"Genius is in-born, may it never be still-born."

"Oysters, irritated by grains of sand, give birth to pearls. Brains, irritated by curiosity, give birth to ideas."

"Brainpower is the bridge to the future; it is what transports you from wishful thinking to willful doing."

"Unless you keep learning & growing, the status quo has no status."

Saturday, May 2, 2009


While re-reading the 'Catalysing Creativity' edition of The Braindancer Series of bookazines by Dilip Mukerjea, I am spurred by the following graphical illustration of the major evolutionary stages of human civilisation from the author to write something about an important aspect of the Learning Economy.

During the Agricultural Age, which lasted some 10,000 years, the visual working distance of our forefathers was more or less confined to the size of the land they owned & worked on.

Prior to that, I reckon they had a much wider & probably longer visual working distance, as they had to hunt for food.

As they entered into the Industrial Age, the visual working distance was conveniently reduced to the four walls of the factory space.

Then came the Information Age, which spanned some forty years or so of human evolution.

We were invariably stuck in designated cubicles of the office building. If we were lucky, especially by virtue of the pecking order of management, we might have enjoyed large window views.

In the last ten years until now, with the advent of the so-called Learning or Knowledge Economy, our visual working distance has been tremendously reduced to probably less than 300 mm from the small screen of our laptop or desktop.

Just imagine the horrendous amount of performance pressure on our eyeballs!

We have moved unwittingly from long visual distance to near working distance!

Hence, I wish to take this opportunity to introduce readers to some 'Natural Vision Improvement' exercises to help keep the eyeballs in peak working performance.

Personally, I have used these eye exercises for almost twenty years.

I must add that my inspiration over the years has partly come from Janet Goodrich's wonderful guide, 'Natural Vision Improvement'.

The other part has to do with my own relentless search for understanding of the vital eye-brain connection.

In reality, our eye balls are extensions of our powerful brains. I understand that a substantial part of our numerous brain cells are accounted for in our eye balls, in spite of their relative sizes! Each eyeball is believed to contain more moving parts than a space shuttle!

If you wear classes, please take them off.


This palming exercise will help you to relax your eyes, which in turn will bring energetic heat to your eyes.

First, rub your hands together vigorously until they feel warm (about 15 to 20 seconds).

Then place your cupped hands over your closed eyes, being careful not to touch your eyes with the palms of your hands. The fingers of each hand should overlap & rest gently on the centre of your forehead. Keep your fingers relaxed. Don't create any unnecessary pressure on your face.

If your arms get tired, rest your elbows on a table. Sitting at a table is a good palming position.

Sit quietly for one to two minutes with your hands over your eyes. The more relaxed you become, the blacker the darkness you will see with your eyes closed.

Do this exercise three times a day, including first thing in the morning & at the end of the day to relax.


Sunning is aimed at reducing light sensitivity. To do this exercise, you have to be outside.

Begin if you can by taking half a minute to face the sun, with your eyes closed. I repeat: EYES CLOSED.

Allow the warmth of the sun to penetrate deeply into your eyes and forehead. Gently, turn your head from side to side. Keep breathing. Feel the position of the sun.

As an alternative or variation, you can move your head gently as if you are writing the infinity symbol in the direction of the sun. Do this, say for about half a minute. Remember, keep your eyes closed!

After this exercise, just palm [i.e. do the palming exercise] until the after-images have substantially faded, and repeat two or three times.

At the next sunning session increase the period slightly and repeat it an extra time, building up over the weeks and months to a maximum of ten minutes of sun in all.


This is an active exercise to keep the lens of your eyes pliable.

Hold your thumb six inches from your nose. Focus on your thumb. Take one deep breath & exhale slowly. Then focus on a distant object about 10 feet away. Take another deep breath & slowly exhale. Repeat back and forth, say a dozen times.

As an alternative or variation, cut out a letter from a newspaper headline & stick it on a wall at eye level. Then cut out a small classified ad.

Stand eight to 10 feet from the wall, hold the classified ad up at eye level & read it, bringing it closer to your face until the letters blur.

Now switch your focus to the letter on the wall.Continue to shift back & forth several times.

After you finish this exercise, spend a minute palming.As an alternative or variation, you can use a picture post card for close or near focus, & pick a distant object, say, a building or a tree, if you are standing at the window, for far focus.

Practicing this technique will improve your focus from near to far & vice versa.


Hold a pencil or similar object in each hand at arm’s length, & gradually extend your arms horizontally out to the sides. Maintain a soft focus on the tips of both pencils, while looking straight ahead at all times. Observe any surrounding objects from the corners of your eyes.

Do not move your head during this exercise.

If you have good peripheral vision, you should be able to see all the surrounding objects within your field of view while still looking straight ahead.

With practice you can widen your field of view.

As an alternative or variation, practise this exercise while sitting on a bench in an open park or inside a MRT train – without the arm stretch & pencils, of course. You don’t want to be mistaken for a cuckoo! Just use your eyes & soft focus.

These four simple & yet effective eye exercises can help to relax your eyeballs & also to keep them in peak condition.

[Adapted from the 'Optimum Performance Technologies' weblog. All the images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea.]

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