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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The Difference Between Self-Directed Attention and Mindfulness Meditation

Today I’m going to make one more attempt to answer questions about the similarity between what we call Self-Directed Attention and Buddhist Mindfulness Meditation. I can understand why there would be some confusion about the apparent similarity of the two practices, but they are actually diametrically opposite to each other.

When I speak of Mindfulness Meditation, I am referring to the practice that originated from Tibetan Buddhism. What I say here may apply to other versions of Buddhism, but I have personal experience with Tibetan Buddhism and I understand the outlook and the purpose of their practices, so that’s what I can speak about.

I am going to try to state as clearly as I can what the purpose of Tibetan Buddhist Mindfulness Meditation is, and then compare that purpose with the purpose of the practice that we call Self-Directed Attention. And from now on, I’m going to say just Buddhism.

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The Power of Attention

Last weekend we conducted a webinar on the practice of self-directed attention which we teach to provide critical support when the results of the act of the inward looking begin to unfold in your mind.

In the opening of that webinar, I tried to convey insights and understandings that I felt would be useful.

I started out by answering five common questions about the looking and its results:

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Coming Clean

Coming clean: “To admit something to someone.” McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions

The root cause of all human psychological misery is the fear of life itself that strikes most of us at or near birth, and sets the context in which our psychology develops over time. It is useful to speak of the fear and its effects as a kind of psychological autoimmune disease that is subject to therapeutic intervention. There is no one to blame for our misery, least of all ourselves.

The simple act of looking at yourself with your mind’s eye will reliably destroy that context of fearfulness and its diseased psychological mechanisms. We have seen for ourselves that when that happens, the mind naturally begins to restore itself from a foundation of sanity and self-reliance.

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