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First Impressions

Hello everyone,

I stumbled upon the work of John and Carla a couple of weeks ago, and I am glad I did. Next to this method I am also reading material on non-duality, notably the books of Robert Wolfe (I believe well-known to John and Carla) and have been listening to several spiritual teachers for quite some time now.

The looking feels very natural to me and it does indeed direct my attention to the witnessing consciousness within me, which has always been present. I also realize that returning to this core has a profoundly calming effect. The focusing of the attention to the self creates a loop that is absent in typical mindfulness practices (as John explains) and it feels like the missing link that is needed to really distance oneself from all the thoughts that arise in the mind. For that I am very grateful towards John and Carla.

I have also done the childhood memory exercise, and combining that with the original looking is particularly insightful. One thing that I notice since doing this, is that I have more access to deep childhood memories, i.e., more and more memories pop up and I am aware that the witnessing awareness was there too at that moment. I would like to know if other people also have this experience.

Hi

As a "seeker " all my life I believe that the getting in touch with the "ME" that is prior to thought. This is the key for me.

This is where I will put my attention s much as possible.

This feels very natural and not really some kind of achievement-rather a coming home.

I have not had the experience of an increase in childhood memories but I have noticed a space developing between ME and the thoughts and emotions that I experience.

It is also calming to me as well.

I think John is on the right track.

After all it should be our birthright to live without fear of life.

mikepike

As a "seeker " all my life I believe that the getting in touch with the "ME" that is prior to thought. This is the key for me. This is where I will put my attention s much as possible.

Dear mikepike,

Now that you have gotten a taste of what it feels like to be you, please devote some time every day to the self-direction work. No need to keep going back to looking at yourself over and over. It may feel good and there is no harm in doing it, but the work of eliminating the context of fear is now done. Now, developing your control of your attention is all that you need to do. It will make a huge difference and you'll see that. Have you seen the latest episode of our YouTube series, Conversations with John Sherman? He talks about that. Our channel is at https://www.youtube.com/justonelook

jjkoopman

I stumbled upon the work of John and Carla a couple of weeks ago, and I am glad I did. Next to this method I am also reading material on non-duality, notably the books of Robert Wolfe (I believe well-known to John and Carla) and have been listening to several spiritual teachers for quite some time now.

Dear jjkoopman,

Welcome to the Just One Look Forum. Glad to have you with us.

Please stop listening or reading ANY spiritual material for a while - just for a few months. You can always go back to the spiritual teachings if you feel so inclined. But for now, they will only confuse you, since what we do has nothing to do with any that.

I know it's hard to believe it, since from the surface it kind of sounds similar sometimes. But trust me when I say that spiritual teachings will only make it harder for you and make your recovery longer and confusing. Been there, done that.

If you have really looked at yourself the way we suggest, please move on to the self-directed attention work.

Have you read the updated instructions on our website? Please do. All you need is right here: www.justonelook.org/index2.html

Yes, welcome jjkoopman and mikepike! Keep posting your thoughts and experiences.

Carla simply says..." No need to keep going back to looking at yourself over and over. It may feel good and there is no harm in doing it, but the work of eliminating the context of fear is now done".

In our new context, I like what I see.

Hi,

I must say that after three weeks of looking I have been steered away (dis-tracted) from it and it seems somewhat harder to "see me". I now try to reconnect with it. Any suggestions or experiences with such periods?

Hi jjkoopman! Yes I often get distracted too but what has helped me immensely is the practice of focused and self-directed attention. After just one look at me the disease is gone but to gain back the control we really are after during recovery we need to exercise and practice. Think never having used the legs, and then suddenly gaining back function. Lots of exercise and practice would be necessary before walking and running would seem normal and easy. I imagine it's kind of like that. With the disease gone you probably don't need to look for you anymore, instead start working with attention, and use the skills you get to decline to attend to impractical matters. Warmest welcome to the community! Please let us know if there's anything you are wondering about and how everything goes for you!

mikepike

Hi

As a "seeker " all my life I believe that the getting in touch with the "ME" that is prior to thought. This is the key for me.

