Click on each thumbnail to watch individual reports.
Click on the CC symbol in the player for closed captions.
Click on the links to read the written reports posted in our Community Center forum:
Carlee Paddock (Easley, South Carolina), Bill Corcoran (Cleveland, Ohio), Nancy Margalit (Garmish-Partenkirshen, Germany), Tyson (Melbourne, Australia), Patricia Crane (Muncie, Indiana), Deon Ashton (United Kingdom), Helen Waterhouse (Carbunup River, Australia), Caspar Seip (Oslo, Norway), Paul (Toronto, Canada), David Bortman (Ashland, Oregon), Thomas Küng (Lucerne, Switzerland).
Ansley (Atlanta, Georgia), Jan Stoll (Düsseldorf, Germany), Y. (New York, New York), Travis Eneix (San Francisco, California), Peter Duggan (Perth, Australia), Patti Foy (Jemez, New Mexico), David Bailey (Chesterfiled, Missouri), Mike (Flagstaff, Arizona), Tim (San Francisco Bay Area, California), David Parrish (Media, Pennsylvania), Lida (Los Angeles, California).
Lera Chacon (Boca Raton, Florida), John (Eureka Springs, Arkansas), Julia (Montreal, Canada), Brian Allen (Dallas, Texas), Mark Speert (Atlanta, Georgia), Santharaj (Bangalore, India), Andre Best (Phoenix, Arizona), Derek Robinson (Toronto, Canada), Veetkam Gin (Easley, South Carolina).
Here's the story of John Sherman
He was born there, New Jersey
In the year of forty two
A wild, wild man was he
Con man, thief and activist
He was chased by the FBI
He was on their top ten list
One day they caught this guy.
They placed him, when they caught him
In a high security jail
They considered him to be
A very dangerous male
He escaped their prison, twice did he
When they caught up with him
They kept him jailed for eighteen years
And made his life so grim.
One day the Buddhists came to visit
And then this man was hooked
His manner changed he grew real calm
As at himself he looked
He delved down to his deepest depths
And experienced a thing
That gave him peace, and harmony
And made his whole world sing.
Just like everything in life
His peace it did not last
His mind went kind of crazy then
And his misery was vast
And so he turned to Ramana
A saint from India
As he asked the question 'Am I here'?
Something within did stir.
His world became a heaven then
He'd learned the truth at last
He conquered all his fear of life
And the sweetness it was vast
When they let him out of Jail
He married his sweet wife
And he and Carla ran a site
To help folk through their strife.
They run a site called 'Just one look'
Where they teach many folk
How to rid their lives of fear
And though he's always broke
He and his wife do carry on
Trying to help folk, in their plight
As they too look within their depths
And find themselves that light
They have worked with many folk
And lot do claim success
As they ask the question 'Am I here'
And many can attest
That they now live all free of fear
And as his work goes on
So many will agree with them
When all their fears are gone.
I speak from my own story
When I tell this thing to you
If you do suffer misery
Then here's the thing to do
Get in touch with John, and Carla
And let them take you to
A space where fear does not exist
It works I'm telling you.
Perth, Australia, February 13, 2014
It's been a while since I posted on the forums, but the most recent grassroots podcast inspired me to share my experiences. Although I have not been active on the forums, I have continued to check in regularly to read the posts and listen to podcasts. In times of distress and confusion usually a post would show up that helped me gain some clarity around my experiences. Most recently, Niklas's 2013 blogpost has been helpful in that his experiences seem to mirror many of my own and I appreciate his ability to communicate his process in a very clear way.
I've been engaged in the act of looking since 2011. The more intense part of the 'recovery' process has seemed to pass, but as Niklas pointed out, the recovery is never over. I recently have been experiencing quite a bit of confusion around what direction to take in my life. The default pattern for me is to think that if I was doing this 'right' I would be immune to confusion and if I just contacted a deeper part of myself the truth would shine through and everything would be crystal clear. I can see that this belief is just leftovers of the fear and spiritual conditioning. It's a fear of failure and my experience is that learning comes from being engaged with my life, trying things out, taking risks, and learning from my mistakes. I also have come to see that there is no deep place in myself to contact because on investigation I don't sense a difference or separation between an inner self and an outer self. It's all just me. My life is unfolding and I am becoming more intuitive and skillful in my navigation even during confusing and troubled times. To get a more objective viewpoint I asked my two best friends if they've seen changes in me the past few years. They both said I seemed much more comfortable with being myself and I don't get stuck in my personal dramas nearly as often as I used to. This past year has been tumultuous to say the least but I feel that I've been able to roll through it with a bit more gracefulness than in the past.
