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To John - a question about the looking.

Hi John - first of I just want to thank you and Carla immensely for your work and for the honesty that I see in you - something that seems rare in this "spiritual" game of abundant charlatanry.

I have one question though about the act of looking and what exactly to focus the attention on.

Personally I've noticed that there is basically three aspects of my life that could go under the concept of "me" and which the attention could fall on:

1. The first "thing" - and that which is what my attention first lands on when I order it to go to the "me:ness of me" - is this life-force (or whatever one could call it). This kind of magnetic, strong, energetic, current within the body, that kind of streams from the lower half of the torso and up to the head (it's not an emotion or thought - though it might could be the ground for it...). When I focus on this then it kind of becomes stronger and it feels very "psychical" - and it is not space-like as I heard you describe the "you:ness" from your angle - but it is what my attention wants to go to when I direct it to "me".

2. The second direction is the space or container of this "life-force" (silly name but I don't know what better concept to use...). This seems more abstract and not quite as strong as the above mentioned direction. It is no what my attention goes to autonomously when I say "me" - that would be the above mention thing -, but it is where it goes if I don't accept the first explained "me:ness" label for whatever reasons, and want to explore further - then I usually land in this containing space. It is harder to reach this and stay here because it is not as "magnetic" as the first thing.

3. The third aspect is the attention itself. I've hard lines hear and there (though maybe not from you, but I'm 100% sure) that "what you're looking for is what's looking". But I've also heard you've said that the "attention", or the looker, is a part of the protection mechanism and not what should be looked at. And is it possible for this attention to look at itself? For me it kind of makes sense that this third - the attention itself - is the true "me;ness of me" (that is, from a deductive stand-point), but it also seems quite logical that it is impossible to look at it simply because it is the subject itself.

Which of these three is the proper direction for the attention do you think?

I'm sorry for babbling on this long, and I thank you for your time and your magnificent work!

With Gratitude:

Chris

sorry - my above post says 'to John' but I'm very interested in hearing all of yours suggestions smily.

All the best:

Chris

Where to look

Where to look

I wouldn't say it is particularly any of the options you have mentioned (option 3 perhaps closest), but any of them will do for a start. The thing is how can you know exactly what to focus on until you focus on it? I remember once some people were gathered about a very tall tree pointing up. They said there was a wonderful owl at the top of the tree. I looked up, I couldn't see any owl. They said it was higher than where I was looking, I looked further up. Where was it? I couldn't see an owl. Then I looked even further up, and there was the owl, looking right back at me as if it had been doing so all along. No mistaking that. Now the thing is when I first looked, I was quite sure I was already looking at the top of the tree. Sometimes the top of the tree is a lot further up. But looking in the general direction is what leads you to where you're supposed to be looking, not thinking you should already know before you look.

Thanks for your response Joe.

Yes, that owl-story makes sense to me. Sometimes the looking feels like one of those 3d-pictures popular in magazines a while back ago, where an object or scene was printed in a mosaic 3d-pattern, and when you looked at it just so and with the right level of sedated afternoon focus then voilá - an image would appear clear as daylight, and you would curse yourself for not having the ability to see it before. Of course there I was trying to see the damn picture for weeks without any luck (actually I probably never figured it out smily and with my friends on the side telling me that it is so obvious - "can't you see! It's a turkey on a table!"

So I'll guess I'll keep on looking until the mosaic reveals the picture.

Peace!

I hope John answers this question

I hope John answers this question

Chris,

Wish I had an answer for you here (alas, I don't), but I know exactly what you're talking about with the three facets of experience you're describing. It's something that I've struggled with as well-- I can identify these different aspects of my experience... which exactly is me?

Just wanted to say that I appreciate you asking the question and I hope that John or someone else can give you an "answer" or at least a pointer that's helpful.

Best,

Ansley

Thanks Ansley for your reply.

Always good to hear that I have someone to share my slight confusion with smily

And as you said - pointers are highly appreciated from John and others.

Be well my friend!

Here's one way to see what you're looking for

Here's one way to see what you're looking for

Kafkaesque

So I'll guess I'll keep on looking until the mosaic reveals the picture.

Peace!

Yes, indeed.

