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Hello All 👋

Hi all,

I am new here, I have been looking for some sort of freedom from suffering for 20 or so years. I like what I have seen and heard here at this site and forum.

I was going to read around a bit more before introducing myself, but I sent a PM to Carla and John and Carla has asked me to put it up. It is as follows, as promised.....

"I found out about your site a couple of days ago, and read the pdf and have started looking.

I had a state that lasted a couple of weeks that was like MDMA where I effortlessly understood the perfection of everything. It wound up two weeks ago and I have let it go, but still notable on remembering though not effortlessly there . I believe it was a perfect storm of many things (strong Intention, intense self inquiry, chakra work, and skyping with a free person) that brought it about and likewise a combination of negative experiences that stopped it (bad stomach flu and the possibility of being fired at work on same day)

So with that explanation do you think that this was a honeymoon period that I have heard John speak and *have heard* mentioned on the forum?

Thank you,"

I also wish to say that I am sorry to all of you for the recent loss of your friends. I read some of their posts and they seemed like good people.

Thank you all.

Not sure about whether it's a honeymoon period, I guess time will tell, but wanted to welcome you to this community. Looking forward to your on going thoughts and contributions.

Thank you Jackx

My own experience was rather shocking! I didn't have any idea or knowledge about any Non-dual teachings, just a deep desire to feel "Worthy " I was also SO sick & tired of everyone saying their version of truth was the only way!🙄😖

So in desperation I cried out "God if you're real, Why do you hide!!??"

3 days later I pretty much forgot about it and didn't really expect anything to happen. I was sitting in my semi truck waiting for a door to deliver my load, when I happened to look at my hand. The strangest thing was; I didn't recognize it as mine! The sense of ANY ownership was gone!! What replaced that was the feeling of being everything, everywhere, all the time!

Everything was ONE! Any sense of separation was TOTALLY gone! I realized that life here on earth was the biggest practical joke ever done! I laughed and cried so hard it hurt because it was so sadly hilarious! Funny because none of this is true, and sad because MOST of us have no clue the joke is even being made!

Anyways...

That "state" lasted about 2 weeks, but would come & go without warning.

I can remember thinking "How will I relate to people who know NOTHING ABOUT this experience!? They won't understand & words can't convey it!!"

It was a scary thing for me! And I believe strongly that this idea closed a door so to speak. Because that experience or perspective has yet to be seen so fully again!

The next 5 years I kinda went crazy chasing that experience and trying to find the words to point to this truth. I even went so far as to take courses to become an ordained minister of A COURSE IN MIRACLES which I had become somewhat familiar with prior to the experience.

Recently, I finally again got tired of the fake way people were going on about how they were more enlightened than others etc. As well as my inability to understand what happened to me and how to put it into words.

So I dropped out of everything!

During those years I HAD heard of Justonelook.org and had also tried the looking several times. But I knew I'd succeeded when for a nano second that forever feeling came up again.

So yeah I guess I also had a "Honey moon" period followed by a complete breakdown of hope.

Now, I really just want my own peace and stability to mature. So I've been doing the SDA exercises.

Still not sure about any real results yet, other than to say I'm noticing ever more clearly how often my mind wanders off on something totally unrelated to what's actually happening now.

So I'm taking that observation as PROGRESS!

Also the feelings of unworthiness have all but disappeared and I actually DO feel comfortable with myself and life.

Hope my story is helpful for anyone beginning this journey!

Stay with us! You will glad you did!! It may take time but the "fear of life"....will die out! ❤💖

If I can support you in any way feel free to contact me!

Thank you Rick,

I appreciate your reply and your offer 😊. I laughed when considering how you dealt with the unloading of the truck thereafter 😅.

It sounds like my experience was similar to yours, but especially in the relation to others. I also had some thoughts of being unworthy of the state as I had stumbled upon it where some experienced meditators and practitioners do not.

I was lucky in that I did not think it was permanent nor try to hold onto it while it was happening, thinking if this is real it will stay, if it is not it will pass. I was and still am grateful for it and any substantial permanent change.

I have been doing self-directed attention for 6 days now and it is rare that I get to one 😅. It's been great and shocking to see how dominated by my thoughts I am. This awareness is certainly moving into my daily experience and I will keep working the attention muscles 👍.

Thanks all again.

Dear ¿whoami?,

The experience you relate here occurred before you looked at yourself in the manner we recommend, right? I don't believe it was the so-called honeymoon period that some people go through after they look at themselves.

The experiences you and Rick related here are spontaneous occurrences that happen to many people. I had a few of those myself, many years ago... The way a person interprets those events depends on what they are familiar with. Often, if a person has had some experience with some sort of spiritual search, they will think that the experience is what they have been looking for. If a person has no connection with any of that, sometimes they can think they are just going crazy... Or, more intelligently, they just see it as a passing experience and let it go, as you have done.

But what I would like to point to is that it is just an experience, albeit it a very exhilarating one. It's no different than a trip on a drug, like you said. These experiences are revealing and may feel liberating when they come, as they break some of our habitual way of seeing things, but they are just passing experiences.