I guess what keeps me coming back to these forums over and over again is the distress I see and feel in this world. I don't want to discount the acts of kindness and beauty, but from my observation many humans seem pretty neurotic, anxious, and miserable and this saddens me. As much as I sometimes want to run to the desert far away from humanity and live a simple, peaceful existence the reality is that is not how my life is unfolding. I recognize that we are all in this together, and that part of my process is sharing my experiences and this act with others.
I've shared the act of looking with most of my friends and family. A few have tried it, most have shown no interest (which may have to do with my lack of skill around communicating it). It seems to me that the human drama is compelling and addictive and personally I had to come to the end of my rope before I tried this. I hope other people are smarter than I am and don't wait until the desperation gets so intense before they try something so simple. I feel fear and resistance around trying to communicate my experiences to a larger audience. That I haven't gained enough insight or I'm not skillful enough to help other people. But the fact is that the act of looking speaks for itself. I just have to get people to try it. Simple as that.
Thank you everyone for your contributions. I have been paying attention.
Discussion Forum, January 24, 2014.
From Anxiety to Joy
When I was a child I was not happy because I had very strict parents who robbed me of all my freedom. I was a very freedom-loving boy and I felt so totally restricted in a family that never could and never would understand me. There was a lot of psychological cruelty handed out to me by my father and a hell of a lot of bullying I was subjected to by the other kids. I came from a very rough part of London called Peckham, and I was an extremely sensitive young lad.
When I grew up, I married a beautiful Australian girl named Vera, who is still my beloved wife after fifty years. We emigrated to Australia, and after about three months, I decided to join the army, and I volunteered to go to Vietnam, so I could pay back the kindness that the Australians had shown me by receiving me in their beautiful country.
I served in Vietnam for about nine and a half months, then they decided to ship me back to Australia because of injuries and illness. When I came back, my troubles all started, and I developed PTSD, even though I had not really been in much danger during my days of war. I was filled with a terrible anxiety, and was absolutely terrified of both life and death. I had these periods of deep, deep dread that completely ruled my life. I was angry most of the time, and I detested everybody I ever met, with a vengeance so hard to understand.
This got worse and worse as the years proceeded, and I tried everything to control it, from counseling to reading every kind of self-help books, and I read every religion, and all the stuff by so many different spiritual teachers, until I had a bookcase brim-filled with all the books I had read. I tried every kind of meditation, plus yoga, tai chi, and many other things. However, nothing worked. They helped a bit but not enough to stop the ugly terror I felt.
Then, one day, I came across a man named John Sherman on the net, who has helped so many people, and thousands of people now practice what he advocates with much success.
John told me that all I had to do was close my eyes and look at the me-ness of me, it was as simple as that. At first I laughed at him, with his simplistic approach to gaining back one's sanity. But I was desperate; I had walked out on my wife for a year and given everything I had away. My anger was getting worse and worse, and when I finally came back to my family, I really wasn't worth being with. My wife tolerated me because she loved me so totally, but I could tell that I was leading her into psychological, physical illness.
So I gave John's method a try. I meditated every day using my me-ness as a meditation point. I don't mean my thoughts or sensations, emotions or such. I mean the 'me', the part of me that actually runs the show. The 'me' that always seems hidden but is always there in the background. I noticed some changes in me very quickly, but then the progress became slower, but very steady. Now I have been doing this for nearly five years, and the difference in me is phenomenal. I am so happy now, that I could almost scream with joy. I have no more anxiety, and the dread that once debilitated me is totally gone.