Let me give you an idea of what it is that is being talked about here. Notice this at some future point, if not now. You're reading a book, the newspaper, the computer screen, you're absorbed in that activity. In the background, out of the window, you hear a bird. You know it is the caw of a crow. Not the sound of a seagull, not a melodious blackbird, not the chirping of sparrows, though you know those just as well, on this occasion or some other it is the raucous call of a crow or rook. What it is that knows that sound is a crow, and not some other bird, is 'you', while the mind is engaged in other activities it is concentrating on. You heard the crow without intending to hear it, the sound was there and you automatically recognised it without any difficulty. That's 'you' that knew that, while involved in other things. Ever-present, unchanging, always there. It is not the knowing of names of birds that is being pointed to here, it could have been the sound of a train in the night, it is that which effortlessly knows. And it is rather easier to notice it with off-stage sound, because this is not about 'seeing', rather it is about 'noticing', not 'seeing something' that the term 'looking' may initially suggest. When you know it, you know it. And once you know it, you'll can look at it again, until it becomes second-nature. I find the sound of birds a wonderful way of 'looking', because it is as if the birds are reminding you. (This is something I learnt from the Zen master Bankei.)

Dear Chris,

For 4 years I’ve never known what to look at, never felt secure that I was doing it correctly. And it doesn’t seem to matter! I can finally see I am progressing in my recovery in spite of all that. John often says the intention and the trying to look at yourself is what seems to work, not that you find anything in particular.

Just do it like taking medicine. My mind has tried to figure out how that could work. Maybe it is because the intention and the trying IS, in itself, the acknowledgement that you exist, that you are here. In a way, that is being seen.

LeraJane

Kafkaesque

Hi John - first of I just want to thank you and Carla immensely for your work and for the honesty that I see in you - something that seems rare in this "spiritual" game of abundant charlatanry.

I have one question though about the act of looking and what exactly to focus the attention on.

Personally I've noticed that there is basically three aspects of my life that could go under the concept of "me" and which the attention could fall on:

1. The first "thing" - and that which is what my attention first lands on when I order it to go to the "me:ness of me" - is this life-force (or whatever one could call it). This kind of magnetic, strong, energetic, current within the body, that kind of streams from the lower half of the torso and up to the head (it's not an emotion or thought - though it might could be the ground for it...). When I focus on this then it kind of becomes stronger and it feels very "psychical" - and it is not space-like as I heard you describe the "you:ness" from your angle - but it is what my attention wants to go to when I direct it to "me".

2. The second direction is the space or container of this "life-force" (silly name but I don't know what better concept to use...). This seems more abstract and not quite as strong as the above mentioned direction. It is no what my attention goes to autonomously when I say "me" - that would be the above mention thing -, but it is where it goes if I don't accept the first explained "me:ness" label for whatever reasons, and want to explore further - then I usually land in this containing space. It is harder to reach this and stay here because it is not as "magnetic" as the first thing.

3. The third aspect is the attention itself. I've hard lines hear and there (though maybe not from you, but I'm 100% sure) that "what you're looking for is what's looking". But I've also heard you've said that the "attention", or the looker, is a part of the protection mechanism and not what should be looked at. And is it possible for this attention to look at itself? For me it kind of makes sense that this third - the attention itself - is the true "me;ness of me" (that is, from a deductive stand-point), but it also seems quite logical that it is impossible to look at it simply because it is the subject itself.

Which of these three is the proper direction for the attention do you think?

I'm sorry for babbling on this long, and I thank you for your time and your magnificent work!

With Gratitude:

Chris

Where to look

Where to look

Dear Kafkaesque,

Hear is my own opinion on the matter. I believe that everytime you look at yourself, you pass through different layers of the psyche. A while back, I used to look at myself and I would get this feeling of being centered and energetically "gathered". Some other times I would look at myself and I would feel "me" tainted with all sort of emotions. Other times, it was just a bodily presence and a quality of coherence. And still, other times, it was like a gentle breeze, a calm sweetness, or the feeling of...well, this one is a bit weirder...a feeling of being that which we call God. I would look at myself and feel: "aahhhh, so that`s what we call God"...funny stuff. I remember at one point that I was looking at a picture of Ramana Maharshi and I thought to myself: "this guy is looking at himself right now, in this picture. In all pictures he`s looking at himself". So, on and on, different expressions. But I guess they all come and go and, right now, if you asked me what do I feel when I look at myself, I could only say that I am here, I am always the same and I am ME. I am myself. For me, at this point, it doesn`t really matter what shape or what expression appears when I look at myself. So, I guess what I`m trying to say is that it really is all in the intent. I am in a continuous marvel at the skill that John proves in describing this practice. It`s all in the intent and in keeping up the looking as long as you feel like it`s needed, when you remember and for as long as you can. Just keep it up and all will be well. All the best!

