Soft Eyes

Four Scents Team

Being Present with Peripheral Vision

A practice of turning gentle attention, known as “soft eyes” or “soft fascination” is another noticing exercise, but more passive than active.

How We Use Our Eyes     

When using our vison, we view in a focused and analytical way. Only using 2.5cm of the retina, it’s known as foveal vision, where we actively retrieve information. Too much of this can cause eye strain and tension, so this is where soft eyes come in to help counter the negative effects.
     Out of focus woman holding in focus pair of glasses 

A Soft Eyes Practice   

Soft eyes bring our peripheral vision back into play – to see detail, but maintain a wider field of vision. This helps us to be more present and fully aware of what’s around us. The key in this exercise is to keep non-reactive and non-judgmental state of mind throughout. A soft eyes practice could look like:
  1. Close your eyes, and open them, gently focusing on one thing.
  2. Float your eyes across the area you’re in, moving on and not settling focus, as if you were glazed over.
  3. Imagine you are letting the world in through your eyes, trying to stay with this for a few minutes.
  4. Allow your mind to drift into introspection and reflection.


References: Soulfulness by Brian Draper, Grounded by Ruth Allen


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