It is said that before entering the sea a river trembles with fear.
She looks back at the path she has traveled, from the peaks of the mountains, the long winding road crossing forests and villages. And in front of her, she sees an ocean so vast, that to enter there seems nothing more than to disappear forever. But there is no other way. The river cannot go back. Nobody can go back. To go back is impossible in existence. The river needs to take the risk of entering the ocean because only then will fear disappear, because that’s where the river will know it’s not about disappearing into the ocean, but of becoming the ocean.
John Sherman left his body and became the ocean on September 29, 2021. He was 79 years old.
Today I would like to share with you the recording of the Celebration of Life Memorial Service we had here in Ojai on November 20, 2021. There will be an online gathering to celebrate John’s life. The date is not defined yet. The link to the online meeting will be in a special issue of our newsletter.
A Meeting with John Sherman in Ojai, California on April l4, 2007.
Ramana Maharshi was born in 1879 and when he died, on April 14, 1950, he was 71 years old. Ramana brought to us an incredible, simple insight. Many saw him as a saint, an ethereal being who somehow came down from heaven to transmit and bestow upon us the experience of silence, peace and the vastness of being. But, as far as I know, this is not the way Ramana saw himself.
A Meeting with John Sherman in Boulder, Colorado on June 28, 2007
There really is a problem, a shortcoming, a sense of a false promise that afflicts us as human beings and, no matter what practices we engage in, this sense of life as a false promise, of things falling short, remains in the background.
A Meeting with John Sherman in Ojai, California on July 14, 2007.
The meditation that I speak of is the very simple meditation practice that I received from the Buddhists, I think it is called Shamata meditation. And it is just a matter of watching your breath. You sit comfortably, close your eyes, and watch your breath as it comes in and out of your nostrils. What you are after is to get a one-pointed, attentive experience of this physical sensation.
In this episode, we discuss how the search for enlightenment or self-realization is a search for an escape from life and its difficulties. The longing for awakening is actually a desire to go to sleep, to escape from the reality of your own mortality. What is possible is to free yourself of that which keeps you searching for an escape from ordinary life into an imaginary state where everything is perfectly safe and unchanging.
In this episode, we discuss how your thoughts are yours to understand and to use, but they are not you. If you have negative thoughts about a present situation and there is something you can do to change it, you are free to follow those thoughts and use them to solve the problem. But if there is nothing you can do in the moment, it is safe to ignore those thoughts and put your attention on the sensation of the breath.
In this episode, we discuss the real purpose of the Self-Directed Attention Exercise, which is to develop your control over your attention. And we explain how simple and strict the practice is and how its full benefits are missed when you try to use it to make yourself feel good, to quiet your mind, or anything else like that.
In this episode, John Sherman talks about how the act of Looking at Yourself eliminates the root cause of your mental difficulties, but it may take years for the soldiers of fear to disappear. By doing the Self-Directed Attention Exercise regularly you can accelerate your recovery and gain a clear understanding of how your mind works.
In this episode, John Sherman explains the origins of The Just One Look Method and how it brings you the practical essence of the Self-Inquiry of Ramana Maharshi, clear of all spiritual references and ideas.
In this episode, John Sherman speaks about how when you do the act of looking at yourself, you enter the period of recovery but most likely you won’t even know that you are in recovery. But if you start paying attention to how you relate to circumstances, you will begin to notice subtle differences in your behavior.
In this episode, John Sherman reveals the actual nature of Ramana Maharshi’s Self-Inquiry, which is to get a taste of what it feels like to be you, and he explains what that inward movement of attention accomplishes.