kafka - great namesmily

for a time i struggled with trying to figure out if where i was looking was the correct place, so what you've said mirrors my own experience perfectly. i had alot of doubts and i struggled with feeling like i "needed" to get this right, to nail it down - gradually that feeling just faded away - honestly you will come to see that it's truly impossible not to get this right - just as john and everyone else says.

i laugh at the way i used to be with this - so serious, like i was training for the "looking" olympics.

i would say "keep looking" but another glaring truth in this work is that it will continue on its own and like the rest of us - you're already cooked. no turning back. enjoy the ride smily

richard

love it - the "looking Olympics" ! lol. Thanks! As a newcomer I really relate to that.

Emma ~

Thanks a lot for all the replies - its been really helpful!

Another question - have any of you come to the point where you with 100% certainty know that what you're looking at is you?

I have not - even at times where I kind of feel like "ok, here I am, this is the thang', there is still a little tiny bastard further down that whispers condescendingly: "you fool, who are kidding? You're not even close..." ,-)

Will this lingering doubt connected to the wish to completely recognizing the 'me;ness' as the unquestionable "Me!" always be there (like an incurable tinnitus), or have most of you come to the point where the doubt is gone and when you look at "You" then you know with absolute certainty that it is the correct "place"?

Thanks a lot partners smily, hope everyone is great!

Chris

Your question as to whether I am 100% certain I know that what I am looking at is me is a non-starter for me, because it's not about what I see but that I'm looking. "Looking without alighting" is how I put it in some earlier posting. So if the looking is it, of course I can say for certain that it's me who's looking. Who else could it be? Maybe if I had multiple personalities my response would be different.

I think a better question might ask how one can fail at the looking. My response to that would be that the only way to fail in the looking is to look for those things about you which are subject to change or come and go, like your personality traits, your physical features, your name, your consciousness, your thoughts and perceptions, your history, your memories, and your reactions to the looking. Trimpi

Attention and You

Attention and You

Kafkaesque

Have any of you come to the point where you with 100% certainty know that what you're looking at is you?

@Chris - Since you asked, I'll offer what I can. Of course I recognize that anything our minds or our memory tells us is suspect and is subject to delusion. And I also understand that the mental notion of "certainty" exists only within the confines of the mind, which is by its nature relative and shape-shifting, such that there is no such thing as "100% certainty"....at least not on a mental level. However, in spite of that, I feel sure that I now have seen myself and know myself in a way that I can never be sure of anything else. In other words, if there is anything in the universe that I am certain of (which is questionable to a degree), it is myself; so whether delusion or not I might be able to help steer you in that direction.

It sounds like you may be (understandably) both trying to hard to intellectualize what to look at and focusing too much on a sensation. You've probably already looked at yourself without necessarily knowing it. I definitely think it is possible to do that. But just in case, I'll offer my own perspective:

From your original post, neither the first nor second options are You. They are ideas/sensations, obviously. You are aware of a perception; a perception is not aware of You. Therefore, You cannot ever be anything that you are witnessing. So, in that sense, you can't really "look" at You in the same sense as you look at anything else, because "looking" implies an externalization (a distancing of observer and observed). Here John and I may differ in opinion/definition. It is possible, however, to ...(what's the best word for it??)... consciously "experience" YOU, because you ARE You (that's the beauty of it!!). When this happens you are not literally witnessing or perceiving YOU, you are somehow consciously "being" You and recognizing that to be so (as opposed to unconsciously being You like most of the time). That's not really saying it, but it's the closest I can get to what I mean.

Your third option (attention itself) is closer, but still not the direction to look (in my humble opinion). Attention itself cannot be looked at. That doesn't even make sense. This is because attention is just the direction that you're looking, that's all. It's like asking, "can I look at the direction that I'm looking?" or "can I look at me looking at something?". No. You cannot put your attention on attention, not because there's some barrier, but because that just doesn't make semantic sense. It's like saying, "God can lift a rock so heavy that even He can't lift it!" The idea is logically flawed.

