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There are two fundamental objectives that I suspect bring us all to this point were our lives happen to intersect. First is a desire to understand and escape from our "emotional pain" in all of its shifting forms and second is our desperate need to know first hand that we are not this human creature--or that we are more than this human creature. Just to know for now--not to understand.

This "looking" seems to offer the real possibility of attaining these objectives. As others have posted, I too have found it difficult to convince people to try looking but who can blame them for their skepticism when I am still in turmoil at times. As more of us mature in this process I'm sure we will find more effective ways to reach others.

One thing I would like to open for discussion is whether there is any way to a) speed things along and b) to soften the process. John has made it clear that for each of us the process is unique. But there are surely commonalities. Another topic I would like to see developed is whether there are pitfalls--whether there are mistakes that can stall or even kill the healing process. It may be that most of us have initiated a process that will run its course in its own way, in its own time, but that the end is certain. (I've listened to John so much I'm beginning to sound like him!)

For me it is very helpful to hear from those who are "going sane" or who have "gone sane.

Steve

As far as pitfalls are concerned, I would submit the following as having have arisen in my experience. It has to do with the fading out of insights and revelations--not so much about myself but about universal principles--which were so strong that I felt buoyed up for days at a time. I thought each of those epiphanies must be the confirmation that I've "made it." Then, later, I'd find myself back in the swamp of swirling circumstances, forlorn and frustrated by the loss of what I thought I had accomplished through the inquiry. I felt like kissing it all off and finding something else. What I finally got was that that sense of loss, of failure, was simply a major theme (vasana, I think John calls it, or tendency) and nothing more than that. It arises just like the revelations arise. The pitfall comes with attaching any more importance to one experience than another, including so-called final determinations. Also, I concluded that there are no shortcuts. You simply cannot carry a particular state of mind for very long. The looking, as John puts it, is the goal. Or, as us southern boys might say, "The cookin's in the lookin'." Those revelations, however, are not to be discounted, because they will carry you through tough times and at worst present episodes of high entertainment. They also help keep me on track. I've written all mine down over the last 5 years or so, and it's been fun doing so, whatever the value they may now have. Anyway, the pitfall is the sense of failure and futility we will all surely experience. I know I have, time and again. Trimpi

Thanks Trimpi,

Our experiences have certainly been similar. I tend to agree with you that there may not be short cuts. We establish brief contact with ourselves in our own way this process we call healing runs its course without our say.

Steve

Right, but I'd go one step further and suggest that the apparatus, as John calls it, has been running its course without our say. Now that we have a say about that, the drive to link our identify with the circumstances of our lives lessens. That's where the healing can be said to be healing, although I think all it really is is a reduction of unconscious belief. We may not have any say about how this reduction takes place, but we can choose the technique we think may work to hasten the process. For us that's the inquiry. Even though we may not be able to predict or control anything about the course the process will take with us, it's more fun than letting the apparatus do it's thing acting under the old misperception. A lot less stress, too. Trimpi

Occasionally, just before fully awakening, there is simply a realization of "being" or "presence", unadulterated by thoughts of past or present, daily responsibilities, and, well, anything conceptual whatsoever. I accepted this with curiosity and wonder as a child, as the experience was startling in its simplicity and purity. As I ((very gradually) aged, this phenomenon, although still present, was quickly replaced with countless thoughts and worries about my present life, how to negotiate its travails and savor and preserve its sweet moments. John mentions this phenomenon in some of his recent writings.

Has anyone else experienced this, and what are your thoughts and comments concerning the phenomenon? For me, this realization of unspoiled consciousness approaches the concept of "true nature" more closely than anything in my experience. Although it cannot be summoned at will, its clarity and memory remain, reinforcing the traditional pronouncement, "There is only This and I am That."

Kudos to Steve and Trimpi for their wonderful comments, with which I identify so very strongly.

Namaste,

Don

I hope this is helpful (or entertaining at least):

a) I lived in a yogi's stone cave-like structure for long time and just looked at myself for like 16 hours a day...

at the end I felt kind of silly about it, certainly not any saner (perhaps crazier). I was completely obsessive

with the looking for about a year - it was indeed a fetish.

