I've only been reading up on spirituality and such for a few months, and I'm only 17 years old. However I think by finding John Sherman I may have just saved myself years and years of disappointment.
My counselor smirks when I bring up John's "looking" method. That's because she has a PhD in Philosophy. John will correctly point out that there are thousands or millions just like her who think that truth is an ancient, bewildering concept that needs the most respected of texts to figure out. Well, I can tell you that's not the case. After one month of "searching", I was laying on my bed reading this book, and when I came across the part about Ramana's cancer, and finished reading that, a light switched on inside of me and everything was just so obvious. I am here. That state came and went, but I know that I saw the truth. And I'm glad that at 17 I won't have to deal with all the dissatisfaction for much longer, as that truth starts destroying my false beliefs.
April 1, 2014
I read this book twice, once in its free ebook form from the author's website, and then again in the purchased Kindle format. That I read it for free and decided to purchase it for re-reading attests to the power of the book's message. The principle aim of the book and the message within is the simple act of inward looking to the nature of what we all identify as me. I know that makes it sound like any other book of this type - it is in a question and answer format arising in a retreat setting, but that is where the similarity to other books on adviata, neo-advaita, non-dual teachings, spirituality and such, ends. This is not a spiritual book, but then again I have given away all my other spiritual books because of it. It's that good. It's not hard to imagine that this is what the Buddha sounded like to those that heard him in his lifetime, before two and a half millennia of interpretation and codification occurred. How long have you read spiritual books, attended satsangs and meditated? Has it worked for you? Do you know of anyone personally it's worked for? This however I can attest works - and has worked for many others as written and video reports show on the author's website. Take a look at the free copy, if it speaks to you as it did me, you will want your own Kindle or paperback version I am sure.
San Antonio, Texas USA
February 14, 2013
I have nothing to say besides this: go to justonelook.org, look at yourself briefly, or regret it for a very long time.
April 13, 2014
LOVED LOVED LOVED this book. Took my inner work and meditation to a whole new level. The best part about it is that it is easier than anything I have done prior (for the past 20 years) and had the biggest impact on my life. I highly recommend buying this, no matter where you are in your personal development. The key is to "just do it" the simple exercise he has you do.
Patricia L. Gregg
Austin, Texas USA
January 5, 2013
Not much time to review, but quickly...I have read many books in the "spiritual domain". This simple suggestion of looking within is really helpful and the book is worth reading in my opinion.
December 19, 2012
I am downloading the book to copy an excerpt for my sister. As for myself, I have already purchased the kindle version. Some of the best writing on real practice I have ever come across. I am most grateful for your presence on this planet. Sincerely,
Belchertown, Massachussets USA
September 1, 2012
I have the paperback and am in the process of my 4th read through. After studying Zen and Vedanta for years, your book has cut to the point and is resonating like no other book I have read. Thanks!
Sterling Heights, Michigan USA
May 25, 2012
Most direct and simplest teaching or pointer to reality I have ever encountered.
March 10, 2012
I read maybe three or four books a week and it seems increasingly rare that I find a book such as this. If you've already gone through books from Dennis Waite, Byron Katie, Jed McKenna and the like, this book will, or at least it did for me, bring into sharp clarity all the fuzziness, that, even though you've done your best to grasp the true meaning, you were left with.
While the, how shall i say this, technique could be steeped down into something like one paragraph, the author is very careful, as well, to pose questions that I didn't even know I had until they were posed... and to tell the truth. The only short coming I found within the book was the author's transition to the question and answer dialogue seemed not as smooth as the rest of the book.
Overall though it was Excellent....Excellent....Excellent!
February 23, 2012
After having tried self-inquiry, meditating on the I am and reading hundreds of spiritual texts I became exhausted. Through the search I came across John's message. It is very simple and straight forward but it requires some sort of dedication to stop focusing on the contents of experience and just look at the one experiencing. It is you. No practices, no rituals or belief systems are needed to find freedom from the fear and alienation that comprises most people's experience. I strongly recommend this book.
December 23, 2011
Hello. 'Look At Yourself' blew me away. The only thing that's interrupting my reading of your materials is me looking at myself and eating. Thank you, thank you.
