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Using the Just One Look Method
Dear fellow travelers,
I am so grateful to be a part of this community. It is a great opportunity to share what is nearly impossible and quite useless to share with people not familiar with the looking.
So I appreciate this community and the forum more than I can say. It is my first posting in this forum. I have been reading it from time to time, but haven't written anything.. I guess because the need was not acute enough. But now it is, and I'd like to share it with you in the hope that it might help me get clear on some things and perhaps even making it easier to bear.
I guess I am in the process of recovery. It's confusing and I'm experiencing much pain, discomfort and suffering. There is a burning around the chest area and many other intense sensations in the body... it is confusing because of my life situation. I have gone through a major challenge and am recovering from that too. It brought up intense pain and I experienced the most intense suffering I have ever had. All of my body was in pain and it felt like hell.. but the challenge I went through could also have brought about those feelings of suffering, so I was wandering if this pain and agony is because of what I went through (a really unpleasant experience) or is it "the period of recovery"? I did some healing (I use energy healing methods) on my recent life events and the suffering lessened considerably. But there is still this burning in the chest, almost incessant feeling of misery, tragic thoughts, and heavy energy all over the body. It stops only when I'm asleep and when I do physical work. Is this the recovery period? I hope it is... I'd like to get done with it. My life circumstances are perfect for this. I have a supportive environment and I don't have a job, I can spend a lot of time alone and in the nature. Those things help, don't they?
When I was at my lowest a couple of weeks ago, feeling the most intense pain I ever have, it occurred to me that I could actually endure more (a surprising thought!). This suffering is somehow making resistance futile and makes me surrender the will to escape or change it (however, my tendency is still to escape). It seems that everything is there - strong regrets of doing what I feel I shouldn't have done, regrets of not doing I feel I should have done, feelings and thoughts of being a useless loser, feeling that my life is a failure... most of the time it feels dark and as if there is no way out.
If this is the period of recovery, I am ready to go through it. Now is the time. But it's also scary... how bad can it get?
I'd be grateful for anything you might have to say about this. I'd especially appreciate if you shared your experience of the recovery period. Thank you.
Welcome LeeHarry. It's good to have you here.
From my experience it's been hard to separate what I was going through and the period of recovery. I had many life situations pop up that triggered my pain and suffering. During the recovery period I suffered greatly. At one point in the beginning I actually thought I was losing my mind and sometimes things got so intense it was hard to function. I got regular acupuncture treatments, ate well, and took a lot of walks...being out in nature was helpful for me. What I experienced physically and psychologically is difficult to put into words, but what you are describing sounds very similar. For me the intense period lasted four years and now I still have stuff come up but with a much lesser degree of intensity... I also don't find it all that scary anymore...it's interesting phenomenon just like everything else.
It sounds like you are in the period of recovery. I don't think you have much of a say whether you go through it or not and you cannot control how long it will take. I didn't. The eagerness to get on with it and get it over with is the fear of life talking. I know that when you are in the thick of it that it feels like hell and it will never end, but I can say from experience it will. Life won't always be easy, but what has changed for me is that I find all of it interesting even the challenges. Everything I went through all the grief, fear, pain, suffering, and intense physical sensations are a distant memory. I am still here. Alive and sane.
I hope this helps. Just know that you are not alone in this. This is an amazing community and the forum is a great resource during the course of recovery.
Thank you Natalie. Your reply reassured me that it will pass. It's really the case that when it's happening, it seems that it's never gonna end. So it was good to hear IT WILL. The lenght of time it took you (4 years) seems too long to me, but as you said, we don't have a say about this. I'm trying to accept this fact.
It's been quite hellish for the past couple of months, but just during recent days I seem to have gotten a grip on the major challenging situation that I mentioned, and the feelings it's been bringing about. I have felt that I'm losing my mind, have had suicidal thoughts, and sleepless nights. I hope it gets smoother from now on.. but we'll see.
The experience of intense suffering seems to have given me more intelligence and aptitude for dealing with my emotions and situations I find myself in. I'm also more in tune with how I feel and am resolved to always-always pay attention to what it is I'm feeling - this is a major lesson I learned through the challenge. I am noticing deeper layers of myself and am able to look at the most despicable personality traits and patterns as an objective observer, without getting too emotional about it. The looking really seems to bring everything up. It's not possible to keep ignoring parts of yourself that you've previously hidden from view. I hope that the fact that I'm seeing them means that they are on their way out. But I'm definitely not done. There is still fear and anxiety and neurotic thoughts, and I still desperately want to get it over with and finally be free of suffering. Perhaps there is just slightly more acceptance of the way my life is. Perhaps.
