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I have a quick question about the vichara

Dear John,

I have a quick question about the vichara, which is creating a bit of confusion for me.

Usually, of course, what you suggest is to look at yourself; but sometimes you say the aim of the vichara is to get a sense or a taste or a feel for yourself, or for the you-ness of you.

I've heard you say that in looking at yourself you are looking at an absence. Or that you are not looking in order to 'see' anything. And that's my experience. But getting a 'sense' of myself does seem possible, in a way that looking at myself just doesn't.

So although, in looking, there is nothing to see, there does seem to be 'something' to sense. And whilst it doesn't seem possible to get a look at my self, it does seems possible to get some sense of myself. Or at least that sense seems to be more consciously obtainable.

So, are you able to clarify? Is looking a metaphor? Or more?

Many thanks, and for all of your--and Carla's--work!

It is truly refreshing.

C. (United Kingdom)

I read this post and talked about it at the Worldwide Meeting on April 9, 2011.

You can listen to the entire recording in our podcast. Please let me know if more is needed.

In love,


Hi John,

Please forgive (and ignore) my earlier - somewhat plaintive - mail!

I think I'm back on track now.

As far as I can tell, rather than looking at myself, I've been trying to make myself into something I can see -- if that makes any sense! And I guess it was this that prompted my earlier question about looking/seeing. I seem to get on better with 'noticing myself' - which seems to help prevent the crazy effort I've been making.

But, really, it's just taken me a little while to actually hear you saying that the point is to look at yourself, 'just as you are'.

Thanks for being there!

C. (United Kingdom)


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