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A Beginner

I'm writing to just say "hello" and to join the conversation.

I have been a spiritual addict, starting with an intense relationship with a guru and ashram in the '70s, ACIM in the '90s, shamanism in the '00s, and then a variety of teachers teaching Be Still--from Nisargadatta and Ramana to teachers in their lineage. I also dabbled in Richard Rose's teachings, which were much less "spiritual,"--but recently went back to the spiritual stuff even tho' it felt very hollow. I couldn't rev it up anymore, and it seemed I'd lost a powerful, passionate love for any teacher, but not for the teachings. Now I am drawn to Ramana and the silence.

Since I couldn't seem to relight that old passionate fire with any of the current teachers, I was drawn to John just this week--and he is so clearly speaking through all of the ideas of "spirituality" to what is really here. I've been reading this Forum and tuned in to the Open House yesterday, and I'm beginning to feel this. I can see what John is saying, how many people have been trying to put words to this, and how my painful struggle over many years has reflected that--and led me, luckily, to this point.

So here's my report: In the last two days, I have begun experiencing periods of disassociation again (I've had these since my teens), and John is the first person who has ever clearly explained what this is. So now, instead of running to cover it up with something ordinary like TV or food to "ground" me, I am able to just experience the discomfort of "holding my life at arm's length"--and to actually see that this is what I've been doing, instead of fully experiencing Me. It's uncomfortable to feel my body so separate, so holographic, but I'm able to breathe through it.

I am also practicing putting my attention on sights, sounds, thoughts, and then focusing it inward. I have had a very good connection with using, as John suggests, a childhood memory to sense this place inside. And since doing this yesterday I have felt myself "fall back" into a great and wondrous sense of myself that is so generous and so immediately present in me now. It is very sweet.

And, when I focus inward, I'm not certain that I'm always doing it right, but then my mind isn't the one who's doing it anyway, right? So what do I care? I just keep doing it. And I trust in this. Not to say I don't have doubt, b/c I do--I have trusted in many, many other "techniques" over the last 40+ years--but I am going to do this anyway. Probably b/c I've noticed in the last 2 years that as my search speeded up--I was finding a teacher or method, buying all the books, signing up for everything, and then dumping it all in a few months for something else--that I was also becoming clearer, and so it brought me here to John's explanation/clarity--and again, I'm very grateful.

So, I just wanted to put something down here, to say hello, shake hands/hugs all around, and say, I'm glad we're here all together. I also hope to refer back to these comments some day and see what changes.

I'm grateful to you all.

with love,


Welcome, Dawn, good to have another companion on the road to sanity! I'm glad we're all here together too. I, too, am grateful.


Hi Dawn and Jenny,

Another beginner, and another Jenny. Spoke to John last night and he made such sense. Not even by what he said but his simplicity and pointing to the looking. What a relief to just look and not worry about being spiritual.

I am grateful also and hello to all at Just One Look.



I have a very silly question that continues to plague me. Is the looking to be done with eyes closed or open?

Thanks for your response.

Either and both.

Like Dawn, I want to put something down to all the others that are involved in this looking and say hello. Hello everybody. When I stumbled upon John and Carla's work it made perfect sense to just look at myself and so I began to consciously turn my attention to my self. At first and even now I do wonder, Is this all there is?. The experience is pretty ordinary. Although, when I first started doing this I did notice the self that I was looking at was an experience of a familiarity of a sensation I have whenever I look at a particular photo of myself when I was about 2 years old. The sensation was of a innocent, vulnerable, sad familiar feeling. I kept looking at myself because in a strange way this sensation was comforting. Anyway, I still get that sensation but the sad, vulnerable part is going. Mind you I have only been doing this a few weeks, since November 2011. I look forward to being a part of this forum and reading others experiences. JennyO

Thank you all, happy to join the conversation. The looking has really put an end to the fear of life, so simple I haven't really been able to talk about it, but thank God John talks and I really want to support this community. Maureen, Montreal


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