Attention is a power that is coming out of you that enables you to somehow "magically" concentrate your consciousness on distinct things. I don't think anyone knows exactly how this is possible, but it doesn't matter because it works anyway. Since what we call attention is just an idea about this power we have (which you cannot look at anyway) if you were to seek it out you would only be looking at your idea of it.

Fortunately: who is it that can put their attention on something? It's YOU. So attention is not You, but you can put your attention on You. Thank goodness.

None of this is matters except to say, don't look at things, look at YOU, and don't over analyze it. The only way you can find Yourself is if you look for YOU, not for ideas of what you might be like, because YOU are prior to anything else that can be found. You can find Yourself because you always have this feeling of being You; it is the subtlest thing, yet it is always here, no matter where your attention is. If someone smashed your brain like a melon, all of your thoughts and capabilities would be gone, but you would still have this feeling of being here, of BEING YOU!!! If you happen to consciously know the Looking has happened, then you'll see in that instant that perceiver and perceived have fused.

I like what Lera Jane said, and luckily we probably don't even need confirmation to succeed, so no worries.

Good luck,

Gerrit

My experience with looking

My experience with looking

Hi Chris,

My experience has been that sometimes when I look at myself it's just the looking, with no definite sense of a connection with a "me-ness," but most of the time I get a definite shift in focus to sensing something that is deucedly hard to describe but that really resonates with what John says--i.e., it's just me. When I get this sense, it is way, way simpler for me than any of your 3 descriptions, far more basic and ineffable, but also undeniably unaffected and unchanging (which is why, for me anyway, the memory from childhood can be very helpful in seeing my me-ness). John emphasizes over and over (and over, God bless him for that) that you may not ever sense anything that you are sure is you, and that it doesn't matter, it's the act of looking that's important. But, honestly, most of the time what happens for me is that my attention shifts to what seems undeniably to be me, and I'm not sure what I'd do if I didn't get this very clear whiff of unaffected, unchanging me-ness most every time I look. Now, I can't really tell if anything is changing yet in terms of the fear of life because of that looking, but I'm damn happy that I can even do it, and that in itself is enough to keep me performing the experiment.

Eric

to Curiouser / Eric:

but most of the time I get a definite shift in focus to sensing something that is deucedly hard to describe but that really resonates with what John says--i.e., it's just me

also undeniably unaffected and unchanging

my attention shifts to what seems undeniably to be me

Yes, I know exactly what you're talking about. I actually put attention to this very same me-ness to when I do the looking.

But my interest jumps around between this space-like fundamental me;ness to this tangible, explosive body/energy which seems what ties me to the body (what I explained as number 1 in my first post).

I read something in a book about Ramana Maharshi (the Path of Ramana Maharshi Part One / Chapter 8: the Technique of Self Inquiry) which relates to this:

Not taking into consideration the legs and arms, since they are only subsidiary limbs, the channel through which the ‘I’ -consciousness is experienced in the trunk of the body from the base of the spine to the top of the head.

So it feels like this energy in the upper-body is how I'm connected with the body, but that the me that John points to is that which perceive even this.

Anyways - thanks for your reply brother!

only time

only time

curiouser

... I can't really tell if anything is changing yet in terms of the fear of life because of that looking, but I'm damn happy that I can even do it, and that in itself is enough to keep me performing the experiment.

@Eric - Your marvelous description is Exactly my own experience as well. Many times I'm just trying to Look without any sense of ME. Sometimes, however, I do get that definite and ineffable sense of ME. It's getting easier and easier I think to "get there" and I'm gradually coming to recognize more and more that this sense of ME is always here and I'm just passively aware of it more. Unprecedented things do seem to be happening to my life concurrent to this, but they have been much more bad than good. So if this really is the long and arduous "course of recovery" then I guess it's a waiting game for now while I try to put my life back together. Since there obviously are no reliable instant results, truly only time can tell.

Gerit,

Interesting that, for you, unprecedented things are happening concurrent with the looking, more bad than good. Of course, in my life, unprecedented things have always been happening, long before I even started any type of "spiritual" work, let alone the looking. So I guess the question is more what is the reaction to the things, is it changing. I can't say for sure yet whether there is a change either way, better or worse. There is perhaps a hint of a change, for the better, but too much noise from changing circumstances to say whether it's due to the looking or the changed circumstances.

