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About John and Carla Sherman

John and Carla

Like everyone, John spent most of his life unconsciously searching for the one perfect path out of the wilderness of human life; the one perfect idea, the one perfect thing to think, to understand, to want, to have, to believe, to become that would bring him salvation and satisfaction. The course of John's search was extreme compared to most, but the result was the same: nothing worked, nothing ever does.

Late in 1975, when he was 33 years old, John discovered the perfect idea of perfect Social Justice, and set out to become the perfect Communist revolutionary. He joined with a small group of anarcho-communist radicals, and embarked upon four years of bank robberies, property bombings, gunfights with the police, two escapes from federal prisons and two years on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List; all done in the name of supporting the struggles of the American worker for justice. In the end it came to nothing.

In January of 1976, he was shot and captured during a bank robbery; in March, he escaped.

In 1978, after two years on the run, robbing banks and organizing property bombings, John was captured by the FBI, tried, convicted, and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

In March of 1979, he escaped again from the federal prison where he was serving his sentence. In April of 1981, after two years on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list, he was finally captured for the last time and returned to prison.

In June of 1994, in the fifteenth year of his imprisonment, the American spiritual teacher Gangaji came to the prison where John was serving his sentence. John found himself face to face with her and, in that meeting, discovered himself to be eternally and unconditionally free. He spent more than a year in the fully open awareness of spiritual awakening, which collapsed suddenly, leaving him bereft.

John spent the rest of his time in prison trying to find something that he could do that would bring him back to the state of indifference and apathy that he had enjoyed prior to meeting Gangaji and being taken by the false promise of freedom. This effort unexpectedly brought him to true freedom by means of an extremely simple act of attention.

Three and a half years later, in 1998, he was released on parole.

Upon his release, John moved to Boulder, Colorado.

Carla was born in 1961 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She was awarded a Master of Arts degree from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) and she taught French and French Literature at her alma mater and at the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ). She worked many years as a translator and interpreter. In 1997, Carla was a doctoral candidate at UFRJ, preparing a thesis on French author Philippe Sollers, when she came to the United States during the summer break to attend a silent retreat with Gangaji. That was her very first experience with a spiritual meeting and on the third day she had an overwhelming experience of awakening. She went back to Rio for a few months and then came back, this time to Boulder, Colorado. In Boulder, Carla met John. She went back to Brazil after a couple of months.

A few months later, in January 1999, she came back to the US, this time to California, where she ran into John again. He was working at the Gangaji Foundation, where Carla was a volunteer.

By then, after a year and a half of spiritual awakening, everything fell apart, and she felt completely lost. She started looking for a way to gain back the experience of the oneness of all being. This effort led her to look at herself, although she did not know it at the time. This was the beginning of a process that eventually brought her to true freedom.

John and Carla were married in June of 1999, in San Rafael, California. In 2001, John and Carla moved to Ojai, California, where they live with their cat, Switters. Carla became an American citizen in February of 2007 and, in August of 2007, John was released from parole.

Since 1999, John and Carla meet with people from all walks of life to speak about the fear of life, which is what spoils human life, how that comes to pass, what gives rise to it in the first place, how it manifests in the life in general, and what every person can do to be free of it once and for all. In these meetings, John speaks from his experience, listens to reports, and answers questions. Carla organizes the meetings and takes care of everything else.

More information about the Just One Look Method.

More about John's life story.

A Brief History of Our Work.

If you are interested in inviting John to speak in your area, please send us email.

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