The Power of Attention, Part Three

Recovering from Fear

During the recovery period, certain situations may trigger the appearance of fear-generated thoughts in the mind. Old patterns of reaction to circumstance may reappear and catch you by surprise. You need not be discouraged. These are merely old soldiers of fear trying desperately to keep their grip on your mind. They are just trying to protect you based on the false idea that you need protection from life itself.

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What Makes our Work Different

Someone recently sent us an email with a question that we found very useful.

First of all, I would like to say “Thank you” with great sincerity and deep gratitude. I enjoy listening to your talks due to your sincerity, honesty and, above all, your simplicity. I would like to ask you one question and I hope you can find the time to answer. It would be much appreciated. 

Many years ago, I came across Nisargadatta Maharaj’s book I Am That and although I couldn’t understand most of it, certain parts spoke to me. If you will bear with me, I would like to give two quotes that really struck home:

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Podcast Episode 28: Self-Directed Attention Unbound

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.

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Podcast Episode 27: You Have to Do It

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.

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Expectations

Expectations come in at least two flavors. The first flavor is a reasonable expectation as to what might happen in the course of our day-to-day life. For example, if I plant a garden, I will have the reasonable expectation that, barring bad weather or unforeseen damage by pests, in due time I will have the fruits of my labor in the form of fresh fruits and vegetables. If I place an order for something at Amazon, I will have the reasonable expectation that, in due time, a package will arrive at my door. If I work for wages, I will have the reasonable expectation that on payday I will have money.

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Podcast Episode 23: Are You in Recovery?

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.

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First Do No Harm

If you have done the Looking, mastered Self-Directed Attention, and have begun to see the value of Just One Look in your own life, there is often a natural impulse to describe to your friends what you have found. If that’s the case with you, STOP!

I beg you to stop because, unless you fully comprehend the true nature of what has happened in your own mind, you will almost always sow confusion and helplessness where you wanted to plant understanding and self-reliance.

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Why Practice Self-Directed Attention?

The Just One Look Method is a two-part process. Those two parts are the act of Looking at Yourself and the Self-Directed Attention Exercise.

The act of Looking at Yourself resets the mind and triggers a period of recovery in which the mind restructures itself, in a context that is no longer based on the fear of life itself. For the process to start, just one look is enough.

The second part, the practice of Self-Directed Attention, is fundamental in the recovery.

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Podcast Episode 11: The Importance of Self-Directed Attention

In today’s episode, John Sherman speaks about the importance of starting a practice of Self-Directed Attention as soon as possible. He explains how it is extremely helpful during the recovery period and how it allows you to play an active role in the healing of your mind.

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Podcast Episode 10: An Interview with John Sherman

In today’s episode, John Sherman is interviewed by Nurit Oren (Hungary). John talks about how he arrived at his method for ridding oneself of the fear of life. He shows how to perform the act of looking at yourself and explains the practice of self-directed attention. The interview was recorded on April 20, 2016.

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