This is an ancient Chinese eyesight improving exercise; sticking to it can give profound results, but you must practice once every morning. At first, start with Techniques 1, 7, and 8, in that order. Then gradually add an exercise every 1-2 weeks. So by the 2nd or 3rd week, you would practice Techniques 1, 2, 7 and 8. A few weeks later, you would practice 1, 2, 3, 7, and 8. And so on. Eventually, you would practice all the Eight Techniques, in that order, in one session.
Reference for Exercises:
1. Counting Leaves: Stand a comfortable distance from a tree or plant and count its green leaves- with your eyes. Start with 50 leaves, then gradually increase the number to 300, increasing a few leaves after a few days.
2. Rolling Stars: With the eyes open, roll both eyeballs in big circles (as big as possible) 10 times one side, and then 10 times the other side.
3. Angry Eyes: Open both eyes as big as possible, then shut them as tightly as possible. Repeat about 10 times.
4. Far and Near: Stare at a distant object, like a cloud or a tree on a faraway mountain, for a few seconds, then stare at a nearby object, like the tip of your nose or some grainds of sand on your feet, for a few seconds. Repeat about 10 times.
5. Focusing One: Gently stare at a point about 5 to 10 feet in front of you with steady eyes as long as you can, which may range from a few seconds to a few minutes. At first your eyes will become tired or painful, and tears may roll down. This is part of the training or recovery process. Initially when your staring time is short, you may repeat the exercise a few times, but as your eyesight improves gradually you can stare at the point for many minutes comfortably and steadily.
6. Nourishing Spirit: Gently close your eyes and let your chi (energy) nourish your eyes and spirit. At first you may feel your eyes itchy. This is a good sign indicating that chi is working at your eye problems. As you progress, you will find your eyes restful and your mind fresh. (Note: “Nourishing Spirit” may appear similar to but is actually different from “Standing Meditation”. But students need not worry about the differences.)
7. Point Massage: Massage the face with both palms and then using your fingers massage energy points around the eyes, at the base of the nose, at the temples (here, use the base of the palms to massage) and behind the ears. If you do not know where the energy points are, just massage the face, round the eyes, nose and ears.
8. Heavenly Drums: Close your ears firmly with your palms and gently strike the back of your head with your fingers 24 times. You should hear sounds like a resonating drum inside your head. Practice once every morning. At first, start with Techniques 1, 7, and 8, in that order. Then gradually add an exercise every 1-2 weeks. So by the 2nd or 3rd week, you would practice Techniques 1, 2, 7 and 8. A few weeks later, you would practice 1. 2, 3, 7, and 8. And so on. Eventually, you would practice all the Eight Techniques, in that order, in one session.