Final night for the year where we will talk to you about Nightwalking – to increase your peripheral vision. With a little ingenuity, you can follow their descriptions easily and manufacture your own nightwalking caps, increase your peripheral vision and have a heightened experience in the process.
Time: 18:00 for 18:30 start
Location: New Farm Library
Bring: Your nightwalking cap and a plate of finger food and a bottle of drink to share
We have looked at the moon phases and our availability at this stage, we cannot achieve a moonless night when we are in the country or not training until Jan/2010. We were targeting the foothills of Mt Coot-tha and we are going to check and see if this is dark enough to achieve the effect. We still need to check the expected Moonlight and the location itself.
As the conditions for Nightwalking requires a moonless night and due to our current schedule we might have to make it sometime in Jan or Feb.
But what we can do now is get the cap created and do a trial run on the Tuesday 1st December. So you will need to make your own Nightwalking Cap for the evening. We will show you a prototype on 1/Dec and we can test it in New Farm Park. You can bring your own ones along too.
Register you interest so we can keep you updated – NLPCafeBrisbane@gmail.com
Now, from Jonathan Altfeld himself on how to make yourself a Nightwalking cap…
I use: * A ball cap -- must fit snugly on the head, be sturdy, and the visor must be strong. * duct tape (packing tape might work, but duct tape seems best) * a small plastic "furniture foot" made of a half-inch plastic disc out of which emerges a small nail (they're meant to be hammered into the bottom of a chair or sofa). Any good home improvement store (we have Home Depot or Lowe's in the USA), even a Wal-Mart should sell these -- in little packs of 4 or 8 etc. * photo-luminescent paint. Find in a craft store. Paint the disc with many coats/layers of this. Repeatedly, allowing each coat to dry before adding more paint. * a wire hanger, bent into a shape like this (cut off excess): __ \ \ ~16" long ||___________________ | ____) curl under. / ~4" long _/ * use a little tape to attach the painted furniture-foot disc to the end of the hanger rod end (facing the big C shape at the other end of the wire assembly). * Finally, bend the C-shaped end of the hanger so that it fits flush against the curved surface of the ball cap visor. Affix this C-shaped end to the top of the ball cap visor, with enough duct tape to ensure that when the ball cap is worn snugly, the wire hangar assembly does not bounce much.
If you remember, we had Jonathan Altfeld visit us a few weeks ago and some enjoyed his training the night he was here. For those who wanted to obtain any of the products that Jonathan Altfeld displayed or mentioned during the evening, visitpage to review or order now.
Guide to NightWalking
Here follows a set of condensed directions for those who want to develop their peripheral awareness. We invite adventurous readers to gain direct experience of what they are reading about. The most wonderful thing about this method is its simplicity. Peripheral awareness is available and useful to virtually everyone who can see, and with a little determination readers can master it quickly and easily. The process is akin to acquiring a new physical and basically neurological skill, like learning to ride a bicycle. It takes about the same length of time and is not as dangerous. All that’s required is the desire and a little determination.
The whole secret to mastering peripheral awareness is keeping one’s visual attention independent from focused vision.
We ordinarily attend to the point of our focus. When you can move your visual attention independently from your focused attention you’re on the road to mastery.
Before continuing, a little practical experience with peripheral vision might be helpful. Turn on your television, it doesn’t make any difference what program. If you normally wear glasses, you can put them on or not, whichever is more comfortable (peripheral vision is unaffected by corrective lenses). Sit in a chair fifteen feet (5m) or so from the set and watch whatever is on. Without taking your eyes off the screen, start moving your attention around in the visual field. Notice the edge of the throw rug on the floor underneath the set, the plant on the table by the window, the books on the shelf to the left. The important thing is to keep your eyes focused on the screen. You don’t have to stare at the set–it’s just a place for your central vision to settle. The object is to use your mind to see rather than the muscles in your eyes. Quietly observe or attend to the colors and textures in the room, the bright spots and the shadows. The closer to the edges of the peripheral field an object is, the less definite its form will be, but you’ll be surprised at how clearly you’ll know what objects are without focusing on them.
Still looking at the television, hold your arms out straight to the side from your shoulders, hands up, and slowly move your arms forward until you can see both hands at the extremes of your peripheral vision. Try to put equal and simultaneous attention on both hands. You might find it helps to wiggle your fingers and open your eyes a little wider than usual. Watch your hands for a minute or so and pay attention to the way you feel when seeing this way. Notice any changes in breathing and mood. If, when you lock your attention solidly on both hands, you sense a subtle but pronounced click you’ve just entered the realm of peripheral awareness.
