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My experience of the looking

Hi guys I have been doing the looking now for nearly five years, and though I don't usually come on these forums, I thought it might be helpful to let you know How I have progressed in the time I have been practicing this art.

I first started doing the looking in 2009, and found it quite easy to do, although I really did not know how in the Hell it was going to help me. But anyhow I was desperate, because I had suffered from PTSD for many years caused through serving my country in Vietnam. I had troubles with anger, anxiety, hatred and felt a terrible dread in my everyday living.

I followed Johns advice and never ever questioned him, and after just two weeks I found small changes going on within my Psyche, which gave me some encouragement. I am still doing the looking even though I don't feel that I need to these days. But I really enjoy taking forty five minutes in the very early morning hours. I chant the word aum for ten reps which seems to quieten the mind, and then I do five minutes of counting my breathing, which is proceeded with the rest of time 'looking at me'.

I have found that over the years all my anxiety has totally dropped off, and life has become a beautiful experience, with every day becoming more Joyous.

I very rarely get angry these days, and my wife, who suffered very much in my PTSD years, thinks that now I am a breath of fresh air to live with. I don't tend to worry about anything these days, not even my death which was always so very frightening to me. In fact my joy in living is so very vast, that folk who knew me before can't believe it.

Some things haven't changed, for instance, I was always very argumentative and like to question every authority, and doing this with much anger. Now I still argue and still question everything [Especially organized religion] but now I don't get angry about it and can always turn the arguments to laughter. I think I was expecting some kind of enlightenment experience when I started doing this, but it never did happen, But that don't matter, the joy I have in life is all I really need'

I was also expecting the recovery period that john spoke about, but the only thing that happened to me, is that I did not do anything for two years, which did worry me a little. Now this period has gone and I am back to writing my ballads and sending them to different poetry sites.

Things I found helpful while trying to focus on me were; Looking at a memory (even if it was a memory of the day before); Looking at the room with peripheral vision. And a great favourite of mine is to look at myself in the mirror, also with peripheral vision. I found all these things very helpful.

All I can say is that I will never stop thanking John and Carla for all they have given me, and I try to promote them at every opportunity I get. I thought I would just tell you this, maybe to give others some encouragement. All one has to do is have faith in the looking and everything will eventually come out right. No need for questions, my friends just do it"¦


Hi Pedro,

Thank you so much for your comments, your words really resonate with me and I agree with everything you say. Just so you know, I just now read your words aloud to my wife JoAnn, and she appreciated them too because they helped her understand a little better what has been going on in my life with the looking. By the way I'm glad you are back to writing your ballads, maybe you could post one of them here sometime, share what you are doing that way? I don't write ballads but I do write a blog and also have written some books. The latest book is about "happy aging." I'm 82, and this might give me a bit of credibility or it might be a minus, but then, one of the true joys of this looking for me is coming to an ever deepening realization that although I'm 82, from another standpoint, I'm not 82 at all, and it's a merely a quaint human way of looking at things without having all the facts. By the way I enjoy and use both the "memory" method John has introduced and the "direct" method of simply feeling my own presence.

I still feel fear some times, sometimes about small things, sometimes bigger things, as for instance recently when I was diagnosed with colon cancer, really rather ridiculous at my age. I still get upset about things. But as I tell my wife, I do feel that I'm moving toward an ever greater experience of calm despite the fact that anxiety still comes up in me at times. And she agrees with me on this, and by the way, is a very wise lady, hard to fool. At least now I know what to do when this happens which is a blessing in itself. Also, closing off here, I feel I am getting more and more engaged with life -- and yes, am learning to enjoy the "white water" experience that John speaks about.

I send love to you and the loved ones I see standing beside you in your pic. Again, thank you Pedro and God bless.

Hi Happy,

So nice to hear from you I am so glad that my note was of some help to you. I thought that people would not be too interested because I had no problems with the looking, and could not really help them in any way. I wrote so that folk would see that the looking does work. I just done What John told me to do, and because I was frantic to get rid of my PTSD I was willing to try anything, no questions asked. I was very surprised that my life became better even after the first couple of weeks. I was on holiday, and my lady took sick, but instead of panicking [which is what I would have done previously] I handled it all so very well. That's when I knew it was working, and from then on I have never missed a day without doing the looking and meditating, although as John says I don't really need to do the looking any more. I just love to switch my mind off and get into it, as it gives me great pleasure to do so.

I have no anxiety now, but if I found out I had cancer like you have, it might be different, who knows? As far as age is concerned I am seventy one and in the last ten months I have had two operation. With the second one being a hip operation. Now with this one everything has gone wrong and I have been on crutches for twelve weeks. But all the while over those two ops, my spirits have been high, and although I do get irritated sometimes. Mostly my heart is filled with an inexplicable kind of joy. My body is aging but I have never been this happy in my entire life. Mind you I am still very argumentative, and highly opinionated, I notice that even those things are improving though.

