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A report

The way it is happening for me is that two years ago I had the recognition on a morning walk that the only problem there is, is fear. With that recognition, much (not all) of the seeking energy dissipitated--I was no longer interested in finding the next secret to awakening. I understood the problem and I had confirmation about it from Jed Mckenna, Eckhart Tolle, Buddha, Anthony de Mello and others. I had a really, good year and I was beginning to re-engage in life, getting interested in living again, after many years in the compulsion to escape into spiritual teachings.

But I had only recognized the problem; not solved it. A few months later I stumbled upon John Sherman's site. I resonated with what he said about fear. So he had some credibility with me, and what he said about the looking is the same thing Nisargadatta and Ramana say, except I think John Sherman is simpler and clearer.

I did the looking. I wondered, as I think many people do, if I was doing it right. But I can assure that if you are doing this looking you are doing it right. It is self-correcting. About three months later, the urge to look went away.

The recovery was difficult at first. I was coming into a difficult period after a really good year, so it was very disappointing. I felt if I was falling back into some of my older issues of anxiety, depression, insomnia, weight fluctuations, low motivation, confusion, isolation, self-recrimination, over-anlayzing--all of these worried me that I was slipping, not moving forward. For a while, I had the idea in my head that someday I will be "done." Then I realized it was this very expectation that was causing mental conflict, and I tried to drop any expectation I might have had about what should happen. I went through periods of doubt. I considered exploring other paths--maybe getting into Advaita.

And strangely, a feeling of shame came up. It's hard to describe--it's a context of feeling that I have done something wrong, I don't belong here, I feel like a stranger. My theory is that this feeling comes about from the feeling of separation caused by the fear of life. Separated, I felt like I'll be found out that I am not who I am. My guess is this feeling must be very common--most of us suppress it or learn to live with it.

But recently, something has shifted. I feel more settled. More at home. I am more satisfied with life, less resistant, and I have the understanding that this has nothing to do with the content of life or mental states. Happiness and unhappiness come and go, according to what happens in life and according to our particular mental states. These come and go, and have no effect on being alive, just being--satisfied, human.


Hi Kaushik,

Ah, I like it--Satisfied, Human. Sounds like a good title for John's next book! Lera


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