Palming Requires Letting Go
Explore these five points and enrich your understanding of palming.
This short article by Dr. Bates is taken from the Better Eyesight Magazines.
[My comments in brackets provide some additional perspective. – gm]
Original name of article: Demonstrate: Palming
[Dr. Bates is suggesting that we demonstrate the following experiences of palming to ourselves, so we can discover more effective palming. - gm]
1. That palming improves the sight. When both eyes are closed and covered with one or both hands in such a way as to exclude all light, one does not see red, blue, green or any other color. In short, when the palming is successful one does not see anything but black, and when the eyes are opened, the vision is always improved.
[Many people benefited from the deep relaxation of “seeing perfect black”. However, the black must not be seen through any effort. Bates acknowledged that people who fail to see black can benefit from imagining a familiar happy outdoor scene or other relaxing mental images. – gm]
2. That an imperfect memory prevents perfect palming and the vision is lowered. Remember a letter "0" imperfectly, a letter "0" which has no white center and is covered by a gray cloud. It takes time; the effort is considerable and in spite of all that is done, the memory of the imperfect "0" is lost or forgotten for a time. The whole field is a shade of gray or of some other color, and when the hands are removed from the eyes, the vision is lowered.
[Bates found that after people would “see with their own eyes” that strain or imperfect memory caused poorer vision, an innate sensibility would seek the proper direction, toward relaxation and toward perfect memory. – gm]
3. That when a perfect letter "0" is remembered, palming is practiced properly, continuously and easily and the sight is always benefited.
[By “remembered” Bates means getting a clear mental picture with the eyes closed. Again the point is not to merely consider or believe these points, but to truly experience and feel them so they will take root in the mind. – gm]
4. That to fail to improve the sight by palming, or to palm imperfectly, is difficult. To fail requires a stare or a strain and is not easy. When an effort is made, the eyes and mind are staring, straining, or trying to see. When no effort is made, the palming becomes successful and the vision is benefited. Successful palming is not accomplished by doing things. Palming becomes successful by the things that are not done.
[Wording above is a bit awkward, yet carefully chosen by Dr. Bates. Notice how this point is at odds with our entire frantic modern culture. It sounds a lot more like the Zen or Taoist “Way of non-effort” – gm]
5. The longer you palm, the greater the benefit to your vision. Palm first for two minutes, then four minutes, six, etc., until you have palmed for fifteen. Notice the improvement gained in 15 minutes has been greater than that in four minutes.
[Experiment and find out what works for you personally. At times Dr. Bates or his associate Emily Lierman Bates suggested that highly nearsighted people may do better with a couple minutes of palming, repeated frequently through the day to keep one’s vision pointed toward being relaxed. Once again the key is to explore and learn. - gm]