I am very sorry to hear about your cancer, and I hope it doesn't cause you too much trouble. I guess that the looking is helping you to get through this. I wish you all the best. You and Joanne, and I hope that the looking is making you as happy as I am. Anyhow Happy this is the last Ballade I wrote for john which I will be putting on the poetry site in the next couple of days"¦. peter.

The man, John Sherman

Today I need to write again

On a subject dear to me

I've written many songs for him

Cause I will always be

Indebted to this man of truth

John Sherman is his name

He's helped so many hurting people

Now his name is reaching fame.

Five years ago I Heard of him

On a podcast played for me

He told me how to rid myself

Of the fear of life, in me

Then forty years of craziness

They all did fade away

PTSD did disappear

And it's still gone to this day

So me, I needs bring up his name

In my poems now, and then

Promote his name in my own way

He's the very best of men

And so I write another poem

For those who live in hell

And want to find some happiness

For John will serve them well.

1 June 2014 @ 1349hrs

Thank you Pedro for your post. It was good and timely for me to read it. Your mention of PTSD and anxiety caught my attention. I was too young to be sent off to Vietnam by a few years, by I grew up in a suburb of Boston in the 60's that was kind of like a war zone, for a little kid. People were always getting shot and killed and robbed and raped. My best friend died a tragic and stupid death when we were 16. On top of that my father was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia when I was ten. I spent decades trying to handle the shell shock in any way I could. Long boring story. But like you, I was lucky enough to find John on the internet.

It's been about five or six years since I first tried to get a glimpse. The recovery period was/is intermittent, but in the past couple of years, the horror of the human condition came crashing down on me in a way like I could have never imagined. Stress is not something my body does well, so I took a back seat to just about everything, and tried to take care of the physical symptoms. I did on occasion try to move my attention as John recommends, and can say that it really does help. But I realized recently that I really do need, actually I should say WANT, to practice this simple act of moving my attention a lot more often. I've been kind of addicted to it for the last few days. It certainly allows for the incredible wonder of every day things to show themselves. I wondered if, and do think that your daily practice might have mitigated some of the more crazy outcroppings. like I have had recently. Already I can feel the difference. As I said, your post was very timely and helpful.

Thank you.


Hi Mike, thank you for replying to my post. I always remember you and Nigel. You were the two guys that really impressed me on the podcasts, I realized that you two most certainly were the ones who were really getting what John said, and I hung on to your every words.

I have never been on any of the meetings with John, but I have listened to every podcast he has made since two thousand and six. That's all I ever really needed. I done everything he said, but I was petrified about the recovery period. I dreaded it, but it never happened. I also looked forward to having delicious spiritual experiences, but they never happened either. All that happened to me is my each day started to be filled with joy, as all the anxiety left me and life became such an enjoyable experience.

I was kind of disappointed in a way cause I thought the looking would take away my very opinionated nature, but this never happened, or it hasn't yet. But I find that now I accept myself unconditionally, and I don't worry much about what others think.

You may be right about the meditation I do. That could be why I never had bad experiences. I have meditated every day for forty five minutes each morning, where I practice the breathing and then just look at me. I do this because I really do enjoy it and it brings my muse to the fore when I write my poetry. I have never missed a morning in the last five years, and I know that this is also helping to keep the joy in my life. John and Carla were the best thing that ever happened to me, and I am so happy that you, like myself have gained so much from them... All the best, my friend in your quest for this beautiful harmony.


Pedro, it was great to hear back from you. Your words and thoughts -- and your experiences -- are very helpful and encouraging to me. I also think your new ballad is way cool. It's good to honor John and his wife Carla who have played and continue to play a very significant part in my life too. It's interesting how help shows up in our journey in ways we could never have anticipated and yet just at a time when we need it. I can't help but think that I would have had a much, MUCH harder time of it with my diagnosis and surgery, for example, if I hadn't had somewhere to go with the looking.

But that isn't all. That's a small part of it. I am just very grateful for the significant change which the looking has helped to initiate in me, and which seems to be working its magic at quite a clip. Would you believe I was out with a screwdriver this morning fixing our broken storm door? Five years ago or twenty years ago this would have been entirely unimaginable. After all, I was brought up by a Dad who was a reporter all his life and who wouldn't even consider picking up a screwdriver. Probably didn't know what a screwdriver wassmily.

I'm also, by the way, very grateful for the opportunity to connect up in a more hands-on way with people like you and Mike and others. We're not alone, for sure, in this journey, are we.

Keep giving your gift and composing your ballads, Pedro, and I'll do the same. Bye for now.


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