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Finally getting the difference between the looking and self-inquiry

In a recent post, "Forgetting to look in recovery", I commented on the circumstances of a particularly long recovery period.

I've been retracing my steps recently, and doing some detective work, and now must admit that I've discovered that what I was doing 8 or 9 years ago was not the looking in the sense that we are discussing it now. In other words, I've discovered that I haven't actually been in "recovery" for 7-8 years, which would be quite a long time indeed.

When I first encountered John's work back in 2007, I was very much into the traditions of self-inquiry, and, long story short, what I was doing was trying to see "me" without any interference of thought or mind intruding. I had a very "spiritual" experience in which I followed the instructions of "Who Am I?" quite literally, and encountered a meditative state in which I felt I was seeing my "true self". In this state I had banished all thoughts in an effort to rid my mind of anything that wasn't "me". Later I repeatedly tried to reproduce this state, and I thought I was doing the looking, but I wasn't doing it in the way John describes it today.

The key difference, as I do the looking now, is that I know, whether thoughts are there or not, that I'm seeing what it is to be me, and I'm seeing that I'm always there, regardless of the circumstances, and unscathed by anything. I've seen that I don't have to banish thoughts, emotions, or sensations in order to do this, and for the last few days I've felt a sense of balance and "always okayness" that just blows my mind. I'm excited to discover this, and hope the sharing of this discovery might generate discussion and help others who might have approached this work from self-inquiry traditions.

What could be more transparent than to read or hear of looking at me. Who else is addressing you. We are here. This is the genius of John and Carla Sherman they are actually addressing a you and a me. It really is a hello from them, their simple suggestion, 'look at me'.

Just to add a footnote to this observation above: I realized that when I first encountered it in 2007, I used to conflate John's work with that of other teachers whose lives had been transformed through some realization, awakening, or enlightenment experience. Recently I came across John's "Buddha at the Gas Pump" interview, one in a series that brings the experiences of such teachers into focus on YouTube. My curious mind caused me to look at some of the other interviews (a couple hundred in all). One after another, I saw that the experiences of these other teachers contained absolutely nothing that would help me. Their experiences are absolutely unique and idiosynchratic to them, and trying to change my own life by learning about their lives would be tantamount to watching an interview with Prince or some other unusual celebrity and trying to become like them...absolutely ridiculous and irrelevant! One thing about John's message that differs entirely from all of these is the account of losing the "enlightenment experience" and then facing life as it is. Now that's something that I can absolutely relate to. Ironic that someone who "lost enlightenment" could help me so much more than someone who had "gained it".

Really nicely stated, delmogazi. I too have had the experience of going back and comparing past teachings with John's.....it seems part of the process and I came to the same conclusion you did. I like your last two lines.

Rather than say anything it's best that I continue to support this forum with monthly donations. For any others who feel this way, you may also.

I first saw John in Nurit Oren's youtube channel. I gravitated to the "going within" that Nurit's husband teaches. I'm sensitive to people's energy. When I look and listen to John's youtube videos, I sense an inner peace, acceptance of everything, and a strong, what I call . . "deeply in the moment" vibe.

After so many years of seeking, the one thing that probably gets in my way is the timing of the process. I just want it now! That's the disease. I'm very interested in learning more about the part where he says (paraphrase): "people can not know there's a change" I take this to mean that, as the time passes doing this process, one many not notice a change, that there is a sense of less reactions, life is going by easier. I am experiencing that from the other "going within" work that I have been doing. There's so much "out there" about what happens (experiences). Conscious tv, in Britain, had many videos of awake people, that showed me that everyone is unique. That helps A LOT!!!! I love the way he includes details that I've never heard before. It's much support, when I don't know ANYONE to talk to about this process.

Thank you John and Carla . . I will donate when I can. Unfortunately I'm in a rough financial state. When it turns around . . you can definitely count on me for donations!!

 

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