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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Presence of a Curbstone - Starting to get a "feel" for echolocation

The other day in an outdoor training session, I had another amazing revelation that I want to tell you about.

With my eyes closed, I was sighting buildings, trees, parked cars, a couple signs, and so forth and feeling pretty confident and relaxed.  I was opening my eyes every so often just to calibrate my sensation to my surroundings.  This gives me an idea of what to expect around me after I close my eyes, but if I keep them closed for long enough, my immediate orientation and short term memory is not enough to keep me oriented without the use of echolocation.  You can read my post on walking a predetermined path for more on that.

During one of these calibrations with my eyes open, I noted that among other buildings, trees and cars, there was a curbstone present in the distance.  Something I generally pay attention to as a precaution, since these are easy to trip on and very hard to see with echolocation.  But I closed my eyes and continued on following about 40 feet from a large building through a rather empty parking lot.  After going quite a ways and passing the corner of the building, I was aware that the curbstone would be approaching shortly on my right hand side, I directed my attention downward and actively clicked in the direction I anticipated it to be.  Not expecting to see it, but rather as a reminder to myself to be cautious of that area.

Low and behold, after a few clicks an actual presence emerged from the flatness of the parking lot and something appeared before me.  The pavement around me was all so flat, that the curbstone was actually noticeable.  But instead of "hearing" the curbstone, it just stuck out to me as a "presence" or another moment of clarity.  It was simply the "knowledge of an object" on the ground or "change" of some sort.  I guess you could call it a ripple, which technically a curbstone is.

This gives me some insight and understanding of what it will be like to use echolocation as a natural "sensation" and start "feeling" it as opposed to constantly thinking about it.

Anyhow, I thought this was fascinating and worth sharing here.  I think the fact that I was fairly relaxed helped this object to pop out of the darkness and show itself to me.  Also, my training session had been going on for quite a while and I was getting used to walking around with my eyes closed.

If you've had any experiences like this, let me know :)

Free 10-Minute Audio Lesson: Learn the Echolocation Click

Learn echolocation clicks with a free audio lesson
Learning how to click is one of the first steps to becoming an effective echoloator. This lesson provides clicking samples of a variety of different clicks and descriptions of when they might be most useful. This lesson has been used by O&M instructors all over the world.

Despite popular belief, it's easy to make your clicking quite subtle or unnoticeable even in quiet settings. There are many different clicks for different situations. I explain all of these in great detail and give examples of where, why and when they can and should be used.

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