Clip the NightWalking rod to the bill of a ball cap and adjust the cap so that the rod tip extends out directly in front of your eyes. (There is an up and down to the rod. Clip it on so the rod is under the clip and points slightly downward.) Keep your eyes focused on the bead at the end of the rod. If your eyes are properly focused you will see only one bead. If you see two beads, it means your focus has slipped slightly before or beyond the bead. Bring your eyes back to the bead. If you have trouble focusing, hold a finger up to the bead and look at your fingertip.
Everything beyond the bead in your central vision will be doubled–that’s as it should be. Remember that the bead is a place to “park” your eyes. You don’t have to stare at it. If you start to get a headache or experience eye strain, you’re probably trying too hard and you need to relax your eyes. Just watch the bead. The bead is just a little closer than the distance most people focus to read, and you can focus at reading distance without difficulty for considerable periods. Put your hat and rod on, rod centered, bead level with the horizon, eyes watching the bead.
Now it’s time to go outdoors and take a walk. Start with a familiar place–your back yard or the local park–and if it’s a sunny day wear sunglasses (peripheral vision is especially sensitive to bright light). If you’re feeling at all unsure take along a friend. Examine the clouds without “looking” at them. See them with your mind. Observe the trees as they pass. You may find that the experience can be like standing still while the landscape moves past you, which is comparable to the way ancient Polynesian sailors navigated. Using their knowledge of the stars and ocean currents and waves as guides, they kept their craft pointed in the direction of the destination and let it come to them–the opposite of the way our culture navigates. Keep this metaphor in mind as you walk.
Since much of what is seen peripherally is processed in the nonconscious parts of the brain, you’ll undoubtedly find, as we did, that using it to walk requires a certain act of faith, and it might take a bit of fortitude to get used to the the fact that you can “see” without being conscious of the fact that you’re seeing. After you’re comfortable in secure surroundings, add a minor degree of risk and walk down the sidewalk in front of your house or through a nearby park. Keep your focus on the rod tip and resist the temptation to switch to central vision when feeling unsure.
Slow down and/or stop if necessary. Keeping your eyes on the bead, slowly move your head from side to side, scanning with your peripheral vision before proceeding. Always keep the rod tip up near the horizon. The major task at this point is to resist moving your focused vision to the point of your visual interest.
Your peripheral awareness will probably be blurred and hazy–it will clear with use and practice. With a little persistence you’ll find that obstacles are avoided automatically. Let your unconscious brain do it’s job. Notice how other senses–balance, hearing and even smell–are stimulated and sensitized as visual attention expands. Rather than looking directly at objects as they pass, wonder about them. Try and discern an object’s nature by examining its color and pattern. After 15 or 20 minutes, stop and shift back to central vision. Pay attention to how differently the two states feel, the alert calm of the peripheral state versus central vision’s almost nervous concern for detail. Start practicing entering the peripheral state at work and at home with the simple reminder to “go wide.” See with your mind rather than your eyes.
Into the Dark
This is a lonely place, but as we walk through it on the darkest night it’s like a spirit world. The darkness is filled with speckles of bioluminescence and ghosts left in deep arroyos by the shadows of starlight. We can’t see the ground at our feet–the rocks, the sticks, the cactus, the prairie dog holes–because we’re gazing at a tiny phosphorescent dot set a foot in front of our noses. Although we’re not conscious of seeing these obstacles, our minds do see them, see them clearly and deliver silent, sure instructions to the feet as we glide with perfect safety over rough terrain. It is like walking on faith, supported by a serene confidence, every one of our senses alert. The mind is left free to explore the night spread across the wide-screen field of vision. What we are doing is NightWalking.
Before NightWalking, increase your daily intake of Vitamin A to 50,000 IU. Vitamin A is necessary for the formation of visual purple, the substance in the eyes which enables them to adjust from bright light to darkness. If you want to increase your night vision even more, avoid alcohol, nicotine, carbon monoxide, fatigue, high-fat meals and bright sunlight for thirty-six hours before NightWalking.
Find an old road or a trail in the country, as far as possible from city lights and free from distractions, and lay out a route of a mile or mile and a half. You might want to include a stretch along the way that goes through woods or an open field. Walk the route once or twice in the daylight, paying particular attention to landmarks along the way. Plan your walk for a moonless night. We usually don’t go out other than a few days on either side of the new moon. It may be hard to believe at this point, but the light of even a quarter moon is more of a distraction that an aid to seeing in the dark.
Looking at the Earth at night it is hard to get enough darkness near cities these days, but we will try the foothills of Mt Coot-tha, so we will try around this location. Google’s map is generally around the area, but we will check it out first and see if it is safe, and dark enough.