NON-DUAL VISUAL FIELD TRAINING – AKA SOFT-EYES WITH INTENT
By Scott Ford
1. This practice is a 60-second, soft-focus training practice that involves your entire visual system, and by visual system, I mean the thinking eye and the seeing brain.
2. This soft-focus training is a visual training practice that teaches you how to create what is called a Nondual Visual Field (NDVF).
3. The fact that it is a short, 1-minute training practice means that you can do it as often as you like during the day, or you don’t have to do it at all. It’s up to you.
4. As we first start doing this practice, I’ll walk you through it, and point out some things about NDVFs that are of interest to us as coaches, athletes, and human beings.
5. Here’s how you create a NDVF:
A. Look straight ahead, and while keeping your head still, use only your eyes to identify three different objects in your VF. One object on the left side of your VF; one object on the right side of your VF; and one object in the center of your VF.
B. Now, while keeping your head still and using only your eyes, notice the empty space between you and the object on the left half of your VF. Then, using your eyes only, notice the empty space in the right half of your VF. And finally, notice the empty space between you and the object in the center of your VF.
(If you need help focusing on empty space, stick your index finger up in front of your face at a comfortable arms distance – focus on your fingernail, then put your finger down and keep your eyes focused on where your fingernail was).
C. Let’s continue…as you deliberately focus your eyes on the empty space in the center of your VF, let your focus rest in that empty space directly in front of you for ten seconds. I’ll count the seconds…this is a practice run…ready, soft-focus…go.
6. As you maintain your soft-focus on this empty space for ten seconds, just concentrate on controlling your focus and not refocusing on any of the objects in your VF.
Q: Did you control your focus for 10 seconds? Yes/No
7. Try it again, that was a practice round. Now try to hold your soft-focus for 60 seconds. And as you rest your eyes on the empty space of your VF, notice that while you are focused on the emptiness of your VF, you are still seeing all of the objects in your VF, they’re just all out of focus, including the three objects you picked out earlier.
Think of this part of the practice as learning how to see everything by focusing on nothing. It feels a little strange at first. With practice, you’ll get used to what it feels like to see the whole of your VF, parts included.
8. Try another 60 seconds, only this time realize that by deliberately soft-focusing on the emptiness of your VF, you are deliberately creating what is called a “Nondual Visual Field,” and this NDVF is the same as the NDVF you unconsciously create when you are playing your sport “in the zone.” Now, however, you are creating it consciously.
9. Understand that the NDVF you are consciously self-generating by maintaining a soft-focus on emptiness is the exact opposite of the Dualistic VF you unconsciously self-generate when you hard-focus on form.
10. Take a moment and go back to hard-focusing on your three objects in your VF, which returns you to self-generating a D-VF experience. Then immediately return to soft-focusing on emptiness and simultaneously self-generating a NDVF experience.
As you continue to deliberately self-generate a NDVF experience by soft-focusing on emptiness, notice that your VF has three dimensions of space – height, width, and depth – but also notice that your VF has three dimensions of time – past, present, and future.
11. The objects in your VF constitute the past space of your VF. You are occupying your present space of your VF, and the emptiness between you and the objects in your VF makes up the future space of your VF.
12. Notice that when you are continuously hard-focusing on the objects in your VF, you are self-generating a DVF in which you are unconsciously separating the past space of your VF (form) from its future space (emptiness).
With hard-focus, tThe past and future of your D-VF are divided, not unified. That’s a Dualistic VF.
13. Notice that when you are deliberately soft-focusing on the emptiness of your VF, you are deliberately self-generating a NDVF in which you are consciously conjoining the immediate future and the immediate past to co-create a field of unified visual presence.
With soft-focus, the past and future of your VF are unified, not divided. One, not two. That’s a NDVF.
NOTE: If this feels strange to you at first, that’s natural. It should. Just go with it. It gets better.
14. In the end, the purpose of this NDVF training practice is to teach players how to deliberately create a unified visual field just like the unified visual field you experience when you’re playing in the zone.
15. Start with short, 60-second practices. Do them several times a day, they don’t take long, and within a week, you will be able to consciously self-generate NDVFs on demand, and when you start consciously creating NDVFs in your performance practice, you’ll start consciously self-generating the experience of playing in the zone.
16. Ready…60 seconds of soft-focus with the intent of getting acquainted with the NDVF you’re creating.
Be aware of seeing everything by focusing on nothing.
Be aware of your whole VF, parts included.
Maintain and stabilize that NDVF awareness.
It takes practice, and the more you practice, the deeper your practice becomes.
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