October 30, 2011
Don't get me wrong, I love John and think his message is profoundly helpful if you get it and in getting it you have the ability, time, conditions and mental space to work it. However I feel he underestimates the conditions required. To use an extreme example, if someone was sticking red hot irons up your bum and down your throat there is no way that you could calmly reflect on the fact that you are here. You would be so restless and overcome with pain, horror and terror that you would just be trying to stop this from being done to you. Similarly people have levels of agitation and obscurations attacking there mental set up. They can even be quite subtle yet all consuming at the same time. Such obscurations that make this practice seem inane and useless. These people need other supportive practices to get them to a point where they can appreciate the value and relevance of what John is saying. Hence although it could be all that these people ever needed to do, it just wouldn't happen. The compassionate teachers give other methods to subdue and prepare the mind for great methods like this, even though this would have worked from the get go.
What's interesting is that teachers who say all you need is this, have usually done a lot of spiritual experimentation and work before they themselves got it! John was living like a prison monk for 16 years!
Compassion and clairvoyance can perceive what an individual student will have to go through before a practice like this will genuinely be useful and impactful. Hence a fully enlightened being may direct someone to do various practices, before offering such a teaching because just offering this is not the most effective way for that person at that time, with that attitude. Even though it is the most effective practice when you have the karma to hear, appreciate and put it to work!!
The majority of people sitting at the feet of sincere teachers will claim that their lives have improved greatly from being involved with their teachers and the practices there teacher encourages them to do. A small few of those will actually liberate themselves. This is the same for many traditions. It is the same with those who listen to the great John Sherman.
July 9, 2011
I tried almost everything when it came to meditation, self inquiry, visualisation, emotional release, etc in the search for peace and fulfillment. If there was anything new, I would try it. And some techniques have certainly been most helpful. All techniques have taught me something valuable, even if only to search in a more critical manner.
But in the end, when all was said and done, there were always some loose ends. There were always more things to solve or change in the body and mind. By some accident, I stumbled into John's message. And although I really tried to NOT follow his advice (always thinking this can't work, this is too easy), sooner or later I had to come back to it. I don`t know why, but IT WORKS. I don't know how it works, but it does. When there is no way out of myself and the whole chaos of suffering of a regular human being reaches a peak, I always come back to what John is patiently saying for some time now. And it always works somehow. I can't wrap my mind around it. For the first time, I am doing something that my mind can't understand or fit into its definitions. And it works.
I don't know if the suffering is totally over and I don't know when it will be. But if there is something that can help in relieving it, it can be found in John's book. This is the real deal, for me at least. I would recommend this to any human being. Thank you, John.
July 3, 2011
Most direct and simplest teaching or pointer to reality I have ever encountered.
June 3, 2011
This medicine requires no change in beliefs, religion, political stance, or much new learning. It is the most simple of things, learning to just 'Look At Yourself'. This isn't navel gazing, chanting, or some special state of awareness or 'enlightenment'. It is just you, looking at you. Easy instructions that can be done anytime, anyplace, whenever you remember to do so. What could be more simple?
No expectations are set regarding the ultimate outcome, except that you will be free to live your life without the insane fear that causes so much suffering. 'You will go sane.' There are no promises of fantastic experiences, or mind blowing insights, unless you consider being free from fear a fantastic experience.
Also, there is no sales pitch here, no follow up system to buy to 'get to the next level' or any other 'spiritual path' nonsense. This is not another treadmill of spiritual practice, filled with promises that can't be kept, offered by someone with something to gain as long you 'need' them.
Get this now, start to Look At Yourself today, see how wonderful life can be.
Many thanks to Mr. Sherman for putting this simple approach out there, that directly addresses the fundamental cause of suffering that is generally accepted as normal life.
Denver, Colorado USA
June 11, 2011
It's been lovely reading and reflecting on this book; maybe I needed it to better understand what Ramana Maharishi or Jesus or Buddha has been saying all long... Who am I? Just look at yourself... Must read for everyone who has taken for granted what one thinks one is!! Gives you specific methods and it is so simple that it is amazing. Keep reading this... It will encourage you, give you insights, courage, guess you better read the book :) and share with others.
