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Looking and building momentum


This is my first post and am grateful to have found this community and John's work. I have been on a "spiritual path" for 5 years or so and done a lot of reading, meditating, inquiring, etc. The simple act of looking quickly resonated with me and have been very pleased with the effects so far after a few months of looking when it occurs to do so.

I was wondering from other's perspective if they felt it beneficial as they were going through the period of time when the looking needed to be done to reduce activities in order to give the looking more opportunities to arise. It feels like it is building momentum on it's own but sometimes worry that is seems easy to get swept back up in activities where the looking takes a backseat. I schedule time every day to look and look throughout the day when I think of it. I notice more times of looking later in the day on walks or other slower activity times than during the busier times. Thanks for any thoughts.


Not much choice

Hello Dave, and welcome to the forum.

As far as I can tell, the fact that you're already aware of the looking taking a backseat at times, means it has taken hold and that the changes it produces will keep on unfolding, whether you are aware of the changes, or aware of the apparent lack of change. In the end, once you've seen yourself, there's not much choice left in the matter apart from giving your attention to these old, redundant habitual thought patters - or not.

Hope that was of any value to you.



Hi Dave,

Welcome! Glad you're here--

Your question is one that I've had frequently over the past two years that I've been doing the looking. While I think that the thought to look will arise when it needs to regardless of how busy your life is, I have to say that over the past eight months, my husband and I have set up a regular meditation practice (nothing exciting, just twenty minutes of mindfulness meditation a few days a week) and that seems to have really helped me. Not sure if it's because the beam of my attention is more focused or I'm just more relaxed in general, but I would recommend that to anyone. Other than that, I think your life can be what it is and the looking will take care of itself.

Regardless, as John says, you can't do this wrong-- enjoy the ride!

Take care,


Hi Dave,

I appreciate your input like I never could have in the past. In my experience, once the looking takes hold, as it seems to have in your case, the outcome is inevitable, and unpredictable. Myself and many others have lived for decades in the spiritual ghetto. Its was the best we could do. It served to managed symptoms but failed completely to affect a cure for what ailed us. In my case I knew that that nothing I had ever done had worked. So I resolved to throw out everything I thought I knew and just try to look inward. Four years later I look back and cringe a little, and laugh more so nowadays, at how futile my intentions were. The only thing that mattered was the act itself. I can say now from experience that the looking is indeed unlike anything I had ever done. I could have never imagined the outcome that is unfolding before me now. It is sublimely sweeter and intrinsically simpler that anything I had ever learned to believe in the past. Hang on to your own coat tails man!

Like the wind!


Looking at "you"

Hi Dave,

Just recently, I've begun to realize that what John has given us -- this gift of just looking at Yourself -- is so unique and special. The best birthday, Christmas, Hanukkah, etc. present I ever received! When I first looked at me, I saw myself standing on the edge of a woods, looking back at myself. Over the past months, my idea of me has shifted and changed, and now, when I look at "me," I see the whole emptiness of everything, in and of me -- I am and I am not, all in this one look at "me.'

So yes, I believe if you have done the looking, and continue to do it as you feel called to -- the looking will take care of itself and you will find yourself safe and secure in your own life. Just trust and keep looking. And as Mike said, enjoy yourself, hang on to your coat tails, and have a great ride!

with love,



Thanks for all the responses and they are encouraging. I really like the message of letting the looking take place whenever you think of it.

This takes a lot of the stress out of the process. I still have thoughts about needing to be intensive about the looking in order to overcome lifelong tendencies. Some of this thinking comes out of reading I have done in the Vedanta and Buddhist tradition. I can relate when John says that a lot of times people that haven't brought a lot of spiritual "baggage" with them have an easier time. I can see how trying too hard will be counterproductive along the lines of when one let's go of seeking then what is naturally occuring and always available asserts itself. On the other hand, I feel like if I don't make looking a priority, then the allure of activities is powerful.

On a bit of tangent, I have noticed that things seem to be getting better and worse at the same time. Things in general seem to be more intense. Simple sensory perceptions such as looking at nature can be so powerful and at other times bodily aches/pains are being experienced stronger than before the looking. At such times, I sometimes shift my focus to the one who is present for these experiences. Trusting the inner guide has been a helpful thought during this process. Thanks again for the thoughts and encouragement!



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