Day 15: Practice Lowering Your Eye Level
Changing my focus seems to be unnatural. Show me how I can train my eyes to avoid normal eye-level.
Since keeping your eyes lowered is not the norm, you need to accustom yourself to this new focus. The best way to change an old habit is to consciously practice a new behavior. Over time, the new pattern of behavior will become second nature.
Here is an exercise that is designed to help you readjust the level of your gaze. Just as an army practices maneuvers before going into battle, we recommend practicing this exercise when you have a few spare moments.
1. Choose a quiet area in your home or yard and designate a twenty-foot length as a practice path.
2. Lower your gaze so that it takes in about five to ten feet of the path.
3. Begin walking, and keep your eyes focused on the five feet length, moving your eyes a little further down the path as you walk.
4. Turn around and repeat the exercise, returning to the starting point.
5. Do this exercise every day for one week.
When you have the opportunity, close your eyes for a few minutes when you travel on a bus or train. Notice that you can experience the sounds and conversations around you without seeing them. (You might even try this at home, but first inform your family that you are doing an experiment and will close your eyes for a few moments.) This experience will help you realize that you can fully participate in life without seeing every detail occurring around you. Just knowing that fact will help you overcome your natural curiosity, downplaying the need to see everything going on. In this way, lowering your gaze as you walk down the street will not make you feel that you might miss something important.
Today: Begin practicing this exercise, keeping in mind that it is part of your new commitment to achieve control over your eyes.