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With your feet in the air, and your head on the ground . . .


{Thursday, March 29, 2007}

Inspired in part by reading the Dalai Lama's book "The Universe in a Single Atom", I've recently taken up daily meditation - a simple form, for now, just trying to attend to my breathing, and let thoughts go when they come, with my eyes open but sort of allowed to defocus. This is per the instruction of a fellow at a local Tibetan Meditation Center, and I've really been enjoying it (by which I don't mean "blissing out" or anything, just appreciating the peace, the focus, and the "presentness".)

Anyway, today I meditated for about 15 minutes, and when I got up my vision was blurry! I could only see clearly at very short distances. It's been over an hour, now, and although my distance vision is improved, I'd say it's still not entirely back to normal. Anyone out there ever heard of this kind of thing before? Any guesses as to how or why it would have happened - in terms of anything from biophysical mechanism to chi?

I've never needed corrective lenses of any kind, and normally I have essentially perfect vision - I actually just had it checked a few weeks ago. What my experience today reminded me of was when the ophthalmologist gave me eye-drops to dilate my pupils (or something); the same sort of thing happened then, with my vision going all blurry for a long period of time, and then slowly coming back, near vision returning sooner than far. Jess said then that what the eye-drops do is just paralyze a muscle (or nerve?) that controls . . . I forget, either dilation & contraction of the pupils, or the shape of the eyeball / lens, or something. Anatomy is not a strength of mine.

Comment away!

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p.s. - I couldn't post this the first time around, because Google's automated checker algorithm decided talksinmaths was a likely "spam blog", and made me jump through hoops to prove that I'm human, just to get them to have an actual human check on it. Weird.

p.p.s. - Jess says her best guess is actually that my visual cortex started adapting; I fed it defocused input for long enough that it "decided" that must be normal & tried to adjust, somehow.

posted by Miles 7:33 PM

*Actually,* what I said was "I don't know." But I did postulate that perhaps your visual cortex adapted, as you mentioned, based on my knowledge of a similar phenomenon. If you wear eyeglasses with special lenses which invert the incoming light rays, your cortex "adapts" to that so that you are eventually able to perceive the world right-side-up anyway. Then when you take those glasses off, for a short time, your cortex continues to "adapt," in a way that is then maladaptive, because you see the real world through your naked eyes...upside-down! Weird, huh?
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