A revolutionary agitator, saboteur and bank robber in the sixties and seventies, John Sherman was on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list for two and a half years. Captured in 1981, he served eighteen and a half years in federal penitentiaries. In 1994, in a prison in Colorado, he spent more than a year in the fully open awareness of spiritual awakening, which collapsed suddenly, leaving him bereft. Three years later, shortly before his release, he found true freedom by means of an extremely simple act of attention.
Our work is to make one simple insight into the root cause of all human misery and one simple act of inward looking that effectively eliminates that cause universally available and accessible within the entire human community.
Just One Look is the project we created to bring this message to the world as quickly as possible. RiverGanga Foundation is the public, non-profit organization we operate to provide financial support for our work and through which we receive your tax-deductible donations.
Like everyone, John spent most of his life unconsciously searching for the one perfect path out of the wilderness of human life; the one perfect idea, the one perfect thing to think, to understand, to want, to have, to believe, to become that would bring him salvation and satisfaction. The course of John’s search was extreme compared to most, but the result was the same: nothing worked, nothing ever does.
Late in 1975, when he was 33 years old, John discovered the perfect idea of perfect Social Justice, and set out to become the perfect Communist revolutionary. joined with a small group of anarcho-communist radicals, and embarked upon four years of bank robberies, property bombings, gunfights with the police, two escapes from federal prisons and two years on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List; all done in the name of supporting the struggles of the American worker for justice. In the end it came to nothing.
In January of 1976, he was shot and captured during a bank robbery; in March, he escaped.
In 1978, after two years on the run, robbing banks and organizing property bombings, John was captured by the FBI, tried, convicted, and sentenced to 30 years in prison.
In March of 1979, he escaped again from the federal prison where he was serving his sentence. In April of 1981, after two years on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list, he was finally captured for the last time and returned to prison.
In June of 1994, in the fifteenth year of his imprisonment, the American spiritual teacher Gangaji came to the prison where John was serving his sentence. John found himself face to face with her and, in that meeting, discovered himself to be eternally and unconditionally free. He spent more than a year in the fully open awareness of spiritual awakening, which collapsed suddenly, leaving him bereft.
John spent the rest of his time in prison trying to find something that he could do that would bring him back to the state of indifference and apathy that he had enjoyed prior to meeting Gangaji and being taken by the false promise of freedom. This effort unexpectedly brought him to true freedom by means of an extremely simple act of attention.
Three and a half years later, in 1998, he was released on parole.
Upon his release, John moved to Boulder, Colorado.
Carla was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. After a series of failed attempts at finding happiness and fulfillment in different careers, in 1997 she came to the United States, to attend a retreat with Gangaji. During her first retreat, she had an experience of awakening. She went back to Rio for a few months and then came back, this time to Boulder, Colorado. In Boulder, Carla met John. She went back to Brazil, and a few months later, she came back to the US, this time to California, where she ran into John again. He was working at the Gangaji Foundation, where Carla was a volunteer. After a year and a half of spiritual awakening, everything fell apart, and she felt completely lost. She started looking for a way to gain back the experience of the oneness of all being. This effort led her to look at herself, which brought her to true freedom.
John and Carla were married in June of 1999, in San Rafael, California. In 2001, John and Carla moved to Ojai, California, where they live with their cat, Switters. Carla became an American citizen in February of 2007 and, in August of 2007, John was released from parole.
Since 1999, John meets with people from all walks of life to speak about the fear of life, which is what spoils human life, how that comes to pass, what gives rise to it in the first place, how it manifests in the life in general, and what every person can do to be free of it once and for all. In these meetings, John speaks from his experience, listens to reports, and answers questions.
If you are interested in inviting John to speak in your area, please click here.
For more information about volunteer opportunities, please click here.