Chris,

I just re-read your first post after reading your reply to my post. I too experience the jumping around, although not quite as energetically as it appears you do. Or rather, I experience that I can only hold my attention on me very briefly, pretty much in line with what John says. Usually it then shifts to my visual field, not so much to body sensations. I don't know the significance, if any, of where the attention goes after it goes to me; I'm quite sure that John would say it's beside the point, perhaps it is and perhaps it isn't, but I don't have enough information to say one way or the other. So, since he has outlined very clearly how to do the experiment, and that the result of the looking is not important, only the looking is (and he says only once is necessary, if so this whole forum and all the rest of our experience is is just an inevitable aftermath, sort of like all the debris from a volcano falling to Earth after it's blown its top), I just keep doing it that way . . .

Eric

Well said Eric. I have often compared the experience of recovery for the individual to be akin to the way a building is demolished when it is destroyed by explosive (something with which I have had some small experience). The explosives are carefully placed, and at the moment of detonation, the building can be said to no longer exist as a building although it takes some time, and quite a lot of drama, fire and smoke, and flying debris before everything comes to rest. Much like the psychological drama that often ensues in the aftermath of taking the medicine of looking.

But by applying what we have learned in the art and science of demolition, much has come to be understood and attended to that minimize the collateral damage and aid in the cleanup.

For me, these forums have two main purposes. The first is to provide a safe place and support for those whose recovery is particularly difficult, and the second, more long-range purpose is precisely to begin to build an art and science of recovery from our long nightmare of fear.

What they need not be is merely a kind of free-fire zone for the wild aspects of the recovery to run rampant until all the debris of the effects of the fear come to rest. It is completely within our power to observe, reflect and use natural human intelligence to develop skillful means to mitigate the effects and minimize the time of the recovery.

I would also hope that these forums could begin to take into consideration the larger questions as to how best to bring this to the world as quickly and peaceably as possible, and why it is or is not important to do so.

I am so grateful to you all for your work here.

John

John Sherman

I would also hope that these forums could begin to take into consideration the larger questions as to how best to bring this to the world as quickly and peaceably as possible, and why it is or is not important to do so.

Wow, I have several friends and sisters who are 'on the path'....we've all read similar things, had similar teachers, etc. I've sent the 'looking' page to them all twice. Explained personally what I'm doing to most of them. Sent them the video A Simple Solution...which they all watched and said it was good information etc. As far as I know, the main closer group, who I talk to all the time have NOT looked into this further and sound like they're not really that interested. They have almost all had comments like; oh that's what Ramana teaches, that's the same as Echart Tolle etc.....So I went further into it to explain more about the 'act' and that alot of the teachings that have been around haven't really 'brought us home' otherwise there would be many more people living in a natural state.....

One friend was interested enough to say she was going to look further into the websites, videos, forums. My expectations were that most of them would respond similar to me and investigate further. At this point, I have to let it go, so as to not become a 'looking pusher'.lol. but I feel disappointed.....

Now, when I decline some of their invitations to go to A Course of Miracles group, or a deeksha/oneness blessing gathering.....(I'm trully not interested in almost any of those things anymore)....it becomes a weird 'we are not on the same page' feeling. I'm experiencing a lot of general agitation too, so a few times snappy comments have come out....

Im feeling pretty alone too, as it seems like I mostly have 'debris' to share in the forums and nothing positive about the looking. I don't have any great reports, I remain skeptical, with some hope.....I still dont know if I succeeded in getting an unmediated glimpse of me or not. I'll also be honest; it has occurred less and less to me to do the looking.....

As far as John's quote above......bring quickly to the world.....yikes!... via me.

Vanguard

Vanguard

curiouser

I can't say for sure yet whether there is a change either way, better or worse. [...] too much noise from changing circumstances to say whether it's due to the looking or the changed circumstances.

Yeah, this sums up very nicely my own state of affairs and what I perceive to be the case with many others who report here. Some tumult is happening in the life and the effects of the Looking are often interpolated as being the cause, but it is not clear whether this is actually true or not. And it takes so long to notice definite positive change. This certainly is no quick fix by any means. I guess I can't expect to see results in myself or anyone else for on the order of 3-6 years.

