See anywhere in time or space from there. This is a powerful way to loosen the octopus grip of eyeball-tension habits on our psyche. Here, we take the two eyes entirely out of the equation and instead use the original one eye. You’ll see much more on this topic elsewhere in this website.


  • Look near to far with variations of focus. Look at your thumb, then look into the far distance with narrow angle vision. Then repeat with wide angle vision. Then go from near vision with wide angle vision to far vision narrow angle. Play with this. Most people never do anything remotely like this past a certain playful young age. It is a pity.  


  • Thumb work. Move your thumb and follow with the eye(s), using the right eye open and left eye closed, track the left thumb. This makes the right eye cross midline. Repeat on the other side. We need to work to make the “trailing eye” often cross midline, since this does not happen at a computer monitor and yet  it is natural for the eyes to know how to do this. 


  • Slowly very slowly open and close eyelids. The eyelids are like switches to turn on or off the entire nervous system. If we never practice SLOWLY opening and closing them (as in 30 seconds each way) our entire nervous system will be too “jerky” and will only know “full on” and “full off” with no middle ground. 


  • Squeeze eyelids tightly shut while in distant vision memory. ie: Visualize looking off into the far distance towards the horizon of the ocean, and with that vision squeeze the eyelids closed.  Do this many times. This reduces eyeball elongation from prolonged near-vision work, reading books, or computer use.


  • Looking through people, looking behind people, never stare as you talk to people. Wide angle, soft vision. See from the center of your head. Don’t listen to those who say “look people in the eye as you shake hands” because what they should say is using your entire being, concentrate on the person, give your full attention, but with soft eyes in open focus, not staring eyes that everyone finds offensive. 


  • Tongue and eyes in coordination. This is a little drill to re-awaken natural mobility of tongue and eyes when computer usage will immobilize them for hours at a time. 


  • Practice looking through walls and making pictures 3D. Storytelling to others or ourselves. We need to think, feel, remember, talk and listen in 3D and full color and movement etc. It is not just kids and animals who should have this ability – it is our human birthright. We become something less than human when we stop doing this. Many think that 2D vision, frontal visual lock, etc. means concentration and focus  but we don’t want this kind of tunnel vision fixity of concentration.  This is the kind of mind that can destroy the environment, with tunnel-vision thinking and a lack of open awareness for broader consequences. 


  • Quick flashing eyes – the opposite of staring eyes. 


  • Chin in, look around, L/R/up/down, circles, diagonals. Without turning the head or moving the head in any way. We learn eyeball fixity at a computer. We MUST do a little of this kind of work to avoid long term brain damage (habits of tunnel vision perceptions and thinking). 


  • Close eyes, move or walk, remember objects, location. Walking with eyes closed, even a few steps in your room, or from bedroom to bathroom, is a wonderful thing. It refreshes the kinesthesia of the body. It softens our visual dominance. It helps the ankles be more independent and stable and intelligent. 


  • Chin in and look up often to stretch muscles of eyes. We look down far too long and too often. That is all we do when reading a book or using a computer. We MUST spend some time deliberately looking up now and then at least. 


  • Palming the eyes for 15 seconds. Very relaxing. Place your palms over your eyes and gently press the ball of the palm into your eye sockets.

  • See empty space instead of the outside skin of objects. All young kids can do this; they sort of defocus and use their imagination more than their eyeballs. Their visual focus is not gone, but rather it is resting “in thin air” and that is a very natural and powerful way to use the eyes, to wake up intuition and imagination. Otherwise we are always tied to seeing the superficial aspect of material objects. How very boring!


  • Follow a pencil tip or fingernail to tip of nose. Keep the pencil tip in clear focus for as long as possible. Do this for 30 seconds a day. It helps cross over of each eye (crossing midline) and focus muscles and much more. This should be done once a day for an entire lifetime. It is the most important of all eye exercises. It teaches changing focus in near vision. It teaches staying focused with VERY close focus, just like a breast-feeding baby looking at the nipple of the breast. It is a hallmark of youthful and relaxed eyes. 


  • Summary: Look all around from center of head, breathe, see empty space, allow head to jiggle, see far/near, flash eyes quickly, orientation in the room well remembered. Land lightly on objects, movement. Close your eyes and walk, while remembering things in 3D etc. 
© Copyright 2015 Steve Hamlin