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The looking at me has been quite trip

Dear John and Carla,

The looking at me has been quite a trip. A year and a half of looking at myself every single minute of every single day. And most nights I would wake in the middle of a nightmare and would find myself looking for hours before going back to bed. When I had first seen John it was on the internet. I was surfing reports on electroconvulsive shock treatment and its harmful effects for the physical body. After completing a series of unsuccessful shock treatments, I found myself disabled for the first time, mentally and physically. We had spent our last money on it because I and my wife figured it was my last desperate attempt at some sort of sanity. We were wrong and I was trapped in this miserable disgusting frustrating life with no way out.

John's suggestion hit me because I was in such bad shape, my mind unable to concentrate and body bedridden. But I knew could do what he was asking. I bet myself that what he was saying was true. That it was an action that was a skilled one and also the easiest. I knew I could do it and I knew I was crazy enough and desperate enough to try with all my heart. I was going to make sure I did it the best that I could. At my house, our computer is set up in front of 3 6-foot bay windows that open and a balcony with clear glass sliding doors.

This is where I was sitting when I called John on the phone and spoke to Carla and John for the first time. It was in March of 2010. While on the phone with John, he was telling me to look inward and try to look at myself. I did it over and over while speaking to him and told him that couldn't be it, that it was too easy. He told me that because of what I had done for a living that it was probably easier for me to do than most. This depressed me more, now knowing that it was an action I do hundreds and hundreds of times every day. After I hung up the phone I sat for 8 hours moving my attention inwards.

When I turned 40 years old I first started really feeling depressed. It wouldn't go away and I started seeking help for a myriad of psycho problems. I left Las Vegas in 2003 with my mind confused, depressed and anxious. I tried every possible thing I could think of which led me to to the dangerous decision to get ECT treatments. The doctors told me it could actually screw my mind up enough to the point where I would never be able to play high limit poker again. I didn't care, I felt so bad. It didn't matter anymore.

A month earlier I was walking outside with my wife and my dog when I collapsed on the ground unable to breathe. She rushed me to the hospital and I stayed there for a week. I was diagnosed with bad COPD and put on 24-hour oxygen. I kept smoking anyway because it was one of the few distractions from the miserable life that I had.

After I hung up from the first phone call to John and Carla, I started looking at myself and never stopped for a year. I would sit in front of my computer either looking at John's videos or listening to podcasts. I would sit there and join John and the Just One Look group on every possible Open House, Worldwide Online Meetings, and four 5-Day Online Intensives.

Right away the looking caused me to feel better. Except for a two-week bout of terror, in the beginning, it has been great. Now I could actually do something that made me feel better every minute of every day.

After 3 months, I could see half the room and many of the trees in front of me. I noticed how much better I was feeling and the sunlight felt great. I would sit and just let the light come into my focus of attention, which was me. I would sit with my eyes open as much as possible trying to turn my attention inwards. I would try and turn attention inward while I also would always remember to feel what it was like. I loved this. I quit smoking cigarettes like it was easy. I just didn't want on. I had gone back to my lung doctor 2 months later and he said that I had a complete recovery and that he had never seen anything like it.

Other unbelievable things started happening for me. My mind started clearing up and my vision did also. My mind correlated directly with the physical states that I experienced every day. Some days where my eyes got wider and more light was taken in I would experience progress in my physical condition. I experienced states of clarity, oneness, bliss, and others only to have John and Carla always there to keep me on track and tell me they don't mean anything and to keep looking.

It actually hurt me to turn my attention in with my eyes open and this was in my darkroom. I had to start in the dark because I could barely open them in the living room with the sun coming in.

Now every single day is one of sunshine for me. I would never be able to confuse myself again about what or who I am. It has become so ingrained in me that whatever I attend to is me. I am also positive that every other thing I don't attend to is me. In other words, it has become obvious to me that my mind is the only one that there is and everything whatsoever is in it. It's all in me and it is simple and clear. We are all different because we are all born with our own unique personalities. I see that to be a very good thing. If you really believe that we are born with our own personality and that we really have no say over it, it would be ridiculous to have any resentment towards one's behavior. Even our own has to be accepted on that account. We all always are doing the best we can. I know I know that.

I run five miles every morning and work out with weights every other day. I have never felt better. My memory is also better than ever. Years of drugs and abuse don't seem to have damaged anything. I can now recall early memories with crystal clearness and know I have always felt this way. Actually, anything I seem to do has my unique presence. I feel sharper than ever in my mind. I can figure probabilities faster and more correctly than I did when in my twenties.

My mind and body have been restored to sanity by looking. All neurotic defense mechanisms have been burned out leaving a healthy attention able to attend to the good things in life. But now I know that they are all good. What a bonus. Now compassion is there always because that has always been my nature. No matter how bad off I was, I had usually always been a nice guy. So now I seem to be nice and thoughtful because that's how I always am when I don't think my life is in danger.

So I love life. There is no resistance. It turns out it's all good and the best part is that it's really all me. The same me I felt when I was a kid. It seems to be exactly the same. Me with a twist and the twist is that I am the container of it all. And I always know it.

I can't express my love and gratitude enough to John and Carla Sherman, who have with compassion, patience and generosity helped me get my mental and physical health back, but mainly showed me that I could get the straight dope about myself. I am the luckiest person in the world to have met you guys,

Love always,

Mark

PS. Besides telling my wife this story, and she has seen the miraculous change up close and personal, I have told one friend. He thought I was telling a great story but still didn't get what I was saying to him. It couldn't get any simpler. My eyes and perception were dark and closed and now they are wide open, bright, clear without any neurotic confusion and frustration. Nothing sticks, nothing.

Mark,

It's amazing isn't it. Going sane. Like nothing you'd ever expect and yet so familiar. I'm still experiencing (it seems) the "period of recovery" but that never occurs to me as a problematic situation. I just keep looking.

Thanks for sharing your story.

David

question

question

Hi Mark,

what an amazing story!

I have a question: I ahve been suffering from depression since about 10 years, and between 2005 and 2011 I had been taking chemical antidepressives. I stoppped last year in June but got so depressed and had so many suicidal thoughts, again I started taking (herbal) antidepressives. They dont really help me though. My question is: were you taking medication when you started the looking? Many times I am thinking about taking medication again because many moments I feel like I cannot deal anymore with myself and my life and might just want to end it, but I dont want to get to that point of course. I'm wondering if the medication could be like an obstacle to the looking.

My looking has so far been quite good: I'm getting obsessed with it and feel my presence when I do it. But I also have days that I cannot really catch it and have to look longer, or I'm too distracted my thoughts and emotions, especially in the mornings.

What do you think? Would be a bad idea to take medication, or wont it stand in the way?

Thank you so much,

Nadia

 

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