I think the true dawn of sanity for me was giving up the need to "do" anything about anything to feel ok...

the looking included.

that "giving up" came on its own--I was surprised.

b) for me, staying with/in the body has been the biggest "fever reducer" in difficult times--which still happen quite a bit. I had a vipasanna

friend speak of these states of turmoil as "storms"... which is a good metaphor.

its pretty logical that once one is looking at life with their eyes-wide-open every state would become quite familiar and that these storms would

naturally lose their sting over time.

R32673

I hope this is helpful (or entertaining at least):

a) I lived in a yogi's stone cave-like structure for long time and just looked at myself for like 16 hours a day... At the end I felt kind of silly about it, certainly not any saner (perhaps crazier). I was completely obsessed with the looking for about a year--it was indeed a fetish.

I think the true dawn of sanity for me was giving up the need to "do" anything about anything to feel ok... The looking included.

That "giving up" came on its own--I was surprised.

b) For me, staying with/in the body has been the biggest "fever reducer" in difficult times--which still happen quite a bit. I had a vipasanna friend speak of these states of turmoil as "storms", which is a good metaphor. It's pretty logical that once one is looking at life with their eyes-wide-open every state would become quite familiar and that these storms would naturally lose their sting over time.

That's amazing to do what you did. I don't think most of us would be willing to hammer ourselves in place like you did. Thanks for sharing that. Trimpi

SJWHA

One thing I would like to open for discussion is whether there is any way to a) speed things along and b) to soften the process. John has made it clear that for each of us the process is unique. But there are surely commonalities. Another topic I would like to see developed is whether there are pitfalls–-whether there are mistakes that can stall or even kill the healing process. It may be that most of us have initiated a process that will run its course in its own way, in its own time, but that the end is certain. (I've listened to John so much I'm beginning to sound like him!)

Steve,

I love your topics of discussion--ever since I started this 4 months ago, I've been wondering the same things--how can I speed this up, how can I soften it, are there pitfalls--but the main question for me is really how can I help bring this to others?

But to your discussion: and from listening to John, I feel this process of looking, whether I am trying like hell with all my might, or forgetting to do the looking for hours or days at a time--the looking is looking me. This life, I don't know what the heck it is doing anymore. I'm a writer, and last night I had to find some clips of my work and fill out a form telling about all the jobs I've held over my 45+ years of working--and as I looked at all of this, words/images/memories came back to me of my struggle to try and make something important or special out of myself for all those years. And holding all the crumbling newspapers and magazines in my hands I could see and feel how this creation of my life never had anything to do with me. It's just what is.

And so yeah, I believe your have it when you say: "It may be that most of us have initiated a process that will run its course in its own way, in its own time, but that the end is certain."

I really feel as if I have nothing to do with this life anymore, and in spite of that, or b/c of it, it is more fascinating and interesting to me now than it ever was all those years I was trying so hard to make it something special.

All the best,

Dawn

SJWHA

There are two fundamental objectives that I suspect bring us all to this point were our lives happen to intersect. First is a desire to understand and escape from our "emotional pain" in all of its shifting forms and second is our desperate need to know first hand that we are not this human creature or that we are more than this human creature. Just to know for now it's not to understand.

This "looking" seems to offer the real possibility of attaining these objectives. As others have posted, I too have found it difficult to convince people to try looking but who can blame them for their skepticism when I am still in turmoil at times. As more of us mature in this process I'm sure we will find more effective ways to reach others.

One thing I would like to open for discussion is whether there is any way to a) speed things along and b) to soften the process. John has made it clear that for each of us the process is unique. But there are surely commonalities. Another topic I would like to see developed is whether there are pitfalls whether there are mistakes that can stall or even kill the healing process. It may be that most of us have initiated a process that will run its course in its own way, in its own time, but that the end is certain. (I've listened to John so much I'm beginning to sound like him!)

For me it is very helpful to hear from those who are "going sane" or who have "gone sane."

Steve

Hello Steve!

I have looked at myself for ten years and what I can say about what can be done to perhaps speed the process up or just make it more pleasant is:

To try and take good care of the body and mind by not to much partying, not to much low quality food, some kind of exercise every day and all that stuff. You know what I'm saying. There are many ways of taking care of oneself but if you at least try to be consistent with the basics it will surely be beneficial.