This is where I will put my attention s much as possible.

This feels very natural and not really some kind of achievement-rather a coming home.

I have not had the experience of an increase in childhood memories but I have noticed a space developing between ME and the thoughts and emotions that I experience.

It is also calming to me as well.

I think John is on the right track.

After all it should be our birthright to live without fear of life.

Hi mikepike,

I like your phrase the "ME prior to thought" and it is a coming home. If you feel you've got that feeling of what it feels like to be you, many repetitions

aren't really necessary but I found the Directed Attention exercise to be very beneficial during the "recovery" period. I found that it smooths things out.

I have to disagree with roed_'s comment about exercising attention. I've never made a practice of focused attention. I am almost 4 and a half years old with this and I can honestly say it's like I have a new mind. One that actually functions sanely and no more sees everything as huge threat. So I think it's unfair to say that anything is necessary after the looking. Focused attention might have worked for some but I never had to practice it, so.... Please be careful when telling people what they need to do as I don't think it's fair.

Dear George, thank you for your comment.

It is true that anyone who tries the act of directing attention to the sense of "me" does become free of the fear of life. Their mind resets itself and, in time, they become truly sane.

The entire process of the reconstruction of the mind can take place on an unconscious level, and it will bring you to a sane relationship with your mind whether you work to gain control over your attention or not.

But if you practice self-directed attention from the beginning, you will get a lot more than that. You will gain self-reliance and control over your attention and you will have a much better understanding of the way your mind works.

And the length of the time spent in recovery actually will be much reduced. It now takes usually two and a half years for it to unfold.

Telling people here that it is not worth doing self-directed attention is misleading, especially since you have not tried it yourself, and can't really know what you're missing. Just saying...

It's an option, is all that I am saying. Self-directed attention exercise is an option. Don't worry yourself if you don't use it. I don't use it now, nor do I meditate. There is no correct way to do anything... All im saying

You're right Jim. What should be underlined is that working with focused attention is the only thing we can do to help ourselves during recovery, rather than it being necessary for anything, I could have been more clear on that.

But still, there's even more to support it.. Plenty of evidence is suggesting this type of attention practice increases the brain's neuroplasticity, which according this Internet definition fits the bill pretty well what we want to happen in recovery:

Neuroplasticity: The brain's ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. Neuroplasticity allows the neurons (nerve cells) in the brain to compensate for injury and disease and to adjust their activities in response to new situations or to changes in their environment.

So, it aids with getting recovery underway, but it's also really rewarding stuff because it directly connects to your own life in a really intimate and unique way.

To follow up on these remarks about neuroplasticity, I have noticed definite improvements in areas of cognitive function such as improved ability to focus, also strangely enough improved learning ability. I am 68 and should be slowing down mentally but I find the opposite is happening. I am experiencing increased clarity of thought generally which makes me more effective at performing certain tasks. I feel the background of fear or anxiety besides dulling the enjoyment of life acts as a block to many activities of the brain. With the neurotic structures gone it seems one can have improved self-confidence, more mental energy. I am a writer and find I am writing in a much freer manner, less obsessed with certain themes and with a more universal outlook, less preoccupied with oneself in other words. It would be fascinating to do a study of people who have done this Looking to see if there are results such as these. Directed attention has been a very useful exercise.

antonyirvine

I feel the background of fear or anxiety besides dulling the enjoyment of life acts as a block to many activities of the brain. With the neurotic structures gone it seems one can have improved self-confidence, more mental energy.