March 16, 2011
I have been reading your book, and can honestly say, after having read many, many books on religion and "spirituality", that it is the clearest and most direct teaching towards this thing called "Self Knowledge" I have ever read. Thank you for your being and your help always. Much love,
Ojai, California USA
December 6, 2010
Just about finished my second time through, I find this to be an extraordinary book. There is so much richness and so many jewels. I was at the retreat and have seen the video a couple of times, but it's like the first time around with each reading. I hate to say it, but the absence of personalities questioning John or commenting make it more enjoyable from my perspective. Not much gets in the way of the transmission of the written word, and that's fine by me. I bought five of the books the other day, a few to give away to people in my life I love and a couple to save for posterity's sake. I wanted to have a first edition of what I think will be a classic one day. It may be long after I'm gone, but at least my kids will benefit (or joke about what an idiot they had for a father). I also appreciate the wristband. Nice way to be reminded to check in every now and then. Thanks, John.
Elizabeth City, North Carolina, USA
August 17, 2010
So clear and fresh and immediate. Amazing work, John. Thank you.
August 7, 2010
I have found John's simple words very helpful for quite some time now. From what I've read of "Look at Yourself", I imagine that sooner or later a lot of people will be drawn to John's words in book form as well.
Studio City, California, USA
July 15, 2010
This is an excellent book for anyone seriously wanting to bring an end to personal suffering. It offers no quick fixes but is very straightforward in its approach. What I love about John Sherman's approach is that he cuts through the traps of many spiritual practices by eliminating the idealization of what we "should be" in life and focuses on what we can do right now to begin destroying the false beliefs about ourselves that are at the root of our fear and suffering. By the time I finished reading John's book, I realized that "here" - without false beliefs or deep-seated lies beating us over the head and scaring us silly at times - is really all that we have ever wanted. "Here" is everything. And false beliefs are all that stand between us and the ever-present truth that we are complete just as we are. John's insights are brilliant. He would disagree with me about this statement because he describes himself as a slow learner and ordinary as beans; but no one has ever given me such a lucid and practical view of what is needed to end suffering and be ever-open to the beauty that is naturally, already here.
Weed, California, USA
July 14, 2010
In ancient times scholars understood that the essence of a text could be contained in the very first expression of the work. For example in a ten-thousand-year-old text of India, The Rig Veda, the first word is "Agni." Classical linguists analyzing the phonetics of that word have verified that it does contain the essential import of the entire Rig Veda.
In modern times, the first utterance of a work is usually its title. In keeping with this ancient premise, John Sherman's new book, Look At Yourself, is aptly titled indeed. If you "get" the title, you have already received the essence and the gift of this remarkable book.
John has stripped the message of Self-knowledge down to its bare bones—divested it of all sentimentality, all spiritual romance, all religious, philosophical, metaphysical and new age flavors. No gurus, teachings, beliefs, or practices are suggested—or denied. Nonetheless, this book conveys the most spiritually intimate invitation: the encouragement to simply look at yourself.
"In any set of circumstances, there are two main things: there is the grab bag of circumstances playing, rising, falling, scuffling with thoughts and sensations…and there is the seer of the circumstances..." Sherman's single–pointed message is to look at the looker, the seer.
Look At Yourself focuses on the crux of the seeker's problem—in what direction is he or she looking? The habit of most people, even those dedicated to spiritual practices, is to look somewhere else for definition, justification, meaning, protection, improvement, and enlightenment. John guides the reader in a different direction:
"See if it is not possible even as you are reading this, to catch just a glimpse… of the feeling of you, the you-ness of you, the profound and primal ordinariness of you. See how certain, how literally unquestionable it is that you are here and how that presence of you here is certain in a way nothing else can ever be."
A profoundly valuable contribution to freedom from the illusion of being a person, it's available from Amazon.com and SilentHeart Press.
