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So what do you see when you look at yourself?

Hi all, I came across this teaching while studying vedanta techniques, mostly from Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta Maharaj. It was this blog post that I first learned about Just One Look: http://www.beyond-karma.com/awakening/the-sense-of-i-am/

What I was struggling the most with was "what is the 'I am' feeling actually feel like?". I understand conceptually that 'I am' is beyond all sensations, words and descriptions - but is there a feeling or sensation that is most closely related to the 'I am', something that will tell me I'm at least looking in the right direction?

When I practiced the vedanta techniques, I found senses of pressure, vibration, heat, pulsation, etc. when I looked within. As I got deeper into the practice I tried to look past these sensations and just look at my bare self, without any wordly or material feeling, but I grew frustrated.

I tried the JOL technique recently and it seems to help to practice the awareness on objects / body parts, then shifting that awarness to 'I am'. To me, awareness is sort of like a dense pressure feeling and visually I see 'energy waves' in my mind's eye emanating from this pressure, much like a movie or comic book rendition of energy. As I shift this pressure-awareness-feeling to 'me', the deepest, most inner me, I first encounter the sound of the word 'me' in my mind. This sound then takes the form of a very simplistic human body shape, kind of like an astral body. Again, this is all in my mind / mind's eye.

With practice of the JOL technique, I sometimes can drop all this mental imagery and get a sense of a void or emptiness. This, from all the teachings I've read, seems to be closer to the real 'I am', so I do hope I'm on the right path.

So what is everyone else's experience? Did you all go through this stage of mental imagery and feeling sensations? Is there anything concrete you could attribute to your real self, your sense of 'me-ness' or 'I am'? Or is 'void' the closest we can get verbally before ultimately even dropping that and touching the real self?

Hey eversio11. Before I found JOL, I also studied a lot of vedanta techniques and the like and did exercises just like the looking, but surrounded with different belief paradigms. I was also looking for the things you are describing and had a lot of different experiences doing it that way. When I started listening to John talking about the looking, it became a lot more subtle for me. There is also an element of trust involved here in the sense that John recommends that you trust that the 'looking happened' after you do it even if you don't really feel any confirmation that anything really happened. I think the absolute best thing you could possibly do is listen to the clips where John is talking to a group of people and he explains the looking and leads people right along with him in doing the act of looking. I know there are a couple of clips on YT I've heard and I also more recently heard him do it in one of the more recently recorded webinars - say in the past 6 months or so. And he also talks about the 'trust issue' in regards to the looking clearly in his BATGAP interview which can also be heard on YT. When I first found the JOL teaching I had listened to this interview and it definitely made me feel better that something really happened when I did the looking. Hope this helps! All the very best, Lex

I don't get any visuals or sense of energy, etc when I look at me. As John has said many times, this is a subtle sensation and there is not much to experience. My own interpretation of 'me' is that this is the deepest core of my experience.....the very nadir of who I am, As we move away from this zero point, we begin to experience things in the mind, but when we are at absolute me, there's nothing to experience. That there is nothing to confirm this makes it difficult to validate, but if we flip that.....experiencing nothing confirms it.

I would say trust the process and look outward to your life. Also, welcome to this community!

Ljazztrm

Hey eversio11. Before I found JOL, I also studied a lot of vedanta techniques and the like and did exercises just like the looking, but surrounded with different belief paradigms. I was also looking for the things you are describing and had a lot of different experiences doing it that way. When I started listening to John talking about the looking, it became a lot more subtle for me. There is also an element of trust involved here in the sense that John recommends that you trust...

Thanks Lex, I'll check out some of the talks for deeper insight to the process. Trust makes a lot of sense as a necessity.

Jackx

I don't get any visuals or sense of energy, etc when I look at me. As John has said many times, this is a subtle sensation and there is not much to experience. My own interpretation of 'me' is that this is the deepest core of my experience.....the very nadir of who I am, As we move away from this zero point, we begin to experience things in the mind, but when we are at absolute me, there's nothing to experience. That there is nothing to confirm this makes it difficult to validate, but if we flip that..

Zero point, I like that. I read a blog post a while ago about how if "me" is t=0, or time equals zero, then everything we experience or sense is necessarily greater than zero. It takes some amount of time for us to experience the sensation and the brain to process it. Even thoughts must travel some time to the 'I am', thus, our thoughts aren't even ourselves. I can definitely see how a lack of experience is in a way an experience of my true self.

Like Jack, when I first did the looking, there were no sensations or images...nothing like that. It's hard to put into words, but the closest I can come to describe what I experienced was a kind of recognition. Then when I did the childhood looking, that recognition became clearer.

Hello eversio11. I have the similar experience, and I agree than It's like a void. But this void is somehow personalized, its alive, like the life itself, and It's me. It's hard to explain by words, because all the words we have sound like spiritual.

Yes! Welcome to the forum community, Maria!

Thank you Jackx, glad to be here! You wrote that this is subtle sensation and it really is, it's something like background. I want to look for and look at this again and again. By the way, I'm in the recovery now, I will report about it in relating topic.

I looked at myself today and found out that this feeling of me is very very quiet and humble, that's why it's difficult to notice. Any subtle thought is louder than that. It doesn't show itself as something. It's almost nothing. It was some kind of breakthrough for me today.

Thank you for the replies jazzrascal and Maria, really good insights.

eversio11

Hi all, I came across this teaching while studying vedanta techniques, mostly from Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta Maharaj. It was this blog post that I first learned about Just One Look: http://www.beyond-karma.com/awakening/the-sense-of-i-am/

What I was struggling the most with was "what is the 'I am' feeling actually feel like?". I understand conceptually that 'I am' is beyond all sensations, words and descriptions - but is there a feeling or sensation that is most closely related to the 'I am', something that will tell me I'm at least looking in the right direction?

Hi eversio11, here's an excellent explanation of the looking and what it feels like. It's one of John's YouTube videos.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIYSQ3r5XO4

We'll hold you to it. 😉

Isn't me just me? To me it is, to be honest. Way simple like that.

For me it was a slight sensation that felt good and that just clicked.

Simple. like that!

 

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