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My Experience

I first came across John's work through a non-dual website in which he was being interviewed. I was intrigued by the clear and precise communication and absence of abstract concepts.

My reaction to the work was one of excitement because it seemed to be describing, in plain English, what I had already started to experience. The big difference seemed to be that, in the past, in working with other teachers I had been using spiritually based descriptions to describe what has turned out, as a result of the looking, to be just me. That has felt huge.

I have been involved in the looking for about 8 months. It is hard to remember what I did at first to attempt the looking. I may have been attempting to see what is always there regardless of changes in mood, body, circumstances etc. I remember trying to get the feeling of me.

The main difficulty I initially had with the looking had been my thinking that I should be seeing "something" and that something should be ongoing (resting in something). The other thing was that I experienced a huge surge in my anxiety when I first attempted the looking. It was as if my whole body was having to squint as I tried to look so as to titrate the intense stimuli. It felt overwhelming like a painful birth or like scratching on a blackboard...which has started to settle into a very simple recognition of me.

John recently mentioned that during the course of recovery, even though the wound has healed, there can still be orphaned idiosyncratic traits, impulses, self protective reactive patterns that continue. This has been my experience and it is quite challenging at times. The diminishing of the fear of life has resulted in me not having to constantly be looking over my shoulder and keeping an eye on life. Whether in specific situations at work, in my personal life or just generally being in the life... there is a growing knowing that I am safe. I also don't feel the impulse to find lofty spiritual frames in which to cast any of this... I'm here and that more than suffices.

For anyone coming to this work for the first time, I would encourage them to think of it in any terms that allow them do just do it... and keeping it as simple as possible.

There are still, what feels like, significant challenges in seeing the self protective patterns that continue to come up. At this point I feel less inclined to indulge them but at the same time I don't know what to do instead. Like my old job description is obsolete but there is not yet a new skill set in place. It is as if I am waiting for these things to just run their course.... I trust that there is a recalibrating going on... But I don't know what it will look like when it settles... it is wonderful and anxiety provoking at the same time.

It also feels right.

I feel so grateful. Thank you so much.

Thank you for that, Paul. I really resonate with what you said about keeping it as simple as possible. And not needing lofty spiritual terms to describe me, just as I am here. I am finding that I am becoming self-reliant and self-trusting, more and more. And that it's ok to let the remnants of the fear run its course. I am ok and will be ok. It feels so freeing to know that the "structure" is being re-built on sanity, and there's nothing I can or need to do about it. It feels so freeing as I see I have no control over the forms that come and go - this is so freeing because I am free to be just me, plain and simple. I get to be just what it feels like to be me. I am fine no matter what form the forms take. I don't need saving from the forms. No savior is needed from anything. Life just gets better and better in this simplicity, even though my life itself is not getting "better", I am just seeing it differently. The looking truly works. I am so grateful as well. I am so grateful for myself, for the first time ever. I feel like I am here to have my own voice and my own experience, and it's beautiful. I am beginning to see my own beauty - something I missed my entire life. My unique voice and experience is so beautiful and so vital and part of the whole. The whole is the sum of its parts, and each part truly is vital.

Yes, Paul, it does all feel so right!

Blessings and love to all,

Jenny

Hi Jenny

I really appreciate your comments. I'm sorry that I did not respond earlier. I also feel that this work has enabled me to become more self reliant. I used to be possessed with having to constantly read spiritual books, in the service of warding off anxiety around just letting life be as it is. If the truth be told, I still listen to John's podcasts ,almost on a daily basis, but it somehow feels different....less of a driven or possessed quality to it. It is wonderful to hear that this work has afforded you so much. Keep well and blessings to you as well.

With kind regards

Paul

Hi Paul,

I have found the self-reliance "happening" to me as well. Strangely enough (but maybe not very surprising), after I decided that it was OK to let the remnants of the fear run its course, I became very fearful and anxious the next day and for days to follow. The following week my husband and I went on a Thanksgiving trip to visit our siblings and elderly parents, and by the time we got back, I felt quite ill. I got into the doctor right away. It seemed that life was teaching me it's good to be self-reliant, but it's also OK to need help and to ask for help. I was willing to admit that I couldn't take care of my health all by myself, and that I could work with the doctor as a team to bring me back to health. The doctor is treating me, although it will take months for the treatments to work, and for me to feel completely healthy again (if that's even in the cards). But I still feel the same, regardless of how awful the body feels. And that it's OK to feel awful, and to need help and to ask for it. We have doctors and treatments for a good reason. As John says, we are all in this together. This illness has brought out a deeper compassion in me for the suffering of others. We are all a team together, and are all members of the "creature of humanity", as John likes to put it. I totally agree with that. Anyway, having a sick body can still demonstrate to me that I am all here, that I am not diminished in any way. I can take the steps to take care of this body, even though I have no control over the outcome. But I'm still me, nonetheless.

Incidentally, I used to be an avid Course in Miracles student. And now I find that declaring "this is all a dream, and the body doesn't exist" is a sorry form of the denial of life. In the group I was a member of, a favorite topic of conversation was whether it was OK to see a doctor or take medications and vitamins. I started feeling guilty for taking care of myself in any way. Now, I really don't care how real or not the body is, or whether this is a dream. I'm going to take steps to take care of my body and help the others in my life take care of their own bodies as best I can.

Peace and blessings to all,

Jenny

 

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