Dear Antony,

It is really great to read your post. This has been exactly my experience too. I find that, with the context of fear extinguished, and so many of my old neurotic habits of mind gone, I am capable of learning anything really, and much faster than ever before. The self-confidence that I seemed to lack in my early years has finally come to the forefront, and it has blossomed into a clarity and a certainly that I can learn anything I need to learn. Basically, there is nothing at stake anymore, whereas before, any new project was like a life-or-death experience to me. I had to succeed. If I didn't, it would be like dying. There was so much energy expended in worrying about it, that little was left to really focus on the task at hand. Now I experience increased energy both on the physical and mental levels. My ability to concentrate on the task at hand, in the absence of the old running commentary in the background, has increased enormously, and I am able to accomplish a lot more in a day than I ever was.

The daily practice of self-directed attention has been fundamental to this new availability of mental energy, as you so clearly stated.

antonyirvine

It would be fascinating to do a study of people who have done this Looking to see if there are results such as these. Directed attention has been a very useful exercise.

I agree with you: it would be great to hear from others in this respect. Do you guys experience increased learning capabilities? Please let us know!

Thank you, Antony!!!

In some ways I feel I can learn better.....my focus is definitely better. I would describe it as more of a mental restlessness at this point. While I'm curiously calm, my mind moves around......like there is more mental space to fill now that I'm not obsessing over every other little thing. Not quite sure how to fill it yet. It actually feels best to be physically active.....exercising, working with my hands.

Carla Sherman

I agree with you: it would be great to hear from others in this respect. Do you guys experience increased learning capabilities? Please let us know!

Definitely yes!

The same seems to happen in many areas of my life also. For example i've never been interested about cooking or cleaning the house before. Things i've thought and taught to be women's work. All that kind of ridiculous commentary is just dropping away, leaving me more focused, and interested in learning to do them better. There's just more positive and curious attitude in those day to day activities, as before my head was full of wantings to do something else kind of thoughts accompanied by anxiety.

What comes in my passion of music and playing guitar, i think i've learned more in just months than in last decade with that same anxiety and lack of focus!

That's all i can say at the moment. These changes have been so natural and happened lately in just couple of months after being three years in pretty crazy recovery, so i find it hard to put more into words at this point.

Focused attention really seems to make the difference!

Thank you all and be well!

-Harri

Jackx

In some ways I feel I can learn better.....my focus is definitely better. I would describe it as more of a mental restlessness at this point. While I'm curiously calm, my mind moves around......like there is more mental space to fill now that I'm not obsessing over every other little thing. Not quite sure how to fill it yet. It actually feels best to be physically active.....exercising, working with my hands.

I relate to this well, Jackx. I have no idea how to fill my time because nothing seems worth obsessing over as there's nothing to be saved or even gained in a fundamental sense. It's all just one big entertainment now. Do what ever seems most fun in the moment I guess, and then make sure I have enough pennies to be able to do them. Everything I've ever loved, playing football (soccer), singing, dancing alone and drinking beer with friends is still with me, although the latter has a cost, obviously. What I'm really not sure about is what to do for an occupation. I find it impossible to choose anything that I can decide solely deserves or needs my attention. Like a rolling stone I guess. In society there are negative connotations round being how I am being but it feels natural. I work on construction at the moment so plenty of physical exercise there but I have never been interested in the building trades. The only thing that really matters now is money I think. If I won the lottery tomorrow I'd probably just travel the earth and try and have as many experiences possible before I pass on. Even the idea of saving other people from the fear doesn't particularly call my attention much as it is I and I alone who got out of it. There are many people in the world already devoted to helping people and I feel that if someone is suffering enough they will either kill themselves or start looking inwards. I sometimes think that all the time I've spent alone over the ;last four five years has actually dehumanised me and I am slightly out of touch with humanity. Saying that, I am not ready to set up a life in the forest just yet :D, there are things I want to try this year, hopefully I'll meet some good people on the way....

It is obvious to me Jim that you have looked at me. As of course anyone else who reads this here. But, Jim, if you meet one someone like you, that is one more than enough. When you live with someone separately without being apart, this is a wonderful possibility. It is as easy as John meeting Carla and Carla meeting John. And they seem quite enchanted with their simple suggestion, "look at me". I love your comment..." have enough pennies to be able to do"...anything. Walking down the street and not being concerned about whether or not you have any money at all in your pockets is refreshing. I have lived alone with one other person for the last 6 years so very few people speak to me. So by supporting River Ganga, this how I say hello to all.