What matters is what remains, which is you. And how you can become a natural human being, free of fear. Keep up with the Self-Directed Attention Exercise. You are doing good. It is very hard to count past one in the beginning. The strength of focus builds up over time.

Carla

I know I still have an expectation that when all the soldiers of fear are gone, my every day experience will be like I described above.

I wonder if I'm just setting myself up for disappointment? Or will it be very similar but I'll be more comfortable with it since I know what its about??? Guess I'll find out!......or not! Lol

Thank you Carla

I will keep going with the Self Directed Attention twice daily.

Rick W

I know I still have an expectation that when all the soldiers of fear are gone, my every day experience will be like I described above.

I wonder if I'm just setting myself up for disappointment? Or will it be very similar but I'll be more comfortable with it since I know what its about??? Guess I'll find out!......or not! Lol

Rick W, check this out: Expectations

Thank you Carla! That article is very helpful! I'm beginning to see the usefulness of SDA as I go about my day. So many thoughts going through my head about what's NOT happening. Most are fairly harmless and others bring up old feelings of unworthiness and inadequacies. I try to refocus my attention on just driving (Which is all I do for 11 hrs a day 5-6 days a week! Which also lends a LOT of Time for thought just to "entertain myself ). I have noticed that when I change the focus from thinking to just my surroundings those feelings dissipate in proportion to my ability to focus away from those thoughts. Interesting to see that happening! But still a "strenuous " activity for lack of a better term. However, the fact that I can notice that effect is encouraging and motivating me to stay with the practice!

I so look forward to our meeting next weekend (Sept 8th 2018) I have so much to report & so many questions. CAN'T WAIT!🤗

Btw is there anything you can do to lengthen the time this site automatically logs you out?

Sometimes my posts take a long time to write and get lost or not posted because I get timed out.😢

Rick, forums are set to not time out. I just checked. Don't know why it's timing out for you. I'll see if I can find out. Meanwhile, try writing your posts in a text editor such as notepad and paste it when it's ready.

I have a couple of questions, I have read and listened to a lot on the topics, if they have been discussed elsewhere please link me up, and otherwise,

Would something like learned helplessness be covered eventually when the fear is gone? Ie would deep psychological tendencies be cleaned up even if they happened afterwards?

After the looking can anything else be done besides self awareness twice a day? I am 40 and life seems to be going nowhere fast (even downhill) , I am limited by so many internal and external things and I have to be honest, I can't really be bothered to live another 5-10 years waiting for the soldiers to die (this concept is post looking or at least it has really come to the fore in the last 7 days). Life is not unbearable, but the effort to reward has gotten so miserable it doesn't seem worth the investment.

A big worry is that I may do this and only this for 5-10 years and still be in the same situation or even worse.

Please ask for clarification if I have been unclear.

Thank you.

I would imagine that learned helplessness will fade as the opposite, self reliance, grows. I have experienced self reliance becoming stronger. This means less leaning on magical thinking and practices that promise salvation and escape (magical thinking obscures the true magic of life). It also means, from my experience, a growing ability to take care of yourself and find things that work for you and which add depth and meaning to your life. I have found things that do this for me from diet to exercise to practical practices that amplify the quality of life. Our intelligence seems to guide us as the haziness of fear leaves our mind. I believe lifestyle changes are highly individual, what works for one person will not for another, so I'm reluctant to offer specific suggestions. Generally speaking, keep things simple and basic (what I call grandmother wisdom): eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, exercise outdoors in nature as much as possible, get plenty of rest and sleep, breath deeply. I find keeping a journal helpful. Follow your passions and curiosity......I find great enjoyment in things like gardening and archery, things I never thought to do when lost in the fog. Trust your intelligence and open up to life as you are able.

Thank you Jackx,

I was kind of afraid of this kind of answer, but I am grateful for it.

I have an active job, exercise and garden but the only real lasting interest that I have is spirituality D:

I guess that it's going to leave a big hole. But if that's the way it is then I guess that's the way it is.

(^1 post)

Doing self directed attention for 10 minutes, 10-12 times a week, no more than twice a day, no less than once.

Can not get above one second count. Seems at times like it is harder now than when first starting. Sometimes mind wanders far before getting caught even to the point of eyes opening.

Noticed some changes in daily life, but nothing concrete enough to write here.

Sounds like good progress to me! You're showing signs of being able notice that your attention has been hijacked.

Take this as encouraging motivation to keep going!

Thank you Rick, sorry I did not see you there.

Seems like I am self sabotaging during self directed attention as I seem to be getting worse and not better at it.

Fear and anxiety is ramping up in everyday life, both on a conscious level and deeper levels.

First of all your misery is not your fault, there is no blame whatever with you.

My recovery was much longer and my relationship with it was filled with misery created by my flailing about with no idea what was happening and no idea what to do.

Try your best with Self-Directed Attention, keep working with the forum members, and your natural courage will carry you through.

Feel to call on Carla and me if you need to.