Personally I like intermittent fasting. Daily simple exercises that don't cost money and are easily available. I also like cold showers and some breathing techniques. But whatever floats your boat!

These kind of things can be effective at least temporarily for mood improvement and energy, which can be used to look at yourself, or anything else.

Then there's the counting breaths method. If I would go through the recovery again I would definitely do more of that one. No need to understand it, and definitely no need to be hard on yourself, it's not easy, but just do it consistently. It can have a good effect even if it's not done very cleanly.

Another thing that certainly won't be a bad thing is to spend time in nature. I think that going for a walk quietly alone or with someone can be beneficial for the psychology of anyone. The natural order, beauty and calmness of nature seems to be able to influence our minds.

But the one thing I know of that really works for everyone for sure is to just look at the feeling of you!

I hope you are well.

With love, Rickard

Welcome to the forum Rickard!

I think this a really important and useful post you have made, because it highlights a very central aspect of the recovery process. To explain what I mean I have to use two words that I actually is somewhat reluctant to use, namely Internal and External. I too, have noticed that when I talk with people who have questions about the recovery process, I tend to suggest exercise, nature, healthy food and drinks and so on. This is what you could call External advises. And I also find that I feel unwilling to engage in peoples specific psychological aspects and questions of more Internal character, because most often they really don't need any attention.

My point is that the only Internal aspect of the recovery process is to Look At Your Self. After that everything is External and the best and only advice after the looking is to, as you say, "to take care of your self". After the looking there are no more "Inward" insights or answers you need to find. The recovery process is thereby solely "External". It is a healing process of your mind. Or actually, more precise it is a recovery process of the relationship between your mind and life. You have eliminated the fear of life in your mind by looking at yourself, and then you strengthen your attention to be able to only attend to content in your mind that are useful and sane. Impulses to exercise, eat healthy food, going for a walk etc is good examples of sane impulses to follow, and actually that is all you really can do for yourself; to take care of yourself.

So, to give the advice to go for a walk to a person who is in the recovery process can seem pretty naive but it actually holds a solid insight of what the recovery process is all about. When you have looked at yourself and practiced some self directed attention, it's not much more you can do for yourself other than taking care of yourself, so you might just go for a walk.

Thanks again Rickard for pointing to this!

Take care of yourselves everyone.

Niklas

Hello Niklas and thank you! I agree with all of this. And I think it's a really helpful explanation. Beautifully put, but I see you made a change of words and I must say I did like "naive" better than "simple", haha!

Thanks again for this post.

Take care you too Niklas!

Rickard

It was great to read your post, Ricard. Thanks for your post and for bringing me to the attention of the post of SJWHA, which I had overlooked.

Much appreciated.

I'm glad to hear that, Mischa!

Ok, I change it back to "naive" then. Take care.

Thank you, Niklas! I feel much better now.

I hope to make a contribution to this post sometime soon. For some reason this post and the comments still attract my attention.

Good day to all, carefully read the topic and would like to pay attention to a few points about the view of yourself! The first thing I want to say is that it is necessary to clearly understand that the technique of one look at yourself is to LOOK at yourself and get a glimpse of the REALITY of YOU for a moment and not looking at yourself . The second point concerns a clear understanding of what you should look at.What you need to look at the REALITY of yourself is NOT UNDERSTANDING SOMETHING, IT is YOU who are REAL , it is looking at YOU who you really are. Third it concerns how to recognize or recognize or make sure that you are looking at YOURSELF and not at something else. As you practice, you will meet different sensations that were not there before the practice, this indicates that this is not it, behind closed eyes, look for WHO is LOOKING? WHO is WATCHING?, if you feel something no matter what, look for WHO FEELS? I will be very happy if John comments on this and corrects me!

The act of doing "the looking" is an unmistakeable sensation of you once you focus, as John has stated, "your beam of attention to it." It is impossible to not recognize you. Once you do the act the deed is done, even if you think you failed. What is wonderful about this method is its simplicity and effectiveness, which are the various experiences expressed in this forum. I am glad you came to this post, read, and commented. Very encouraging.