I am also experiencing a kind of dumbness. It's difficult to explain, but it's like my intellectual capacities have lessened. For example it's taking me a really long time to read complicated texts. I also have difficulty in finding/remembering words sometimes. Has anyone else experienced it or am I just stupid? I'm thinking it might be due the right side of the brain being more active as a result of The Looking (and other practices). Strange.
Also, I have noticed that I'm much less interested in spiritual books and lectures I used to devour. Even the most obvious spiritual truths (for those who have been in contact with advanced spiritual teachings) seem to have faded into oblivion, as if they didn't matter anymore. All is one, we are all one consciousness, everything is emptiness, the Self is eternal, etc - it's good to remind them from time to time, but I'm more concerned with my own direct experience. Sure, I'd like to feel one with everything and always blissful (and I hope I will some day - haha), but I'm not trying to find it from books or drugs like I used to. I have become more self-reliant in that sense - my experience here and now is what counts. At least I like to think that it's the case.
It's quite difficult to put it all in words (writing this post felt like grasping at smoke), but hopefully I was able to tell some truth. I'm not even sure what I want to ask, but if anyone wants to reply, I'd be very happy. I will definitely write more soon. All the best to everyone on this forum! And thank you John for your continued support!
Hello John and everybody who's reading this,
Here's another report from me. Thank god for this forum! It's a great place to share and support each-other.
I talked to John in October last year when I was experiencing unbearable pain (physical and emotional), panic-like fear, and a lot of other negative feelings. It was much worse than anything else I had ever experienced. And it wouldn't go away - the period of intense suffering started in June 2012 and it hasn't actually stopped. Even today I'm feeling horrible. So it's been happening for about 8 months pretty much non-stop, except for some days of feeling better. It's difficult to describe it. There is a deep feeling of fear, very unpleasant sensations in the body, very negative thoughts, well basically like hell. Psychological hell. And it doesn't seem to stop. It's been there for days, weeks and months! I know these things will eventually disappear, but it's taking really long. It is really difficult for me to do what John says - "just put your attention on something else, like the breath," because the feelings are so strong. I have heard it said that if you observe and accept all of the unpleasant feelings and sensations without resistance and just observe them as if you had chosen them, they will be transformed. So that's what I have been trying to do. I go for a walk in the forest every day and feel all of it deeply. I usually feel much better after that. But I'm still experiencing those feelings. So, nothing has worked and I have accepted the situation as it is.
As time goes on, I seem to get deeper insights about the mind and how much crap there is. It has become apparent that this suffering is inside the mind itself. Karma or the fear of life is a context through which we experience life. It's a program that interprets our experience, a screen through which we relate to our life and everything that transpires. And when that context is cleared, the experience changes. But I don't see the context clearing. I have looked deeply at a lot of the horrible stuff that has always caused me a great deal of suffering, but there seems to be no end to it. I guess I'll just have to wait. I have kind of given up trying to change anything. I have even given up all effort - the effort to be someone and do something and leave a certain impression - things that I used to do a lot. I just am. Like a vegetable, but a suffering one.
I know I am recovering, but it's difficult to believe. It seems like I'm stuck. I still keep doing the looking. It seems to clear up the suffering for a while and some days have been quite good. But then it usually comes back.
I don't want to sound like I'm complaining. I know it's the way it should be - looking brings up all of the stuff that has been hidden in the subconscious. I really think it's the best thing I can do. Most of my life has been filled with suffering and I would very much like to enjoy the rest of it. I don't want to be miserable like I have been. The fact that my life has given me so much pain and sorrow makes me really sad and I really hope it will change. I'm very grateful for stumbling upon this unique method - the looking. I really hope it's the solution. People around me have said that they notice some changes in me. I guess it's a good sign. I guess it's also a good sign that so much fear and pain and old painful experiences are coming up. They must be on their way out.
Thanks for reading. Hopefully I'll have brighter thoughts to share next time.
All the best to you John and everyone who's on the same path.
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