K. Amber Terrell
Grass Valley, Oregon, USA
Book review published in the July/August 2010 issue of "Nexus" (Colorado)
I have studied many spiritual and psychological traditions, practiced and even taught a few. Some have been helpful to me and others, but the need for them and their failure to end such need has never been addressed so directly as by John Sherman. Reading this book and also listening to his podcasts and sharing with him directly -- he makes himself available by email and by phone and in his online meetings -- has gradually brought about a change in the context of my experience and life, such that the tension of feeling myself to be "at stake" in the unpredictable unfolding of my experience and life is vanishing. I recommend this book to all who wish most deeply to be free of existential concern, dread, misery, fear, etc.
Boulder, Colorado, USA
June 21, 2010
I am telling everyone who will hold still. I have studied spirituality my whole life and eventually found Eckhart Tolle, then got into non-duality for a few years and had some insights but mainly it was a struggle, and now I am only on page 35 and there is snot and tears and chills because I get it. Finally I get it. It feels like the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders, like I have been absolved of all sin. The way you explain it is so CLEAR. So much gratitude to you, thank you so so so much!
June 2, 2010
Any serious seeker should take a look at this book. John cuts through the spiritual materialism into the simple truth in a very accessible, clear, language. Few have put it on the line like this.
May 21, 2010
John, I've just started to read your book and was very moved by the first chapter. Initially I felt disappointed that the book was identical to a retreat I'd attended and listened to. But reading is different than listening, I have discovered. In reading, one can linger, go back, ponder, etc. It's a different experience. Anyway — thanks!
Port Townsend, Washington, USA
April 29, 2010
This book by John Sherman is very clear, simple and helpful. His words are very much "to the point". His constantly reminding us to "Look At Yourself" in this book and on the web brought a fundamental shift in my life. As he says: "To look at yourself whenever it occurs to you is to move from the endless work of self-definition to the endless adventure of self-discovery". I recommend this book very highly to everybody.
April 20, 2010
There must be hundreds of books on this subject and I have read many of them. This is as clear as it gets. If your mind wants more explanation before getting on with it, well, then just admit that you may be as nearly hopelessly addicted to thinking as the rest of us and get on with it anyway. As the author, John Sherman says, "we are actually trying to solve the symptoms instead of the problem." and "The only thing that will rid you of that idea is the truth." and about the difficulty of even trying to describe this ephemeral practice, he suggests most encouragingly from his own experience, the ultimate value of just getting on with it, "Once you start trying, it teaches itself."
Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, USA
April 19, 2010
I've been slowly absorbing John's message for over two years and this book has been the tipping point! It's all in the cover, I love the blankness around "Look at Yourself." I was fortunate enough to meet John a month and a half ago and all he really had to say to me when it came down to it is "stick to the point-you". Absolutely, I am down with that, I may go on a few side trips here and there but the end is certain because the intent is there! His story is wonderful but what came out of it can only be found right here in the certainty of your existence. John is a down to earth bad ass who has truly done it totally wrong and I love him even more for it because when it comes down to it, he's got the goods and this book proves it! I also love that he dedicated it to Gangaji. This core message, look at yourself, is the most exciting, accessible message I've ever come across. It just goes and goes and goes and stops and stops and stops, the discovery of what it is to look at yourself!
Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
April 19, 2010
John Sherman has succeeded in de-mystifying the mystical. By transcribing actual conversations he takes us to the experience in the moment. A truly rare event in literature. This book is an excellent read for anyone who asks the BIG questions.
April 19, 2010
Got the new book... Thanks, it is very clear and simple, and profound!
April 17, 2010
From the moment I heard that there was a book in preparation, I was really excited and looking forward to its being published. So, when I heard that it is out, I immediately downloaded it and was very disappointed. I thought: "Oh no; I was looking forward to a new book and what I get is the 2007 retreat which I have watched session by session on your website and have printed out and read all the transcription ages ago. I was expecting NEW stuff!". But I thought, I still print it out and maybe read it again later sometime. Now I have begun to read it and it's so great and word by word very very helpful. Although I had read everything already in the transcriptions and watched as video, it makes such a difference to have it "as a book". I am very impressed by the condensed and precise power of your words. Thank you both very very much for this work. It means more to me than I will ever be able to express.
April 16, 2010