Hello, whoami! I have a similar problem doing self-directed attention exercise. I hardly can count to 2, mostly being stuck on 1 over and over. It's irritating, but the only way I found out to be somewhat working is to concentrate on inbreaths and outbreaths as diligently as I can and not wait for fast progress. It seems to me that the more I focus on inability to count to higher numbers the less control over attention I have. But the point is exactly to learn to control our attention, as far as I understand. So I decided to relax with this low-number issue and just do it.

Thank you John,

I have looked and my intention is to do Self Directed Attention daily (twice daily) . This thread has transferred from an introduction to a record of sorts I guess. Thank you for your offers smily

Thank you anton_sal,

This is some good advice, thank you. As above I am kind of relaxed about the experience, just recording progress. Not identified with outcome, but I am taking on your words smily

Self directed attention still very hard, seems like strong internal resistance to it. Getting lost in multiple thoughts on each inbreath/outbreath. Will try to relax a bit. And pay attention, like relaxed attention.

whoami, yeah, I feel strong internal resistence to self-directed attention exercise too, as well as getting lost in multiple thoughts while doing it. I don't know why this is so, but hope that persistence in focusing attention will help with those issues.

Self-Directed Attention is very, very hard in the beginning. It can seem almost impossible to do.

If Self-Directed Attention is causing you too much distress, try doing the following meditation for a while instead. This is the Buddhist Shamata Meditation (mindfulness or concentration) and it is the basis upon which we developed the Self-Directed Attention Exercise.

We advise anyone who is having difficulty with Self-Directed Attention to try this meditation first.

Doing this meditation for a while will prepare your mind for the more strict and more difficult Self-

Directed Attention Exercise.

Sit in a quiet place. If there is too much noise around, move to another place or do it later, when things quiet down around you.

Take your shoes off and sit down. You can sit on a cushion on the floor with your legs crossed, or on a chair, with your feet touching the floor. Choose the way that makes you feel the most comfortable.

It is easier in the beginning to do it sitting on a chair. Sit so that your feet are flat on the floor with your spine upright without overly slouching or sitting too rigid. If possible do not rest back of the chair. Your knees should be the level of the hips or lower.

When you sit on a chair, rest your hands on your thighs.

Stretch a little: imagine that your spine is gently being pulled up from the top of your head.

Now, settle in your position. Keep an upright, erect posture, but allow the spine to keep its natural curves.

Gaze down, resting your eyesight a couple of inches in front of your nose. Your eyes are open, but not staring. Your gaze is soft and unfocused.

Notice that you are still aware of your environment, but you are focusing your attention a couple of inches in front of your nose.

Now start paying attention to the sensation of your breath in your nostrils. You are not focusing your attention, you are resting your attention on your breath. Just notice it going in and out of your body. The breath should not be forced, just watch your natural breathing without trying to change it in any way.

Some people have difficulty feeling the sensation of the breath in their nostrils. Try exhaling strongly so you can locate the sensation. If you still have difficulty, don't let that stop you. Try breathing with your lips slightly parted, just enough to get air in and out.

Check to see if you are breathing in your chest. If that's the case try letting the air flow into your abdomen. This will help you relax and bring you a sense of calm.

This practice will help you recognize the movements of the mind, which we call thoughts.

Your mind will most likely be wild and it is good to recognize that. Don't push yourself or criticize yourself for getting distracted. That is the usual way of the untrained mind.

As soon as you notice that you are off thinking, mentally call it "thinking" and gently and without judgment come back to the breath. The word "thinking" is just a neutral label, not a criticism.

Do this practice 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening. But you may want to start with just 5 minutes at a time and then move on to 10 minutes at a time when you are more comfortable with the practice. It is helpful to set a timer so you know when the time is over. When you are done, move on to your daily activities, and don't think about it.

And please don't beat yourself up with it. It is not a competition. Be patient with yourself, be kind to yourself.

Do this for a month or so and please let us know what you notice.

Thank you anton_sal and Carla.

I have been continuing with the Self Directed Attention but I may try this out. I admit I see the AS A as a challenge I would like to continue with, but maybe I am being stubborn.

Still not really getting past one count.

Am feeling like there is a bit of a gap between my thoughts and myself. Definitely notice less emotional turbulence including anxieties.

Sounds encouraging.glad your putting this practice in practice!

Yeah, how did you deal with the unloading, or even driving on the road in that state? Was it funny, or weird, or what? BTW how's the self-directed attention exercise going these days? I would think that everyone could take a breath and exhale and count 1 and know that the next breath would be two? And that all takes place in the space of about 10 seconds. At least that's been my experience for what it's worth. smily

Hi Carla, How long have you been doing the self-directed attention exercise? If I remember from what you said on one of the webinars, then it has been fairly recently. I found The Great Expectations webinar quite interesting as well as your above response to Rick,

"What matters is what remains, which is you." Nice one Carla!!!

That's a really great post, Rick. You're actually applying the self-directed attention exercise in daily life!!!! I find that amazing and thanks for articulating your experience of it so well. Very encouraging. Thanks!!!

 

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