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Letter from a friend

I wanted to share the letter I've pasted in below. The letter was written by a 71yo retired physicist that I'm friends with. It's been a year since we talked about the looking and he tried to do it.

The looking process has helped me very much in taming my mind's craziness. Three examples come to mind:

1) Quieting my mind so I can sleep. I also practice "somatic inquiry" where I put my attention on feelings in the body, like the breath, or the "inner-body meditation" where I focus on the subtle aliveness energy in some region of the body (the chest or heart region seem good for me). The looking is distinct from this and more powerful in my experience, because I experience a peacefulness and calm when looking but not so much with somatic inquiry. All of this is quite subtle but real and effective in my experience.

2) I regularly participate in a group dance practice ("Embodydance"). Very often social issues arise and my mental chatter might be "you don't have the energy to do this", "you look funny", "no one here likes you", "I don't like this person or that", "they look funny", and on and on. The looking seems to sap the energy from these self-reinforcing judgmental-thought cycles (the though itself makes me even less present), and gradually, and pretty reliably, I find myself present and have a peak ("ecstatic" is close) experience. Somatic inquiry also works but to a lesser degree in my experience.

3) I regularly participate in Quaker, mostly silent, meditation. Looking, as well as somatic inquiry, help take the energy out of the various cycles of judgmental thoughts and allow me to "listen to God".

 

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