Ah Jim(s), there is so much to say and nothing to say.....I can really relate, Jim G., to having a new relationship with others. I can relate to your dehumanizing comment. Sometimes I feel I don't care at all for others (and I'm a therapist!). I believe they call this compassion fatigue. But it's more than that. Even though they are suffering, I know they're okay. I don't take their suffering and pain as seriously as I once did, just as I don't take my suffering and pain as seriously as I once did. I think people frequently connect over shared suffering or common pain. I just don't have that pain anymore. This has ruled many of my acquaintances out of my personal life.....I just don't care to play the pain game anymore. Which is why I often connect with kids, thank goodness I work with kids with learning disabilities. They are more honest and fresher in their outlook.

I have to find new new ways to connect to people and I'm not quite sure how to do it. It seems people either want to be with me or they don't. My honesty and energy may be a little difficult for some.

Okay we see it quite differently actually.

Paul in my view one other person is not enough, how could it be so when life consists of many many people?

Jim, everybody I meet, see and hear about, in books, on tv, wherever, the whole culture, the systems, everything, is no other than me, and they, it - the culture etc., will exist in my life forever whether I want or not. So how best to deal with it? Eradicate the fear of course. It's not a big thing.

At least this is my reasoning: the human creature, all of which is me, is about 0.001% healthy by now... That is about 70.000 (just an estimate) sane minds living in a gigantic organism of over 7 billion ill individual parts. How can I consider myself sane when I'm not even 1% sane? I can't. To say other people's fear isn't my problem is just denial, unless I live on Mars (but even then the facts are there).

Jackx I recognize the space and mental restlessness you talk about and what I found about it is that it's a choice. All it takes is a walk to the supermarket to be literally bombarded with hints of the fear, which suggests to me that I put my resources to use by learning more about it, practicing and learning how to act so it benefits everybody. Haha there's really no end to this, is there! But I understand what you're saying too, just making conversation smily

I don't say anybody here is wrong, you can't be, I just want to offer another perspective.

Carla Sherman

Do you guys experience increased learning capabilities? Please let us know!

Carla only three years ago I could barely boil an egg, now I cook delicious and healthy meals all the time, and it happened with very little effort, and I know they key is in attention. I'm at university now and I understand more complex things faster too, and I'm also better at recognizing when I actually don't understand things so there is less overestimating going on, and that is really useful for learning. Attention is just full on, nothing else to say about it.

Wonderful, good stuff, Roed! I'm a step or two behind you. I too care about the suffering of the human organism (me) and am doing things about it in a more courageous, actually honest, manner. As far a learning, I went and bought myself a bow and began to shoot archery. I have little idea why I did this other than I did it when I was a kid and a fascination has lingered. It has been incredibly fun to shoot 30-40 arrows a day and to improve my aim, etc. My brother came over and just shook his head in bewilderment and told me that he would have never thought I would be interested in archery.

I find I am gaining confidence in my new perspective.....sanity. I'm not as reluctant to talk about it, nor make apology for it. It's me.

I get curious Jackx what you mean by "in a more honest manner", am I missing something? I'm only looking to create some momentum here and saying what I see. I honestly have no clue what to do with my life, and the mental space, other than work with this stuff, nothing else looks as attractive. I already worked for money and traveled the world, that's basically my twenties in a nutshell. When it comes to maturity I'm probably many steps behind everyone here haha! I'm still such a child, only 30 now, back in school, living from day to day kind of, still have no responsibilities whatsoever other than being decent to others (except a little to the bank hehe). I'll grow up some day and become organized too I suppose. Best of luck on your archery man, sounds really fun, I could use a hobby apart from getting over recovery and saving the world, lol :D

And you know what? The supposed "suffering" of others doesn't bother me or interest me much either, individual stories and that, and this is actually quite rude, but yeah I silently yawn at all the pointless seeking and blaming. More than anything it just bugs me. My more genuine feeling tho is more geared toward the whole thing humans got going on right now which sucks basically, at least it could be so much better. I mean how cool would it be to live in a sane town for instance? Sane country, a sane world? Pretty cool is my guess.