My neurotic fear of death has faded. And although I don't want to die, when it comes, I will be totally ready for it. My life is so beautiful these days and everything seems so beautiful, and crystal clear. These days I walk on feather feet, and I am so grateful to John and his wife Carla for what they gave to me. I really want to share this with anyone who cares to listen.
You would not believe how beautiful my life is these days. Thank you for reading, all you who reached the end of this story. I hope it helps you as it most certainly helped me...
Perth, Australia, December 23, 2013
Re: Yearning and Hope
I like what you wrote about yearning and hope. I want to wish you both a sweet "return to the light" during this Winter Solstice time.
I also want you guys to know that I appreciate what you do. I haven't been $$ supportive this year... it's for all reasons you would expect... but I hold you in mind as a true connection to what I also consider to be the overriding conviction of our deepest yearnings.
Please forgive me if I speak naively, but there is something that I felt I wanted to write to you a couple months ago, but haven't had the time until now: I appreciate how you have tried to keep everything free and downplay the undeniable need for money that keeps it all going. But I also see that at a certain point, we all need to honor the pipeline with some of the ol' crude fuel. I'm sensitive to an almost underlying pain and apologetic-ness that you feel you have to assume to ask for money. The "path" that you reveal does attract more of the idiosyncratic "been there, done that, tried everything, now I'm at the end of the line, and John is there with me" types who are less outgoing, and more apt to sit in the back of the hall, with quiet, and massively subtle instincts about the Looking. These types have a highly calibrated meter for someone trying to get money out of their pocket, like "all the others". It makes this aspect of your job monumentally more difficult, and I don't envy it.
In Los Angeles there's a lovely gathering called Agape, which I'm sure you know about, and they seem to have found an elegant way of pushing right through the awkwardness of asking for money... the reciprocal giving back to those who are dedicated to feeding our hearts. The proper flowing of this river leaves no question about the giving at both ends. The risk is that John Sherman is now lumped in with every other "spiritual" teacher asking for money. But my feeling is that if the tone for appeals to giving was a natural, affirmative, positive one, that perhaps we would also forget the awkwardness, and see the plain and simple process. Deciding not to feed the awkwardness. I realize that I may be expressing a route that you explored long ago, having minimal to no results, but it just occurred to me to put this idea your way.
Lewis gave me the white Look at Yourself wrist band a few years ago, and it hasn't been off of my wrist since. Although I haven't seen you in ages, or done little more regarding "Just One Look" than read the Emails, you helped plant a seed that is unfolding in an infiniteness that can not be described. It has left the moorings of specific teachings and ways of describing it all, and become, or rather, reverted to, the living, percolating being-ness that we all share. As Rumi said, "it's not like we thought it would be", and thank God for that. With every incredible mystical projection and vision... exploding solitary moments, reading, looking, searching, stumbling, reaching, still, thank God for that. But I'm still forever grateful for the way that you have found to express all of this.
With much love, and the best wishes for 2014, writing to you from a small hamlet in Southwest France called Racaniere, pagan as can be, France (Bonjour, Carlal!!)... 1km from St Synphorien.
France, December 26, 2013
One result of this process that I have noticed more and more recently is that I now have one life. What I mean by that is that when I hear many people speak, and write about their life and experiences, they seem to refer to two different lives: one inner life and one outer life. And I can remember that I used to do that too. And to think that you have to combine those two lives can be a real struggle. "Am I doing what I think is right? Should I do something else? My life situation does not match my deepest thoughts and feelings. I want to find my destined purpose in my life that makes my inner and outer lives become one. And my inner life is very private and complicated and hard to share with others." I am certain that the experience of having two lives that must be combined to give them meaning is the experience of all kinds of people. Not just spiritual seekers or contemplative personalities. I see this struggle everywhere I look.
For me this struggle is over. I have one body, one mind and one life. And I must say that this feels great and I can almost not remember that it ever was otherwise. I honestly don't know what inner life means anymore. I don't experience having anything special inside myself. And when I write about this I can notice that there is something that used to be here and is not here anymore (probably the context of fear). It feels like something really complicated, heavy and bottomless has left me. Now I feel me being here, interacting with my life. This almost sounds stupid but that is what I feel.
