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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Here is an exercise that focuses on your peripheral sight. What you do is pick something in your immediate environment to center your attention on, and then shift your attention to your peripheral vision, that which is visible around the edges of your vision, without moving your eyes. Let your attention wander all around the outer edge of vision, just don't move your eyes if you can help it. I suggest not more than five minutes at a time to begin with, and remember to blink. In addition to the meditative benefits, the purpose of this exercise is to relax your eyeballs, change some mental habits, and expand your vision.

In Western culture many people grow up trying too hard to see things clearly, trying too hard to see what others have told them is out there, trying too hard to focus with their eyes instead of their attention, or trying too hard not to see what they shouldn't and what they fear. The result is often a rigid seeing pattern that verges on tunnel vision and puts great strain on the eye muscles. Since memory is stored in patterns of muscle movement and position, limited seeing patterns may also be linked to memory suppression or memory obsession (when you can't get a memory out of your mine). Because most people have not been trained to use their mind efficiently, they tend to use their body for things the mind is designed to do (like when you try to push a ball in a hole or a basket with your body even after it's on its way). So often they unconsciously use their eyes to push and pull or hold in place.

In addition to helping to relieve the tension produced by such factors, this exercise opens up your vision in two curious ways. First, you may begin to see farther around you than seems physically possible. It is not uncommon for people to see things that are behind them while doing this exercise. Second, you may begin to see things that people looking with ordinary sight will say aren't or can't be there, like movement, waves of energy, objects, or figures. If you experience it, it's real. you don't have to figure out what it means or why it's there, or whether something is wrong with you because no one else can see it, any more than you would if you happened to catch a glimpse of a wild animal in the woods that no one else around you saw. Simply enjoy the fact that you saw it.

~Serge Kahili King

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