Love,

Robert

By "honest manner", I guess I feel more honest in general with both myself and others. I'm not as worried about what others think of me or my status/currency with others. Therefore I am more willing to talk to others about the looking and this work. Honestly. It sounds like you're in a good place, actually I think we all are, and I often enjoy my life immensely.

Keep posting, I'm enjoying reading about your experience.

Can you give me an example of how you go about telling people about the looking, roed?

I just struggle to see an instance where i could do it without being obtrusive.

I struggle the same Jim, it is like an art to know when, who, where and how to talk about it, and it is easier with strangers than acquaintances and loved ones. I might introduce the conversation by saying something like,

- I found something [special/a project/online/important/meaningful] that I'd like to share with you, if you want to hear about it?

Normal response:

- Yeah sure! What is it?

Here it gets harder, hence the art-simile. But I'll say something like,

- Well it's a method - that if you move your attention to a certain place, and I can tell you how to do it, it can have thus and thus effects, wanna try it?

Normally:

- Yeah okay. Seems weird but I'll go along.

I found it more effective not to talk it up much but rather get down to business asap.

- Okay so point your attention to something around you: Try and feel the chair you're sitting in. Feel it? It was there already wasn't it, only that it "lit up" when you felt it, right? So that was just an example. Now, in the exact same way... and I know this is vague as heck but bear with me, try, to the best of your ability, to feel what it actually feels like to be you.

And at this point I will always look at myself simultaneously; for whatever reason that seems to help.

From that point I let the other person/persons lead the conversation. Sometimes they want to keep talking about it, commenting on the feeling being "vague", or that it's all nonsense, or "well I do that all the time, I don't get what's special" or whatever and I'll talk with them, but often they will like to change the subject completely in which case I normally just follow along. All kinds of things has happened, some people look me dead in the eye and thank me, some will avoid me or the subject altogether, some will be curious and want to know more and so on, you just never know how people will react.

This is just one example, and it's changing all the time how I go about it by practice. I'll make mistakes, being obtrusive or made someone feel baited or whatever, which of course I dislike. However I've come to accept that mistakes will be made, and in the end, everyone will react differently to the looking and I can never know how big of a part I had in their reaction.

Thanks roed_ for this beautiful posting. Very helpful!

Jim, there is a little bit about passing it on to people on our website too. It's not as complete as roed's, but it is a simple approach.

The title is "Passing it on to friends and family" and it is at https://www.justonelook.org/tips-and-tricks.html

Let us know what you find in your own attempts, will you?

And what does the beam of attention encounter after just one look? Well, here we all are! Hello, Jackx, I see you are here also this morning sipping the refreshments.

I just read this whole thread. Interesting points made by all. What I have noticed being involved in various spiritual healing processes over the years is that, typically, a person has to be in real serious suffering to take on a challenging daily practice - such as SDA. I know of people who have healed themselves meditating 3 or more hours a day. I just think that, in general, there has to be a serious motivation in order to take up a challenging practice - whether it's one's own situation, or that of a loved one. I was one of those people who have gone through periods of meditating for hours a day, and I find the SDA to be more effective, and, really, kind of more challenging doing all that 'focusing down'! But I am already seeing how it can get easier and easier. One of the most inspiring books I read years ago was called 'Love Can Open Prison Door's' by Starr Daily. A former gangster, Starr also had great insights about the power of Love while in prison and had his own awakening - it was still in the context of his own spiritual belief system, but he helped many, many people traveling all over the world for years speaking about the power of Love. Through great hardship comes the best insights - at least this is what I've observed - even though I disagree with this setup! There's GOT to be a better way to gain wisdom and these insights than through suffering!!

