Well it took me a lot longer than I expected, but it was
worth spending the extra time on it so that folks will have a pleasant and easy
time reading it, and find John's guidance and direction unmistakably
clear. All that insured, what gives this teaching such immense value is
that John clearly shows how direct experience of one's being can only be
approached through fully being whatever one may at any time happen to be
feeling, no matter how much those feelings may be thought to be bad or
unfortunate. Here it is:
I don’t suggest that we find our
"true self," our "higher self," our "God self," our "Buddha self," or our
"eternal, radiant self," but just find our self. Just the experience of being
that is me. Just innocently, nakedly, like a beginner, find
yourself. Find this present experience that is me, that always has been
me, that has never moved, never changed, and see what it is. Just that,
see what it is—directly, immediately, without the stories, without the spiritual
Just stop for a second, and look for yourself.
And what is that? What is yourself? It’s very simple. It’s
whatever experience is present that you are referring to when you say
"me." If we do this whenever it occurs to us, it will clear everything up,
and put an end to the show, and in a most mysterious way it will enable us to
see that we have always been free, alive, eternal awareness. It doesn't
produce any new understandings, but it reveals what is already here, what we
have always been looking for; and our needy, grasping, searching comes to an
It is not only all that is required, but it is really the
only thing that will work. All that will bring you home is to discover
what home is. And that is you, just as you are.
could be more accessible than the truth of what I am?
We’ve all been exposed
to teachings about "what I am," such as "I am infinite, eternal, radiant
consciousness. " But those teachings are just stories we use to
torment ourselves as we try to become the truth. You cannot be anything but what
is already here, what is actually present here. It can't be a story about
it. We’re so concerned about my happiness, my peace, my torment, my
confusion, my understanding, my love and my hate. But none of that is me
at all, it’s all just stuff about me. Our habit is to look into the things
that are about me, instead directly at me. It is really easy, the truth is
easy. Truth is here. It is inescapable. It is
unmistakable. It is obvious. It is simple. It is being.
It is you.
Student: I am perplexed.
okay, perplexity is not a problem. Perplexity, confusion, none of that is
a problem. It is only a problem if you’re convinced that perplexity means
something about me. It is a feeling, right? Instead of paying
attention to the notion that this feeling is perplexity, feel directly the
sensation that’s been pinned with that name. It’s easy. Is that
sensation not here? If you will feel whatever is here any time it occurs
to you to do so, that is all that needs to be done. You don't have to
worry about clearing up confusion or imperfection or self-hatred or
greediness. All you have to do is feel what is here every chance you get,
and let the devil worry about the rest of it. Just sink into whatever is
here. Meet whatever is here. Sit in whatever is
Student: What if what’s arising is a bad feeling?
What I am telling you to do is to find out directly what that bad
feeling is. When you believe you’re feeling something that is bad, instead
of trying to deny it or ignore it or control it or get rid of it, do this: find
out what it really is, immediately, directly. Go into it, let it have its
way with you. Sit in this bad feeling, without an agenda. Find out
directly what these feelings really are that are not welcome. Before we
kill them off, we need to meet them; we need to find out what they really
are. When the bad feeling comes the hundredth time, just say to yourself,
"Wait! This is that bad feeling. Let's see what this really
is." That is all that is required. That will do the work. The
so called "bad feeling" will do the work. You just have to sit in it.
Student: Ok, well last night, as I was trying to fall
asleep, as usual I started to feel worry and fear. I just continue to keep
feeling worry and fear, and it’s really awful.
That is your
interpretation of it. "This is worry and fear and it really sucks."
If you just forget that it is worry and fear, and instead, really, really feel
Student: Well, then it feels like an energy that is very
That's right. And what you are called upon to do is
just to fall back into that strong energy with your eyes wide open, and see what
it is. See where it ends, see where it comes from, forgetting momentarily the
notion that it is a "bad feeling." A so-called bad feeling is
actually simply a feeling.
about this energy are simply interpretations of it. And any interpretation
applied to what is present is always going to be wrong, because it is always
just a theory. The notion that it is a bad feeling is just a theory, an
interpretation. A feeling is just the life force. It is not what we think
The work is done in meeting whatever is here, and
everything else can be left in the hands of what is met here. All you have
to do is, every time it occurs to you, feel what is present directly, like a
Student: Well I’ve been trying to do just that.
But I end up doing all of these things to distract myself from just going into
the feelings. I put up obstacles every time a feeling comes up. I have
this idea that diving into my feelings takes time, that it is not a simple
process. And when I do it what happens is that I go deeper and deeper, and
there are all these different levels, and I end up feeling like I have to
Forget all of that, forget all the levels, and forget
all the deeper and deeper. Those are incorrect and confusing ways of
talking about something that really can't be talked about.
Student: Well what am I supposed to be
Never mind what you are supposed to be
experiencing. You are here, are you not? Then what could be simpler
than to look and see what you are? All that is asked of you is to feel
what it is to be you.
Student: So, what you are saying is to
feel your presence and let life happen around you.
Except all of
this is not happening around you but within you, as you; and this is really
important to see. Everything that is happening now, here, in this moment,
everything that is occurring, is all the result of past action. It’s all
the outcome and consequence of past action. If you get entangled in the
story, that then is an action that causes even more misery in the future.
So the best thing you can do is to stop all of your doing, to stop trying to fix
things. Pay no attention to your thoughts about what is arising, and allow
yourself to nakedly feel what is actually arising. Everything will
continue, your personality will continue, but when you no longer entangle
yourself with it, you no longer will be causing trouble for the future.
The personality that is no longer afflicted by my involvement in it becomes
softer. The knots loosen, the behaviors become more
Student: Then we’re to do nothing? Is that
what you are saying?
If you can do nothing, please do so.
Once I am no longer aggressively trying to fix myself in order that I can
aggressively try to fix everything else, everything will be okay. The
truth is easy, it never changes, it is unmistakable, it’s obvious, it’s here,
it’s being, it’s you.
© 2005 John Sherman. All rights
An excellent one hour and fifteen minute recording
of one of John's Teachings can be found at this link, and can be played or
downloaded at no charge: http://bengilberti.
Sherman's website is http://www.rivergan
[Non-text portions of this message have been