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My First Look


I found this forum through the interview of David Parrish on batgap.com. I also listened to John Sherman's interview there. When I did the looking exercise I had an incredible experience. When I intended to turn my attention inward to see what it felt like to be me, it was like a floodlight illuminated what it truly did feel like to be me beneath the facade and layers of the projected me that I was most familiar with. What I experienced for that brief moment was absolute stark terror. I saw that I was terrified all of the time. Then I experienced compassion for my scared self because I felt sorry for myself that I lived in such fear all of the time and didnt even know it. I was really blown away. I had no idea that so much fear was hiding there.

I have done the exercise many times since then and I have not been able to duplicate the same piercing recognition of what it feels like to be me that occurred the first time. So my question is, Is that normal? If the fear is gone I cant tell and I dont get a sense of it the way I did the first time.

When I watched the JSherman intervew he said that the first look was the most important so I am hoping that the initial look did create the catalyst for the resulting recovery process that he spoke of. I am interested in the experiencees of others to see if there are similarities and to see how it has unfolded for others.

Thank you!

Laurel, don't worry too much about it. There will be many times when you will look and, apparently, nothing special will happen. Keep looking at yourself, because things happen nonetheless, it's just at a very deep level. And, as John says, there is always the possibility that at some point the fear will be long gone and you will still believe it's there. Don't worry, no look is wasted. Just keep at it. As John says, it's all in the intent, as long as you try it, you can't go wrong. And actually, if you did it once, you will come back to it sooner or later. Keep looking at yourself, the rest will be taken care of automatically. Greetings.

Thank you! That is very comforting advice.

Thanks for your post. It gave me the courage to share my First Look. It's encouraging to know that I'm not alone my experience.

Like others, I've been searching for many years and stumbled through methods, teachers and sat at the feet of many gurus hoping they would lead me to myself. It wasn't until I found John and his invitation to Look that I found -FOR MYSELF- what I'd been seeking! It was just as he promised.

The results of my First Looks lasted a few days and I too have not been able to achieve that state again. Though words are insufficient to capture the experience, I fell in love with myself!!! I also KNEW that war to kill was lunacy (I actually laughed out loud at the thought of it) because nothing, no one REALLY dies!

Since this experience has receded, I've had thoughts that I "should" or "could" have done something more to deepen the happening to make it permanent. I even thought that I was unworthy of living this stillness and beauty.

I will continue to Look.

Thank you.

Similar experience as you

Hi Laurel

I just wanted to let you know that I had a very similar experience as you. The first time I noticed myself, my anxiety went through the roof. It was as if my perspective became vastly enlarged. This was, actually, before I was aware of John's work. I had been reading Greg Goode's book, Standing as Awareness when this happened. I was very worried and alarmed by this reaction. I wondered if I was dissociating. I actually contacted Greg for reassurance. When I started John's looking my anxiety continued to spike when I engaged in the looking. I still don't know exactly what that is about but I wonder if it is a the terror in seeing something so incredibly huge coupled with the fact that we initially see it as being external to us (therefore threatening). That is how it felt to me but it has settled, overtime, I think because my experience in continuing to do the looking has shown me that I don't have to be afraid of me. Even though I am ever present, fundamental to everything etc. I am essentially, as John says, simple beyond belief; like discovering that I have a big brother only to find out that it is just me.

With kind regards,


Thank you Laurel and everyone for your posts. It is so helpful to hear your experiences in the looking. I loved what you wrote Paul: "[it's] like discovering that I have a big brother only to find out that it is just me." How simple! I, too, had an opening years ago where I saw the truth of who I am. It was huge and clear and very unsettling--and I was frightened by it. Since I started looking with John and Carla, it is much gentler and kinder. My life may be in an uproar, but in the midst of it, I find myself looking, noticing the sweetness of this silence and I feel safe in the midst of chaos.



Hi, Dawn.

Isn't it remarkable that, as you put it, life can be "in an uproar" but, at the same time, it is possible to feel okay in the midst of that. How bizarrely wonderful! It is also really hard to share that with others without them thinking you have a screw loose. Such is life. Thanks for your response and keep well.



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