Looking is what we do naturally when we focus our attention on anything present in our consciousness. You can notice that right now, for example, your attention is focused mostly on this text, more or less ignoring everything else.
First, move the focus of your attention away from this text for a moment and place it on the feel of your breath as it moves in and out of your body through your nose.
Focus on the sensation it causes as it passes across the flesh of your nostrils on the way out. You may find it easier to do this with your eyes closed.
Breathe in. Breathe out. When the outbreath ends, count silently to yourself: 1.
Breathe in. Breathe out. When the outbreath ends, count silently to yourself: 2.
Continue counting each outbreath in this way, until you reach 10, and then start over at 1. If you lose count, just do the same thing: start over at 1.
Take one minute now to try this for yourself, and then return here and continue reading.
You can see from what you just did that it's relatively easy to move your attention and focus it on any sensation you choose.
Now, in the same way that you moved the focus of your attention to your breath, move the focus of attention inward, looking for the faint sensation of what it feels like to be you. What you would call 'me'.
What you are looking for here is the simple me-ness of you. Not the thoughts that pass through you, or the emotions that play within you, or the sensations that rise and fall within you. You are that which is always here. Everything else—thought, emotion, sensation—comes and goes in you.
Nothing more needs to be done now. This simple act of inward looking will automatically dissolve the background of anxiety, distrust and dissatisfaction that is the experience of life for most of us.
There is no need to try and stay there, or rest in yourself there. The moment of looking is very brief—so brief that you will hardly notice it.
You can do this simple act of looking at yourself in whatever manner works for you, whenever it occurs to you to do so.
In time, your relationship with your life will change. Things that used to drive you crazy won't have the same effect on you anymore. Patterns of neurotic behavior and self-destructive reactions will be replaced by more positive, non-destructive ones.
The distance between you and your life will disappear and a new kind of intimacy with your life will slowly begin to emerge.
Too simple, too good to be true? It might seem so, but thousands of people all over the world have already experienced the power of this simple act to transform their relationship with life from one of alienation, distrust and fear to the full, natural immersion in its endless wonder.
The purpose of all of our work is to bring this simple act of moving attention and its consequences to everybody who is tired of feeling that their life isn't worth living, tired of feeling that they are trapped in a world that they don't understand and can't deal with, tired of feeling that there is something missing, tired of feeling that the way to be effective in life is to be found among the many failures we have come upon in all the years that we have been suffering from this disease of fearfulness, alienation, and anxiety.
Click here for an alternative approach to the act of looking at youself: A Childhood Memory