Jackx

Ah Jim(s), there is so much to say and nothing to say.....I can really relate, Jim G., to having a new relationship with others. I can relate to your dehumanizing comment. Sometimes I feel I don't care at all for others (and I'm a therapist!). I believe they call this compassion fatigue. But it's more than that. Even though they are suffering, I know they're okay. I don't take their suffering and pain as seriously as I once did, just as I don't take my suffering and pain as seriously as I once did. I think people frequently connect over shared suffering or common pain. I just don't have that pain anymore. This has ruled many of my acquaintances out of my personal life.....I just don't care to play the pain game anymore. Which is why I often connect with kids, thank goodness I work with kids with learning disabilities. They are more honest and fresher in their outlook.

I have to find new new ways to connect to people and I'm not quite sure how to do it. It seems people either want to be with me or they don't. My honesty and energy may be a little difficult for some.

I just read this post again Jackx and I felt like telling you I'm glad I did. It puts words to many things I'm feeling at the moment, thank you.

Jackx - " I can relate to your dehumanizing comment. Sometimes I feel I don't care at all for others (and I'm a therapist!). I believe they call this compassion fatigue. But it's more than that. Even though they are suffering, I know they're okay. I don't take their suffering and pain as seriously as I once did, just as I don't take my suffering and pain as seriously as I once did. I think people frequently connect over shared suffering or common pain. I just don't have that pain anymore. This has ruled many of my acquaintances out of my personal life.....I just don't care to play the pain game anymore. Which is why I often connect with kids, thank goodness I work with kids with learning disabilities. They are more honest and fresher in their outlook.

I have to find new new ways to connect to people and I'm not quite sure how to do it. It seems people either want to be with me or they don't. My honesty and energy may be a little difficult for some."

Roed - "The supposed "suffering" of others doesn't bother me or interest me much either, individual stories and that, and this is actually quite rude, but yeah I silently yawn at all the pointless seeking and blaming."

It makes a lot of sense to me that one would evolve to this type of outlook following this type of path. Have you guys considered that your outlook, of your own pain and suffering not being such a big deal, to have a positive effect on those around you? There's a lot of spiritual healers who 'healed' this way. Probably the best known, since he wrote a lot of books about it, was Joel Goldsmith. He didn't see the person coming to him as having anything 'wrong' with them.. No physical/emotional sickness, etc. His outlook was that everything was perfect and whole. Sometimes, this outlook is able to cause actual healings in other people - or at least create some type of positive shift or 'opening of the mind'. Since 'we' are all there is, then this whole idea makes sense. Like John talks about with reaching a critical mass. One person's consciousness is going to effect another person's.

I wonder if either of you have ever had the experience of having any type of healing, or just noticeable positive, effect on anyone close to you, just from the time you spend with them? Roed it could be your silent yawning at other people's seeking and blaming could be affecting their consciousness in a very positive waysmily Best, Lex

My experience after 5 and a half years at this is that I trigger others' madness, hidden or otherwise. Sometimes, at least. But then I still suffer myself, though less than before and I take it lighter, as I said above.

I'm curious about the attitude of nothing being wrong. I feel there's some truth to that. But also that people are really mad, and consequently the human-made world at large, and we too often forget that.

Sepporama - A couple of years ago I spent several hours meditating in every 24hr hour period - even if I had to skip sleep. I had some mystical experiences and what came to me at that time was that the world and everyone in it is exactly how it should be and nothing needs to be changed. I have heard some 'spiritual master types' speaking of this before - of course then they go off and heal people!;-) But I could really and truly see that everything was exactly perfect the way it was right now no matter what. Absolutely nothing needed to change. Now, granted, this was a mystical state. 99.9999% of the time I disagree with this and want to end suffering and change the world. But I felt like, during those experiences, I was tapping into a higher consciousness/wisdom than my logical state of mind. I also knew, if I always had this experiential knowledge it would never interfere with my bodhisatvva now, and I could even carry it out more effectively.

