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Hi everyone,

After speaking rather inarticulately at the Online Retreat last week, I realized that it would be easier to write a bit about my current experience with the Looking rather than trying to talk about it. John does say that it's difficult to speak about all this-- I am now learning exactly what he means!

I have been doing the looking for almost two years now. It's been a process with some really startling suffering along with periods of peace, but the constant has been trying and trying and trying to look, mostly out of a sense of desperation. While I have have not yet consciously seen (and been able to identify) "me" as best as I can tell, the changes that the looking has brought in my life are extraordinary. Probably most significant is a general lessening of the intensity of my most unpleasant experiences and a sense that I am less "at stake" at what happens in this life. I think my recovery is still fragile enough that even to write that previous sentence seems to go a bit too far-- it's not to say that unpleasant experiences are not there (they certainly are) and there are definitely times when I feel VERY at stake in what's happening in my life, but overall, unpleasant experiences are less intense than they have been in the past. It seems that I cling less tightly to my definitions of certain things as bad or good, needing to be gotten rid of or held on to.

It is true, as he says, that what I experience is an absence of the super-strong very unpleasant feelings that had been there for so long, while everything else about life continues much as it always has. I see that as a good thing and it makes me feel that this is just not another state that will come and go.

I know that my process of recovery will continue with the inevitable ups and downs, but most days, I just feel overwhelmingly humbled and appreciative that I stumbled across John and Carla. I'm so grateful for these forums.

With love,


Good proof, I'd say. And best of all is that you didn't replace any belief systems with new ones. Then you would have had to deal with the inevitable corrosion or corruption. Have you noticed that the word or meaning of the word "need" is drifting out of your perspective/commentary/observations? I cringe when I hear someone talk about what they "need." trimpi

Seeing it through

Hi Ansley,

I could relate a lot of my experience to what you shared... the fact you said that the unpleasant feelings don't have as much power and strength like they used to, is Huge. This is exactly my experience too. I used to suffer from all kinds of negative waves of mind, but ultimately they have proven themselves to be empty. Just stay with the Looking, and in time, the negative thoughts and feelings wind themselves down. Perserverance is the key... you have already shown that these thoughts and feelings are just that - things that come and go and have no real identity as to who you really Are.

Steve smily


Yes, the fact that new belief systems weren't added is interesting to notice and something I hadn't thought about. It's strange-- these days I seem almost allergic to the idea of trying to make myself believe something, after spending so much of my life doing just that. And yes, the idea of "needing" something does seem to be less present in my mind too. That's the funny thing about absence... it can take a little while to realize, "oh, yes, that's gone too."


Thanks for the encouragement to stay with the Looking-- I have no doubt that you're right that perseverance is the key. I will keep on keeping on. smily

Take care,



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