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Other forms of meditation an ok substitute?

Hi guys, I was wondering whether other forms of meditation are suitable/as efficient for recovery besides the self-directed attention exercise. I ask this because I am thinking of going to weekly meditations with a teacher so I can develop a consistency and depth with my focus practice but the form of meditation that is advocated by her is more similar to Zen meditation. The primary difference between her form and the self-directed attention exercise is the focus on the rise and fall on the abdomen while breathing instead of the warm and cool sensations at the nostrils. Counting of the breaths is involved in both however.

I am not sure if she will be encouraging of with the self-directed attention exercise as described here and I want to a practice as closely as advised by her if I attend sessions regularly. Will I still reap the benefits the same with the abdomen focus in regards to attaining more control over my attention?

Sorry if I am being pedantic here just wanted to know if this is ok.

Warm Regards,


I don't think I'm qualified to say much about meditation or the attention practice, but it doesn't seem to make any difference whether you focus on nostrils or abdomen. You're consistently focusing on something, right? Besides any kind of meditation has been shown to have positive effects, starting from turning on gene expression for more than a hundred genes to all sorts of mental enhancements, according to a scientist I watched at Youtube. Meditation here understood widely as a practise that directs you away from dwelling on thoughts; looking at a picture or a candle, focusing on breathing, just sitting quietly...I think it's more to do what you're after with meditation. Traditional Zen practice has a spiritual goal, as far as I know. That separates it from self-directed attention exercise.

John's self directed attention exercises reminded me very much of my zen meditation days. We basically counted breaths as John guides us to do. My point of view (not necessarily John's) is that once the recovery is mostly over and we gain facility with attention, we can use our own intelligence to figure out what works best for us. I now use a directed attention technique of simply observing (looking at) whatever is going on internally and externally......it could be my thoughts, sensations in my body, or birdsong. Before the looking and recovery when I tried to do this, when I called it 'meditation' and had loftier end goals, I simply could not do it. It was an exercise in futility. Now, with some daily practice, I can slip into this mode of attention quite easily and after awhile I am in calm, alert state that is quite comfortable and satisfying. I don't need to be there long, but I find it a pleasant reboot of emotions and thoughts.

So, I think we mature in our ability to direct our attention as fear loosens it's grip and our minds recover from years of distortion. I imagine this way of being will simply become second nature with no required effort on my part at some point.


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