Just One Look Forum Archives
Using the Just One Look Method
My name is Samuel Weekes, I'm 41 years old and I live in Aberystwyth, Wales, which is a small Celtic country on the Western side of Britain. I'd like to share my experience of doing the looking as prescribed by John and Carla.
I stumbled across John's website in May 2008. I'll never forget that date. I'd spent a few years doing what most of us have done, looking to improve 'my life, improve self-confidence, get lots of nice things etc through various so-called self-help methods. This eventually led to a flirtation with Buddhism and then non-duality type stuff. However, all the self-help processes didn't get me where I thought I could get, namely a perfectly problem-free blissful and always-happy state. I was hacked off! I now realise how futile that whole search was. Then I found the looking. Initially I read a transcript of one of John's online meetings where he advised us to forget all the advaita, non-duality and suchlike teachings that we'd absorbed and just start afresh with taking a really good look at ourselves, to get an actual experience of ourselves as we actually are, rather than going by another person's experience.
I sat myself in the garden and pondered these things. I followed the tip of casting my memory back as far as I could to an experience of childhood. I recalled being in my gran's garden and being a bit afraid of the geese which were there as they seemed so big to me! I reckon I was probably 4 years old at the time. Then I looked at how I felt in that moment, in 2008, aged 37 years old, sitting in the garden of my home, and I was astonished to realise that I felt exactly the same as I did when I was 4 years old! The surroundings had changed, my body had changed, many things had changed, but that raw simple me-ness of me was the very same crystal clear feeling that I recalled from when I was a small child. I noticed the parasol flapping in the breeze, the cat sleeping peacefully on the lawn and the flowers blooming under the sunny sky. Wow! I was just astonished by the way everything was just there and I was there with everything too. I felt like I'd just woken up from a very long sleep. I recalled John's words such as 'You are never not here' and his reminder that this simple you is what you always wanted, what you've been looking for. It was amazing, here, right under my nose was this inexplicable wonder of life and I'd just taken it for granted.
After this I didn't do loads of looking, just as and when it popped into my mind to do so. I didn't do any planned sessions. I enjoyed, and still do enjoy listening to the worldwide online meetings, where it is very special to be listening in with people from all around the world. I recalled John's words that it doesn't matter how often you look but just the fact you do the looking is the important thing. I was relieved to hear him say that we are always here, even when we are not actively engaged in the looking. Every time that it occurred to me to look I smiled and thought 'Wow, how amazing is it that I am here and all that is happening in this nanosecond is happening, is me, is only here because I'm here!' I re-realised how very ordinary and simple this being here was, and as John said, you are not very interesting really, in that you are just that ordinary being that you've always been. Yet in that ordinariness everything was extraordinary! I felt like I'd been turned inside out. Rather than being a little individual in the world, the whole world, absolutely everything was in me. Not in some proud and arrogant way but in an inescapable way, in that I'm always here and therefore everything is always here just as it is. I'm woven into everything. Just the simple wonder of life, everyday livingness, watching nature, kids laughing, playing, crying, geese flying overhead, drinking a cup of tea or a cold beer, everything. Just so-called mundane things but all so incredible and interesting. I was naturally drawn to living simply and just 'taking it all in', taking in the incredible mysterious majesty of being here as ordinary me being showered with the amazing phenomena of life.
With this looking and seeing I suddenly realised the meaning of things I'd read in Zen books or even in the Bible, things which I'd read in the Bible since I was a kid but had turned my back on many years ago. Now, for the first time it was like, 'Ahh, that scripture is beautiful, I now see what it is hinting at!' For example, Jesus' words 'I am the Light of the world' Yes! It is true, I am here and therefore everything is here as me, lighted up by the ordinary everyday me-ness of me. I now enjoy reading gorgeous texts by legends such as Rumi, Hafiz and others who are clearly trying to put into words this incredible wonder of being.
In the Welsh language we have a word hiraeth which is hard to translate to English but means a kind of longing and yearning for your homeland, the feeling that is stirred up by seeing pictures or hearing music from the country you love. This simple looking is something like that in that once you look at yourself and you see yourself you have 'returned' to the homeland that you never actually left. And that feeling of longing and yearning develops into a kind of unrequited love, true love for life that is so loving and bursting out of you that it is almost painful once you see You. I could easily sit around basking in awe at this wonder but of course work is necessary as are other functions. Yet everything is a reminder of this incredible life, no matter how ordinary. Life is so full of humour, just watching people, interacting with colleagues or watching nature I see so many comedy moments as well as stunning beauty. I've never laughed so much and yet it is never contrived, it is just natural, impromptu and spontaneous as a result of this ordinary me-ness. You'll find out for yourself if you do the looking, take the medicine as John would say.
I like the fact that with this simple looking, which I can't really call a method as it's too simple even to be tagged as that, that it doesn't mean that you've got to be good, give up beer, try to stop thinking or any other such silly thing. Rather it is just an experiential looking at yourself in which and as which absolutely everything arises, including, oddly enough, thinking and drinking beer! They are just all part of the natural flow of life in all its glory. I'm just a normal bloke who likes doing all the things blokes do and I certainly felt put off by paths which banned having fun or tried to tell me that one day I'd get rid of thinking. I found the latter impossible and the effort to achieve a thought-free state made me pretty cheesed off!
I've got lots of amazing friends whom I love very much and I'm always busy being lived to the max by life in between chilling out with quiet wonder-filled walks around parks and the like. Ironically, I am now basking in the sort of life that I was seeking through self-improvement, but it is not because I've added something to life but rather because I took away the chasing for what, as it turns out, was always here. I took away the poor little me who 'needed to improve himself.' Don't please assume that I'm always going around hunky-dory and free of any upset whatsoever. That'd be impossible as life includes absolutely every shade of experience and that is part of its wonder. However, when I reflect on the past 3 years since I first looked at myself I notice that I've not had any big fights with anyone and I'm really not that disturbed by any 'upsets' that come and go. Not that I was particularly unhappy before I began this search. I notice how angry and stressed so many people appear to be as they rush around in their daily activities, and that too is part of life's rich tapestry. But I can't help but know that if everyone was fortunate enough to stumble upon this looking then they'd also fall in love with life again.
So I'd advise anyone who feels inclined to do so to try this thing. Look, really look at YOU by following John's pointers. Once you've really seen yourself in all your glorious ordinariness you'll be stunned by this paradise that you never lost. You may see that you are indeed capacity for anything and everything as you go with the flow of life and melt into everything. As a result of my experience of this looking I occasionally write a blog.
Diolch yn fawr...thanks very much to John and Carla and to everyone for taking the time to read or listen to my report.
Thank you, sir. 3 beers on me! Haha!
Ha ha! Thanks, Tyson! Make mine a VB please. Great to read your reports too.
Awesome report! I have had similar experiences with re-reading old material and with new material. I also have this thing happen of seeing where they are not talking about what John is asking people to do, and I wonder at why it too so long for this distinction to become clear. Oh well, evolution happens at a pace other than the one I want. ;)
Just want you to know how much I loved listening to your words just now. About a year since you posted this message I suppose. But that is part of the magic of this approach, isn't it, that time is no barrier at all.
I probably started looking around the middle of this year. I was born in London, once, as a child, had a holiday with my parents in Aberdovey. A sweet little town where I nearly drowned myself taking a little rowboat out.
In case you read this, a salute and thank you from Denver.
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