I kinda agree with Seppo, if anything my presence seems to bring out, um madness is too strong, but neurosis maybe? In others. Perhaps I'm just more aware of it and not as self absorbed as in the past. I have told others about the looking and have seen predictable healing in them. It's really fun to watch. The looking is the true healing mechanism that I have noticed. I believe I have heard John speculate that that being around someone who has recovered from the fear can induce recovery in others......not sure. Maybe he or Carla can weigh in on that.

As for for everything is perfect the way it is......I am familiar with this spiritual teaching and feel that it is true to a certain extent, however, obviously everything is fairly insane as well. The world is so wildly random and in a constant rush of change I'm not sure you can gauge it at any given moment. I would say the natural world is perfect in its cycles of life, growth and death. The human world is getting further and further removed from the natural way of things and this natural perfection. I would imagine that if and when healing from fear happens on a large scale our world, our patterns, technologies, and culture would be more in sync with the natural world. This is just speculation, however.

There was a typo in my post in the first paragraph. I meant to say "...as was said above." By others, not me.

Ljazztrm, I never had mystical experiences. Nor did I ever meditate, really. I was of the Krishnamurti school of thought; Just see for yourself, understand, realise deeply enough. It never worked, of course. It just build up the angst inside me. I now see that understanding comes afterwards, if it comes. Not the other way round. This is the mistake most of the spiritual teachings make, in my opinion. Work on this and work on that, do this, do that, become like this or that, and you'll get there. You won't.

The miracle-like thing about Looking is that it all comes by itself, gradually. And what doesn't come, needn't come. Perhaps the notion of all being perfectly as it is becomes real later. I have intimations of it sometimes. It might have to do with the ceasing of the inner struggle. The taking away of existential emergency. Only the practical action remains. You do what you can in any given circumstance to do the right thing, but your doing is now just part of the happening of life. Even the disagreeing in your mind about it is perfectly ok. Perhaps this disagreeing is just there to motivate us into action? Not reflecting the fundamental reality.

I'm not at all indifferent to other people's pain even if I might have put it that way, it's more like feeling neutral towards the specific things that come up, and that attitude seems to affect people, I must agree. How it affects them varies a lot though.

Seppo

The miracle-like thing about Looking is that it all comes by itself, gradually. And what doesn't come, needn't come. Perhaps the notion of all being perfectly as it is becomes real later. I have intimations of it sometimes. It might have to do with the ceasing of the inner struggle. The taking away of existential emergency. Only the practical action remains. You do what you can in any given circumstance to do the right thing, but your doing is now just part of the happening of life. Even the disagreeing in your mind about it is perfectly ok. Perhaps this disagreeing is just there to motivate us into action? Not reflecting the fundamental reality.

I love this wording, I think it really implies the simplicity of looking. It's like we start out with Life plus Struggle. Then we subtract Struggle and begin to discover what is left. As a consequence I see less and less point in theoretical explanations.

All wonderful insights guys. Thank you for sharing this. It's definitely helpful to me. Jackx - I was curious did you observe a particular generalized time frame in which you concluded a person(s) had shifted for the better from doing the looking? Thanks and all the very best, Lex

Ljazztrm, most of the people I told about the looking did not follow up and go to the web site, read about it or practice sustained attention. It was truly a natural unfolding in a space of no expectation, as near as I can tell. Many deny that anything has happened to them, like my wife. She will adamantly say she feels no different. I beg to differ. Her anxiety is much more reduced......we get along so much better these days. I would say that this change has taken place over a three to four year period and can't be separated from my changes. I am not close enough to other people I told the looking to. One of my friends immediately ended a toxic marriage, went thru that transition and ended up in a healthy relationship within a year and a half period. That was the most dramatic change. I didn't really talk about this with anyone, so I can't judge the internal changes. I don't even know if they did it in many cases. I think as we change our world changes. I want to surround myself with people who are sane.

