I was in Times Square this past January. I’m often mildly vigilant in big crowds, moving my attention from spot to spot, person to person, vehicle to vehicle, to catch any oncoming problems ahead of time.
It’s a safety thing many are taught, conscious or unconsciously… stay focused, stay “aware.”
When I realized I had this mild vigilance going on, I thought, “oh, I could try NightWalking!”
I opened up my peripheral vision, and I began to walk.
NightWalking is best taught on a dark night, without artificial light around, while walking on uneven ground. NightWalking creators Nelson Zink and Stephen Parks discovered that at night, without light, on uneven ground, the *only* way to see clearly and know where to step next is when you’re using your peripheral vision, so it’s the perfect context to learn to stay peripheral, which is NightWalking.
And once you’ve practiced and learned how to stay peripheral, you can NightWalk anywhere you like. Because peripheral vision is a natural function of the eye, brain, and body, once you know how to do it and keep doing it, instead of snapping back into foveal/ macular vision like we habitually do, you can just stay peripheral.
All around me, I could see the moving images of advertisements, stories high.
I could see every person and every thing very clearly, without moving my head.
I could feel my feet steadily meeting the ground, step after step.
My breath deepened.
My center of gravity dropped.
And because I could see everything around me so clearly, I can *actually* react to anything needed.
I flowed through the sea of oncoming pedestrians, clearly seeing where to go next.