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Ten Years In

Still sometimes, maybe when I wake up from sleep, or later in the day, I kind of catch myself. Or I’m somehow reminded and I willfully and happily look. Many times the look itself gives just about no specific experience. Sometimes the moment of the look is like a microscopic shot of peace in my mind. If I would name the most common feeling arising in such a moment I think I would say: kindness... There is a satisfying, saturating sense of just being here. The experience quickly disappears and leaves room for whatever task was there in the first place, leaving behind no conflict with anything.

Over time this has cleared up a lot of mental fuzz. At least it sort of takes the fuzz out of the fuzz. Gradually everything feels clearer. There is an encompassing okayness at the least. There is interest in whatever life is presenting. Everything feels more and more like a gift. It’s a beautiful moment, this eternity, though it really feels way too unspeakable to call by such names. It feels too simple, but also too rich and powerful, to be called simple. I think I prefer to just call it life. I really love life.

I am human, and you are too. We can be kind and enjoy together; to start with we are never really apart. We have life and that’s all. We have life and that’s a lot!

Although these are all just descriptive words, and I am quite certain that they’re not by themselves of any help to anyone, I do want to say: I clearly see and feel that this loving relationship with life that I have is the outcome of a simple mind’s eye look right back at myself. A simple look. Here, right at myself.

This looking at myself has become one of my favorite activities. It’s still a mystery sometimes, but nowadays it’s almost always easy, and so lovely. To gather my attention, and point it right back at itself, which is me, not located anywhere specific but here, always here. There is not a single place that I can look, eyes open or shut, where I’m not.

That’s probably why it’s impossible to fail. Many times it can feel as though you cannot get it, but that’s because there’s nothing to get; you are already here and so, in the trying, you inevitably succeed. You practice your skill to focus your attention, and try to look at you, which is anywhere you look...

Sometimes when you look you can get an obvious direct mind’s eye to eye contact with yourself. It can make like a power failure for thoughts for a second, and in that eye to eye seeing the obvious nature of yourself as just yourself, here, is felt and seen, and it’s the most familiar, ever-present you... Still also a mystery luckily! As the thoughts cannot shape or catch me, they’re not very efficient at understanding and explaining the direct experience of me. Hence the mystery! And hence, the simpler the better, just look at yourself! It will become simple and easy and the most obvious thing, just have some patience.

There are not many things to gain from this; it’s mostly some things to lose by it. But what remains is all the good stuff, and they will have more space and energy as more of the crap dies off. One obvious thing to gain from it though is the strengthening of the control over your attention. That’s not whatever, that’s endlessly and ever useful!

It seems many people have tried to give advice for this kind of outcome, but I have never heard it even close to as simple and effective as from John and Carla Sherman. Just look at yourself.

Rickard Renström
Stockholm, Sweden

 

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