Thanks for the reply Jackx. Really appreciate that feedback. I definitely agree that as we change, our world changes. Being on what some might call a 'spiritual seeking' path in this life, and knowing many others like myself, I get concerned about seekers who are already really suffering. It has been my experience that probably 1/2 the people I know on an active spiritual seeking path are really going through some heavy suffering. And, then, it's said, by just doing the looking, without the SDA, things are likely to get worse for a period of several years before they transform. I do tend to agree with John that everything will work out for everyone after doing the looking, and things will be fine - but that's at what I would call an 'unconditional level'. There is just a visceral human part of me that doesn't like to see people go through suffering, jump off bridges in despair, or some other such type of thing. I do believe as I continue on this path this visceral feeling will drop away. Not that I won't care that others are suffering, but I will probably be able to help them mitigate their suffering much more successfully without becoming caught up in it.

I am new to Justonelook. I am ok with looking at myself. I have problems doing SDA. Cannot feel the air in/out. Has always been a problem. Any suggestions/alternatives?

Hi Satish, have you checked out the tips&tricks? http://justonelook.org/tips-and-tricks.html I also find that feeling the breath going in and out can be very subtle at times. It can take practice to develop the feel of it. I've also been doing the SDA practice 'informally' lately - meaning I have the intention to follow my breath throughout the whole day no matter what I'm doing. I don't know if it's actually possible to follow the breath 100% of the time, but having that intention helps me bring attention to the breath many times during the day. And I find this makes the formal periods easier to do with even less thoughts coming in. Hope this helps. All the very best, Lex

Hi Satish, congratulations on finding this work and welcome aboard.

Don't worry about feeling the air passing through your nostrils. Find something else to focus on; your chest heaving, the sound of your breath etc.

Thanks Ljazztrm

Thanks Seppo

Thanks Ljazztrm and Seppo for your input

Hi, everyone, thought I'd chip in on this, because I turned 70 in Feb 2017, came back to John/Carla June 28 & joined the Forums in early July. And absolutely one thing I've noticed, regardless of ups and downs in the recovery period, is a definite overall improvement in cognitive function. I'd go so far as to say than I'm sharper and more clear than even when I was younger because that lifelong crippling, attention-sucking...fog...of fear isn't there anymore. Not that I never forget anything, but almost daily I just amaze myself when I hear the degree of clarity that now comes out of my mouth, and see the clarity of thought behind it. So while it would have been great not to have wasted a lifetime in fear, I'm glad to be able to say it's way better late than never.

Those who've read the book or seen the film "To Kill a Mockingbird," may remember the old neighbor lady the kids had to read to while she went cold turkey to recover from drug addiction. Well, some months before finding JOL that became my goal, to die free. Not of drugs per se, because food was my drug of choice, but of the misery my life had been for virtually all of seven decades. I had no idea how that could happen or even if it could happen, but finding John & Carla again via their article "The Fear of Life and the Simple Act of Inward Looking That Snuffs It Out" started me on what turned out to be the way for me. So do the SDA practice as they teach it the best you can, be easy on yourself during recovery, and it will be more than worth it, no matter your age.

In closing, it was very cool to read that Roed made the connection with neuroplasticity, a subject I'd read about some years ago, in another context, including Norman Doige's book on it. Practicing JOL/SDA definitely brought about the cognitive improvement I've experienced when more than forty years of spiritual seeking made no difference whatsoever and, (correct me if I'm wrong) John's repeated and correct contention that JOL/SDA isn't a spiritual path, though it's been pretty much a miracle to me.

Thanks, everyone, for participating in the forums so we can all help each other as we're doing.

Carla suggests please stop listening or reading ANY spiritual material for a while - just for a few months; while John also states "Whoring around in the non-dual playpen will bring you nothing but confusion". This is,,,Such really good advice!

 

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