And this new experience just confirms to me what I have seen for some time now and what John has said all along. Namely that the feeling of me has healed my mind and that that in turn has resulted "only" in ordinary sanity. What I have wanted all along is plain, ordinary sanity and that is what I have gotten. My mind is more and more interested in sanity, or maybe more and more uninterested in insanity. When I, for example, talk to my friends about these matters, I almost feel simpleminded. I never follow along into what I see to be not worth attending to. It is not that I only want to speak of the act of inward looking and what I believe that act is capable of. I love to look into almost everything. But if I feel that the "drive" behind what is said is coming from the context of fear, I never give in to it. And that is not a struggle for me, I am just not interested. I will not serve fear anymore.
One look at you leads to one sane mind and one sane life.
Denmark, November 30, 2013
This act of looking inward works—and it's been extraordinary in my life. What's beautiful about it is that it doesn't require a spiritual overlay. No need for guru worship, altered states, counting chakras, sacred books & places, and all the rest of it... This perspective is available in other places but John is one of the people who puts it out most clearly, most simply. Others do the same thing but without his immediacy and lack of pretensions. In my situation, turning to a simple awareness that I am has led to serenity, more joy, and overall, a sense that all is well. There's little drama in my life, and while to some that may sound dreadfully dull, I'm quite content with the lack of razzle dazzle! Best of luck to you.
United States, November 15, 2013
This man 'John Sherman'
I started out with Ramana
A long, long time ago
Then soon I came Krishnamurti
Oh how I loved him so
Then Osho, he did show is face
The great man that he was
Then Eckhart touched the soul of me
I loved all them because...
They had some wondrous things to say
That I heard from deep within
They spoke of truth so very deep
And so I did begin
To meditate and bare my soul
I was not good at this
But I did have some magic moments
All filled with so much bliss.
Then one day surfing on the net
I found this king of men
He told me just one act to do
That really was a gem
He told me 'look at you' my friend
That's all one has to do
Now this was four short years ago
And I can swear to you…
This act 'John Sherman' gave to me
It really did the trick
My life is calm and peaceful now
And harmony does stick
With me all the blessed time
He gave me transformation
And now I want to spread his name
To every single nation.
Australia, October 26, 2013
Hi everyone, It's been a while since I posted here [in the forum]. Life has been busy recently, but I wanted to share what's been happening with me of late. It's three years and three months into the looking for me and I have to say that over the past six months to a year I've noticed a profound change. Many of the "psychological mechanisms" that have made my life quite miserable in the past seem to have fallen away or are in the process of falling away. Many of the things that I felt would never change have indeed loosened their grip and made the process of living intelligently much easier.
As someone who spent the first three years of this ride terrified that I hadn't done it right, that I hadn't "seen", who felt that every time John said that "you can't do this wrong" that those words just didn't apply to me… I now realize that those thoughts are just part of the defensive structure created by the fear and the truth is that this process just takes time. I have wanted to speed it up, wanted assurances that it was working (the thought that I was just letting time pass in misery while not DOING anything to make my life better just made me crazy), wanted to compare my recovery to other people's to see if I was "behind". Again, those feelings have eased and if anyone reading this now can relate to this craziness, I say to you—just hang on, take a deep breath and trust that things will get better.
Life is still life, and it seems that to make some grand pronouncement about how much better things are now is somehow missing the point. Yes, a lot of the neurotic mechanisms that have made me crazy in the past have eased of late, I'm still aware of many of them… and the most honest thing I can say about the process of "recovery" is that there's just an ever-so-slight shifting of perspective that doesn't change the life itself but rather the urgency and desperation with which I viewed it.
I cannot stress enough how much John's recent commentary about the importance of moving your attention to the breath when the mind starts to get crazy has helped me. Besides the act of looking, I think it is the single most insightful thing he says. In the Open House Meeting broadcast of July 17th, he has a particularly helpful conversation with Don about the fact that there is nothing to be done about the craziness of the mind. It's not personal, it's purely mechanical, and moving one's attention away from crazy-making thoughts is the only sensible thing to do. I highly recommend listening to it if you're struggling.