Good afternoon! Thank you very much for responding to my question. I beg your pardon, perhaps my question will not be tactful, are you speaking from your own experience? I don't want to be Intrusive, but if you don't mind, I'd like to ask you a few questions. I have been searching for myself for some time, but unfortunately I have not been able to recognize myself even for a moment. But I am patient. I think it will happen sooner or later! On the forum, selfrealization.info there is a person who has passed this way to the end. So from his words, this is not the end, there should be many such point views, as long as the attention is not clearly established on itself. As he says, you will know yourself in deep sleep. In this way, your awareness will be complete and your wakefulness, dream sleep, and deep sleep will just be coming States. This is the final realization and this is our natural state! What do you think of this? Thanks for the answer! With respect, Alex.

My experience was just that, a fleeting sensation and a recognition that I had actually done what they suggested. And my life seems to have moved since despite all my protesting. Not much to think about. Everyone's experience is unique. If I understand correctly yours is that to date you have been unable to recognize yourself even for a moment. If you've followed John and Carla's suggestion you probably already took that look and not realized it. That's possible... you're always present, right? Somehow maybe you're making this more complicated than what they are talking about. Thanks for sharing your ongoing experiences. After all, it's an ongoing process.

Hi Alex. Sit down and close your eyes and relax for a moment. See that you can move your attention between your right and left hand. See that you have the power to move your attention. Then move your attention inward and look at yourself. With yourself I mean the feeling of you being here. Not some deep state hidden from you. Look at the everyday ordinary feeling of you that is always present in your mind.

So don't look for yourself. Look at yourself. And remember that The Just One Look Method is not about self realization. The reason why you look at yourself (just you here) is to remove the basis for psychological fear from your mind. And also remember that the JOL method is not a spiritual practice. It's a method to make you feel and function better in your ordinary life. It's a method aimed for you as a person, not YOU as a deep hidden state to be found. Look at yourself!

Take care.

Niklas

"So don't look for yourself. Look at yourself." Thanks for bringing that to my attention also. It never really occurred to me, but that one word makes a very important distinction.

Hello Niklas thank you very much for commenting on my post, it is very important to me what you said. Of course, You are probably right and I take this practice a little far-fetched. Of course You said everything correctly! The way it is! This is much easier than it seems! Thank you so much for not being indifferent! With respect Alex!

One of the biggest challenges for the JOL method is that it can seem as something we have heard before. It's very easy to do that "mistake". You are not the first and probably not the last. But the fact that you see the uniqueness and simplicity with JOL makes all the difference. So I wish you a good process ahead. And my guess is that you already have looked at yourself. So now the only thing you can do for yourself is to work with your attention. Take care!

The Self Directed Attention does get mistaken for and compared to mindful meditation, which it isn't.

Good day Niklas it's great that you stay in this branch and strive to help those who have not yet been able to look at themselves! If You don't mind please describe how you think it is to be yourself. I try to look at myself and when I do this I get different feelings and I can't understand or more correctly say feel it or not. I mean when I look at myself I'll know exactly what it is or not? Maybe it will be as some kind of feeling, which later I will recognize as myself. Or will it just be me? Thank you for your time! Sincerely, Alex.

Hi Alex. Thanks! I'm glad to be able to give something back by helping others with the process of recovery.

To answer you question I will have to make a distinction between the words you and "you". The word you refers to you as a uniq person. The word "you" refers to the subjective feeling of being a person that is always present in your mind and never changes. "You" Is what you look at when you look at yourself. And after you look at "you" you will still just be you. But what is new after the first look at "you" is that your personality, or mind if you will, starts to heal by removing psychological fear from your mind. That psychological fear is called The Fear of Life. It's like a disease of the personality that ruins your experience of day to day life. So, you don't look at "you" to gain some new deep understanding of yourself. You look at yourself to heal your personality so that you feel and function better. And its therefore not really a matter of identity or misidentification. Please also read this blogpost: https://www.justonelook.org/natural/2015/07/misidentification/

Take care,

Niklas

Good day Niklas , I read Your posts with great attention and feel how sincerely you want to convey to me how it is to be yourself! This is hard to overestimate! Thank You for everything! Sincerely, Alex.

Hello Niklas I want to say thank you very much for your support! It happened and I now know how to be myself. Just yourself and nothing else! I want to look and look at myself. It is so simple and at the same time difficult. Being yourself, what could be better? With respect Alex!

 

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