John Sherman - Just One Look

Matt123
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Re: John Sherman - Just One Look

Post by Matt123 » Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:48 am

Hi All,

One of my uncles has been a lifelong follower of Ramana and it was from him that I first heard the word "Advaita". For him, Advaita is life and after a lifelong practice, he has progressed far in his journey. And like a true "free" man, he does not talk not about his experiences but stays in his own peaceful world, enjoying the bliss even when there are visitors to his house. The reason I bring this up here, is because I mentioned JS to him and briefly described his technique. (Unless asked , he does not believe in thrusting knowledge on anyone). His feedback was a bit different. According to him, there have been many such "neo-advaitists" in the past. They are all good, just like a any physical exercise or Yoga. But they stick to the core or the egg-yolk or the main essence only. But true advaita is built not just on practices but also it is a combination of practices + knowledge + charity work + a bit of religion. His belief is it is this combination which is a true "spiritual path". And when you hit a real crises, like someone close passing away or something like that, the techniques dont always work. Even knowledge might only just about work. But if you have a combination of all of these (religion could just be a simple prayer to the oneness or cosmos etc)....your recovery from the blow is quicker. His advise is to follow the old and traditional advaita because this has been tried and tested and has worked for centuries and prescribed in books like the Bhagad Gita etc.

Feedback anyone....?

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Onceler
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Re: John Sherman - Just One Look

Post by Onceler » Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:19 pm

Do both. Sherman's looking technique takes no more than a second and does not exclude anything. It requires no belief or lifestyle. I have found it enriches and potentiates any practice I've engaged in. Then you ask yourself, what is working here? The looking or my other beliefs and practices?

You'll know at some point.
Be present, be pleasant.

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Re: John Sherman - Just One Look

Post by karmarider » Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:33 pm

In my view Sherman's looking is equivalent to Ramana's suggestion to look at "who am I."

runstrails
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Re: John Sherman - Just One Look

Post by runstrails » Mon Jul 29, 2013 4:28 pm

Hey Matt,
Regarding Advaita you might find James Schwartz' website and book helpful for traditional advaita.
http://www.shiningworld.com/top/
He presents advaita in a traditional but easy to access way for westerners. And your uncle is right, the true test of all spirituality is when you are in a crisis.
All the best and keep us posted.

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Onceler
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Re: John Sherman - Just One Look

Post by Onceler » Tue Jul 30, 2013 2:20 pm

runstrails wrote:H And your uncle is right, the true test of all spirituality is when you are in a crisis.
So true. And the test of a teacher and a teaching.
Be present, be pleasant.

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ashley72
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Re: John Sherman - Just One Look

Post by ashley72 » Tue Jul 30, 2013 8:49 pm

I believe Sherman's technique is beneficial to sufferers who may be stuck in an undesirable self-conscious pattern. Whereby we have started to objectify our normally unconscious behaviours.

Iain McGilchrist seems to think "self consciousness" arises when the left hemisphere's, narrowly focussed attention, starts to focus on the right hemispheres normally unconscious processes.
The idea that self-consciousness, in the sense of being aware of ourselves doing or being something, is the left hemisphere inspecting the right is supported by a number of observations. The attentional ‘spotlight’, as we have seen, is a function of the left hemisphere. The casualties in self-consciousness are all right-hemisphere-based, social or empathic skills ~ Iain McGilchrist
The nature of attention alters what it finds; and specifically that when we cease to act, to be involved, spontaneous and intuitive, and instead become passive, disengaged, self-conscious, and stare in an ‘objective’ fashion at the world around us, it becomes bizarre, alien, frightening.~ Iain McGilchrist
Have others noticed, that all spiritual practices, including Ramana's, involve manipulating one's spotlight attention in some manner. Either towards stillness, the present moment, or the inner body?

Another prescribed cure for undesirable self-conscious behaviour is to maintain your spotlight attention to the task at hand, be it gardening, washing the dishes or whatever. The point is, to stop putting the spotlight of attention on normally unconscious behaviours. This flipping of the spotlight attention from normal conscious behaviours (attending to the garden) as opposed to attending to ones unconscious self-behaviours is akin to a gestalt reconfiguring, or flipping around of the figure and ground.

For me the flipping of this occurs when I am resisting or not accepting the situation. In other words, the more I resist, the more unconscious behaviours become conscious to my spotlight attention. This creates an artificial & awkwardness to our social interactions.
It is only when there is some kind of resistance that one becomes aware of the self, ‘not as an object but as that which is obtruded upon by some kind of recalcitrant reality’.This is as if things become, in Heidegger's terms, vorhanden, separate from us, and we feel ourselves separate from them. ~ Iain McGilchrist
I come into being as a self through the experience of resistance, as a lake is bounded by the shore which makes it a lake. These associations with opacity and Vorhandenheit again suggest that the self-conscious self emerges only when the focus of left-hemisphere attention is brought to bear on the right-hemisphere world. ~ Iain McGilchrist
In other words, the spotlight attention operates best when directed or focussed towards the task at hand i.e objectifying other. In this way our social behaviours can maintain social cooperation with other. Rather than undesirably the other way around, objectifying our social behaviours and creating alienation between other.

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Re: John Sherman - Just One Look

Post by treasuretheday » Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:27 pm

The true test of all spirituality is when you are in a crisis

"The obstacle is the path," says the Zen proverb.