So, in short, as someone who has haunted these forums looking for some report from anyone saying that this works —I can now say I can see it working in my own life. I have no doubt that my understanding and experience of life will continue to grow and evolve and I look forward to seeing it unfold.
Hope this helps somebody. Thanks for being part of the community — I'm glad that we are all here. Take care.
United States, September 25, 2013.
Dear John and Carla, I am the wife of one of your listeners and I am writing this small letter to thank you so much what you have done for my husband. His name is Peter and he is from Perth, Western Australia and he tries to keep in touch with you very often. Before Peter found you he was so unsure of himself, used to get quite angry as he has PTSD, very domineering etc. in fact he was a very hard man to live with and my children and I put up with him like that for years. Now it is a complete turn around, since he has been looking with you he is a changed man, lovely to live with, takes everything in his stride, absolutely wonderful, our lives are so much better thanks to you. He is now getting or trying to get other people involved. He has a cousin who has Parkinson's and she is doing so well so far, as she lives in the UK and her emails seem much more happier than they were when we started writing to each other. So I would honestly like to say a big, big thank you John, you have done wonders. Keep up the good work as it actually works. Once again thank you so much and both of you have a wonderful life.
Australia, April 13, 2013.
When I came back from Vietnam
I was afraid of everything
I really don't know why this was
Cause, no danger did it bring
To me, my stay in that country
But the poisons that they used
Convinces me that they stuffed my mind
Those powers, our heads abused.
That fear in me was so intense
My mind was filled with dread
I was afraid of being alive
I was afraid of being dead
Sometime I'd freeze so totally
Like I was paralyzed.
I went to so much counseling
So many tears I cried.
And then one day I searched the net
And I found this little site
The site they call it 'just one look'
And they did do me right
It took four years, but now I'm sane
I have no fear at all
And I have no anxiety
I'm no more a crazy fool.
Australia, September 4, 2013
Hello John, I have been doing the Looking off and on for many months now, and there has been an obvious change, There is a simple sense that something that was previously there is just gone and that aspects of it are still present but are flaring up and dissolving over time. That underlining elusive anxiety and fear you speak of... It is like somehow the rug underneath my feet has been pulled out, and I am face to face with life, and in reality there is nothing to fear and no division between me and life.. Still however old patterns are very strong and prevalent, the intenseity in which I feel things are overwhelming, old pain is coming up constantly. However there is always a sense and an opportunity to see that these passing feelings do not define me, and that it is possible to feel them and let them move through without getting caught up in them. I am having a very rough time on one hand, and the the other hand there is a paradoxical calm, and peace, and a growing sense of wellness. Something is happening inside that I can't describe.
Facebook, August 8, 2013
I would not trade this, I am so grateful John that you stood in front of your bookcase , and said in 8 minutes what my guru could not say in twenty five years !!! Cos my friend saw it, and told me of it. 3 months later I went to his and asked him could I see it. I watched it twice, I remember saying to him 'It's like a silent detonation going off somewhere.'... and I tried, with every thing I've got, I tried, still do... I reckon that video 'look at yourself' was perfection... just take the word 'vichara' off the end and its stripped of anything related to something else... Yes I am sick of people saying you sound like someone else, seriously , I'd tell em to F*&k off... If you want to leave bullshit tired old bootless endless spiritual blah out, Do it!!! Thank you Carla & John. Thank you.
United Kingdom, August 4, 2013
Brilliant, this is what I have been searching for 30 years.
Nigeria, July 20, 2013
It took me 3 years of listening to John's talks to get a vague 'understanding' of the context of fear that polluted my life, the need to understand fear has been slowly fading away since last year, although things are still pretty crazy sometimes in my personal existence and the rest of the world continues to be a total Mad house. The power of my internal reactions over what's happening in the outside world doesn't grab my attention so much as it used to. There are no words to describe why or how this is happening.
Denmark, July 19, 2013
John, I wrote you from Rio de Janeiro back in 2008, and actually you read my letter on the worldwide meeting you held, which in fact by the time didn't help me since I was in a big turmoil and thus kind of blind. Now I write you 4 years later to say that I am amazed as each day begins, and all those mind troubles and problems have absolutely vanished. I am practicing zen meditation in a local zendo, and everything has changed. As you said on the podcast, 'it might take time' and it really did take, but now the search is over and I am here to thank you. Blessings.