John Sherman

...the way a building is demolished... ...no longer exist as a building although it takes some time... ...the psychological drama that often ensues... ...minimize the collateral damage... ...begin to build an art and science of recovery... ...mitigate the effects and minimize the time of the recovery.

YES. Thank you for your demolition allegory because it illustrates very nicely what seems to be happening to me and maybe some others. I can only {superstitiously ;-) } hope that things really will turn out, over time, for me the way you describe. It's funny. Subsequent to starting this Vichara and then this Looking, I have had ever clearer glimpses of that promised land of how simple and beautiful my life would be without the angst that now characterizes it. It's like I can see the opening in the clouds beyond so clearly, but there's nothing I can actively do to get there. Once in a while i'm in the eye of the storm and blessed sanity is here, and then before I know it somehow i'm back in the woods. Oh well, fever's got to sputter out I guess....to mix metaphors.

And I agree, this should become scientific and studied as seriously as any other branch of medicine.

GailH

...Explained personally what I'm doing to most of them. Sent them the video... ...have NOT looked into this further and sound like they're not really that interested. They have almost all had comments like; oh that's what Ramana teaches, that's the same as Echart Tolle etc....

Im feeling pretty alone too, as it seems like I mostly have 'debris' to share in the forums and nothing positive about the looking. I don't have any great reports, I remain skeptical, with some hope.....I still dont know if I succeeded in getting an unmediated glimpse of me or not.

Yeah Gail, that's how it's been with a couple of the few people I shared the Looking with, and that's how I assume it will continue to be especially with the "spiritually experienced". Most minds are just too eager to classify new information and pat themselves on the back for seeing the "commonalities" of teachings rather than actually try doing anything with attention that takes effort. I would suggest that the less you explain about the Looking, the better. More information may enable them to feel like they "understand" the premise and therefore become more dismissive of the actual act. I think it's tough to get people to actually try this act, let alone do it correctly. I think the mere suggestion may not be enough. But if our Looking does work, then in 10+ years time maybe there should be several thousand of us who have found peace like John and have become the vanguard of this proven experiment. Right now there's only one John. But imagine a world with thousands of Johns!! No one would be able to doubt the efficacy of this then. Thousands would inspire millions, and soon the whole globe. IF...it works.

I can tell you right now that if this really delivers on it's promise, then ever after I'll practically devote my life to helping others achieve this.

About having only "debris" and nothing positive, yep, same here for the most part. Sometimes Looking feels easier and I can "see" myself, but most of the time it remains tricky, unsatisfying, and confusing. Good luck to you and hang in there with us.

Gerrit

Yeah, so---

Yeah, so---

Hi Folks,

It has been my experience also that an unsolicitated recommendation or endorsement of the looking is usually met by a blank stare or cocked head that, if verbalized, would probably be something like this: "Pardon me, you've mistaken me for someone who cares!" But, we certainly have each other and these wonderfully honest shared experiences, and that, to me, is more than sufficient!

In Love and Peace,

Don

Looking

Looking

I like the discussion about looking and how best to do it. I can say that things really kicked into high gear after I began to do a particular form of looking. Before doing so, I had spent a lot of time cultivating modes of looking that resulted in calm, centered states. The only problem with those kinds of looking (and their attendant states) is that they never last. Every time I practiced one I was spun back into real life, which, for me at least, is a bit of a jumble. Anyway, I began looking at the jumbled, mundane, often rather bleak, daily life me. At first, I was attracted to extreme versions of this with lots of drama. Then, gradually, I noticed that my mind would wander off into a distracted, disconnected place. This was not a fulfilling or interesting place to be. So, I tried to remain present while experiencing this vague, non-fulfilling sense of self. After that, real life started to become a meditation.

I still experience fear. I'm by no means a Buddha or Christ. It's just that the fear usually gets processed shortly after it comes up (after its had the pleasure of tossing me around a bit first). I relate to Mike Helsher's "I feel more but care less".

In short, I'd like to say that I benefited greatly from looking at the me that thinks that he's not doing it right, the me that is not seeing me very clearly, the me that's not feeling like I would think that an enlightened person would feel, the daily life me.

David, are you saying that the real help came when you tried to practice the act of looking all the time (constantly)?