Does anything break through ego consciousness like a crisis, offer a better opportunity for growth? Often, a Dark Night of the Soul is not "test time," but rather, an intensive "crash course!" If we don't respond with bitterness and fear, the Divine will work through the window the wound in our heart creates, and we are initiated into essential truth in direct and powerful ways.

The Divine searches for us with far greater intensity than we search for it. Muhammed taught, "Take one step toward God and God will take one hundred steps toward you." At a time of crisis, moved by pain and a deep sense of vulnerability, we may take that step.
Life itself is the proper binge.
-Julia Child

ihavemorethanenough
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Re: John Sherman - Just One Look

Post by ihavemorethanenough » Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:54 pm

There's some good stuff in here.

Where did he say that, treasure?

ashley,
is it possible to achieve this immersion in the task at hand when our attention goes where it likes? Is there sense in practicing one pointedness in meditation, through a passage, for instance, in order to get control of our attention and place it where we want, and be able to use this one-pointedness in our daily life?

or is it better to practice 'true meditation' (according to adyashanti) and allow everything as it is?

or have both but at different times?

Onceler, (IMO) looking at oneself is possible when being present and perhaps the other way around too; how can they be different?

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treasuretheday
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Re: John Sherman - Just One Look

Post by treasuretheday » Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:57 am

Ihavemorethanenough, found that quote, attributable to Muhammed, in an excellent book called, Growing Into God: A Beginner's Guide to Christian Mysticism By John Mabry. Among other things, this book offers an introductory discussion of the Dark Night of the Soul (or Senses) as experienced and written about by St. John of the Cross.
Life itself is the proper binge.
-Julia Child

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Onceler
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Re: John Sherman - Just One Look

Post by Onceler » Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:04 am

ihavemorethanenough wrote:
Onceler, (IMO) looking at oneself is possible when being present and perhaps the other way around too; how can they be different?
They may not be.....I'm no authority on this. I just try to avoid abstract terms like 'presence'. Not sure what it means. But as Ashley stated nicely, one has to turn the spotlight of attention inward, toward oneself, whatever you may call it.
Be present, be pleasant.

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Re: John Sherman - Just One Look

Post by ihavemorethanenough » Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:45 am

treasuretheday wrote:Ihavemorethanenough, found that quote, attributable to Muhammed, in an excellent book called, Growing Into God: A Beginner's Guide to Christian Mysticism By John Mabry. Among other things, this book offers an introductory discussion of the Dark Night of the Soul (or Senses) as experienced and written about by St. John of the Cross.
Thank you, treasuretheday.



Onceler wrote:They may not be.....I'm no authority on this. I just try to avoid abstract terms like 'presence'. Not sure what it means. But as Ashley stated nicely, one has to turn the spotlight of attention inward, toward oneself, whatever you may call it.
OK, I don't want to use the vagueness of 'presence' somewhere else, but here, I reckon you've read ET and what he talks about; being present means giving all your attention to whatever it is you're doing, so for instance getting that feel of 'you'. Would you be able to get that feeling of what it means to be you if you're trying to set up a satellite dish?

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Re: John Sherman - Just One Look

Post by runstrails » Wed Jul 31, 2013 2:56 am

Treasuretheday wrote:
Does anything break through ego consciousness like a crisis, offer a better opportunity for growth? Often, a Dark Night of the Soul is not "test time," but rather, an intensive "crash course!"
Nice post, Treasure. So true that a crisis is not only a test of spirituality but also a call to spirituality for the uninitiated.

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Onceler
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Re: John Sherman - Just One Look

Post by Onceler » Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:41 am

ihavemorethanenough wrote:
Onceler wrote:They may not be.....I'm no authority on this. I just try to avoid abstract terms like 'presence'. Not sure what it means. But as Ashley stated nicely, one has to turn the spotlight of attention inward, toward oneself, whatever you may call it.
OK, I don't want to use the vagueness of 'presence' somewhere else, but here, I reckon you've read ET and what he talks about; being present means giving all your attention to whatever it is you're doing, so for instance getting that feel of 'you'. Would you be able to get that feeling of what it means to be you if you're trying to set up a satellite dish?
Yes, i would say the looking is intense presence. But I can't maintain this outside of a brief time (trying to do so makes me very anxious and stressed!). On the other hand I feel aware and sentient all the time, which disappears if I try to be present. Typically, I feel a natural presence and awareness that would be there as I focused on installing that satellite dish.

I believe Sherman would say that trying to be present outside of the looking, doesn't take away the fear, but that the looking will make you more present over time.
Be present, be pleasant.

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Re: John Sherman - Just One Look

Post by ihavemorethanenough » Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:07 am

Onceler wrote:Yes, i would say the looking is intense presence. But I can't maintain this outside of a brief time (trying to do so makes me very anxious and stressed!). On the other hand I feel aware and sentient all the time, which disappears if I try to be present. Typically, I feel a natural presence and awareness that would be there as I focused on installing that satellite dish.

I believe Sherman would say that trying to be present outside of the looking, doesn't take away the fear, but that the looking will make you more present over time.
I think that the looking and installation of the satellite dish can happen in the state of presence but I don't believe that the dish can be installed properly while your attention is turned to youself, unless you don't mind a bad installation.

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Onceler
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Re: John Sherman - Just One Look

Post by Onceler » Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:16 pm

ihavemorethanenough wrote:
I think that the looking and installation of the satellite dish can happen in the state of presence but I don't believe that the dish can be installed properly while your attention is turned to youself, unless you don't mind a bad installation.
Right! Lets just blow up the TV and get it over with!
Be present, be pleasant.

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