Brazil, July 11, 2013
Wow -what a relief- cut out all the culturally corrupted spiritual teachings & religious delusions. So simple- so direct- so clear... something is already shifting... what it is I can't say, but I feel it... feels like something real solid in the midst of "myself"... Finally the simplicity of it makes absolute sense.
South Africa, July 7, 2013
Hi John & Carla, Love your new conversations and the simple/clean directions, thank you. Thank you for the real conversation about our situation on this planet. Yes, I want to be a part of the Just One Lok project. The last year I was completely made aware of the betrayal of our own government and that most of our food has/is being destroyed by GMO's (on Hawaii recently they discovered corn injected with agent orange, by Doe chemical, during a meeting forced by the Hawaiian people). Yes, I'm already going through your YouTube videos and the "Just One Look", and I'm sharing them on facebook. Thank you for ALL!
California, July 7, 2013
I just meet you throu the website and feel thankfull for comming to know about you. I have done on my own this one look few years ago while walking on the beach and since then I come more often to it, more easily. This me, this I am, is so far the only thing I know by myself and for sure. Distractions from it come and go, but as you say, once we try it we cannot but come back to it more and more. I live in Mexico now, my native country, lived in Argentina recently, and I have basically lived a nomadic life for the last 40 years. I lived about two years in beautifull Ojai, 20 years ago. One of the most beautifull places ever been. I will subscribe to your newsletter and will continue explore your inspiring site. Keep in touch! Love.
Mexico, July 2, 2013
(...) Which is why I natter on about John Sherman. I think he has discovered the simple thing that is accessible to everyone (he has moved away from spiritual language and talks about his technique in psychological terms). A child could do the looking. It takes almost no time or effort, nor even belief investment (you can go on believing non-dualism, Hinduism, fundamentalist christianity, etc.---the effects will be the same). There is no cost and he claims that one successful attempt is all you need to unravel the fear of life. Sound too good to be true? It does, but I have experienced the effects over time that are undeniable.
Many of the "reports" on his community forum, such as this one: http://www.riverganga.org/Community/Boa ... er-4-years, sound like "enlightenement", yet there is consistent experiencing of these outcomes by many who experience the effects of looking. The consistent commonalities are: it is not what they expected, fear and anxiety are gone, the experience of life is more intense (filters are off), there is a richness and beauty to life, both good aspects and bad, there is a strong sense of compassion and intensified feeling of others' suffering as boundaries are dropped (often causing people to withdraw a bit from society), and they lose interest in "concepts" and conceptual thinking and the need for understanding... life simply becomes more experiential and direct.
I have experienced some of this in the last year and a half and the process continues to deepen. I strongly urge you to take a few seconds of your meditation practice to "look at yourself" in the way Sherman describes... Can't hurt and it may be "enlightening"!
ET online forum, June 6, 2013
Dear John, Everything is different now as compared to the time when I started looking at myself. Thank you. God bless you.
Serbia, January 23, 2013
Hi John and Carla, I have tried the "simple act" of looking and it enables me to make a direct and concrete contact with myself without being entangled with those high-flying abstract terms and always having a lingering doubt. Now I can say with certainty that I have made the contact with the source I have been searching for in the past 7 years. I don't know whether it is the "act" itself that has done the trick or it is the "act" that is the last straw after accumulated effort in the past. But that is "beside the point" as John would say. Thanks.
United States, January 12, 2013
Having been a student of the mind and predominantly eastern philosophy for just the last 5 years I stumbled upon your website. Your concept of looking is actually consistent with the Buddhist principle of pure awareness (consciousness unadulterated by endless thoughts and emotions or in your words "me"). Always available to us no matter what is going on around us. The skill of course is mindfulness and the ability to engage in it. I like the way you have taken this all important concept and removed it from any religious or spiritual context. By doing so, you appear to have simplified things a great deal. I look forward to reading your ebook and best of luck with your endeavors.
Australia, November 10, 2011