It is very interesting to hear cause I usually do the looking a couple of times a day and each time it's like 5 minutes of sanity. It's not that after that I fall into hell but at least life seems less satisfactory. I lose interest in my surroundings and drift in thoughts and the Internet. Then I wake up again and become really sad because of the time that was simply thrown away for reasons unknown. Can you or anybody relate to that? Should the looking be practised on a constant basis?

Cheers,

Nick.

Hi, Nick.

Hi, Nick.

ElDuderino

David, are you saying that the real help came when you tried to practice the act of looking all the time (constantly)?

No, I could never do that.

At first it was a goal (despite the fact that John said it was impossible). Later, I came to see the urge to look all the time was just another fear-based creation.

ElDuderino

It is very interesting to hear cause I usually do the looking a couple of times a day and each time it's like 5 minutes of sanity.

It's great that your self-looking is like 5 minutes of sanity. Most fortunate.

ElDuderino

It's not that after that I fall into hell but at least life seems less satisfactory. I lose interest in my surroundings and drift in thoughts and the Internet. Then I wake up again and become really sad because of the time that was simply thrown away for reasons unknown. Can you or anybody relate to that?

I empathize with your sadness over the loss of time.

ElDuderino

Should the looking be practised on a constant basis?

You bring up an interesting point. However, continuous focus on the self is impossible. I was thinking earlier today that the mind is like a snake. It squiggles, squirms, and deforms as it moves through life. Trying to always concentrate on the self (or on any other mode of liberation) is impractical because continual focus runs contrary to the natural movement of the mind, which is to distract itself. The mind is like a butterfly. Each landing spot soon becomes a point of departure.

I get a lot of benefit from watching myself while distracted--letting my mind wander and looking while it flits about. It's sort of like being on one of those drunk-slinging, fake bulls in a Country Music bar. It's kind of hard to stay on.

Anyway, thanks for giving me an excuse to chat,

Warm regards,

David

Calling All Lookers

Calling All Lookers

John Sherman

For me, these forums have two main purposes. The first is to provide a safe place and support for those whose recovery is particularly difficult, and the second, more long-range purpose is precisely to begin to build an art and science of recovery from our long nightmare of fear.

It is completely within our power to observe, reflect and use natural human intelligence to develop skillful means to mitigate the effects and minimize the time of the recovery. John

I, for one, have had a particularly long period of recovery and I am excited about the possibility of developing skillful means to minimize the time of the recovery.

I also recall trimpi's post called The Lookers:

There seems to be a fair number of people who tune in to the Forum but don't post. I was very reluctant initially. Now you can't shut me up. I promise those of you who were like me that there will be a 10-fold benefit against the risk and trouble of posting "I am here." And if you don't choose to post, there will be equal or greater value in asking, "who is not posting?" (but no value whatsoever in asking, "why do I choose not to post?").

Obviously, we will have more success in developing skillful means with a large pool of lookers to draw creative ideas from. There is definitely a creative synergy that occurs with input from many sources.

So, come one, come all. Your voice is important. David has set an example for us with his recent activity on the forum. Lera Jane

urgency of the looking

urgency of the looking

When I first started watching the Retreat Podcasts about a year ago I was very much struck by what John said that one had to do this with the "urgency of a man with his hair on fire looking for water". I wasn't doing it every second of everyday but there was a sense that this was important and I had to do it. Even if the looking was not constant (which is impossible) that sense of urgency was there.

Eventually that sense dissipated and I was doing the looking sporadically and sometimes it seemed it had gone. I can say that having that sense was necessary at the time although whether it mitigates the effects of the recovery I can't say.

And notice that I mean that it's the "sense of urgency" not the number of times you do the looking or the duration which are as Daniel pointed out just symptoms of the fear. You may feel that urgency and only think you've done it two or three times. Perhaps a better word for "urgency" may be " a wholehearted intention."

(I will go out on a limb here and say that, yes, this may have something to do with the unfolding of the recovery process. I feel it did for me.)

Just some ideas,

Antony

Wholehearted intention

Wholehearted intention

Dear Antony,

I, too, began looking with the intensity of "my hair being on fire," then, as I felt the intensity of the looking fade, I began to see there is more of a wholehearted intensity. Thank you so much for mentioning that.

With love,

Dawn

 

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