Once you learn to control of the beam of your attention and take control of your mind, everything in your relationship with your life changes forever.
This exercise is also the preparation to actually look at yourself, which is the first step in Just One Look Method.
Practicing Self-Directed Attention can be very hard to for anyone to master, but only because we are not used to it. For most of the time before we learn of this work, most of us don't even know that we can control our attention. It can seem for most that attention has a mind of its own. But we promise that you can do it. And we promise that you will rejoice when you find yourself to be the master of your own mind.
So now, sit down, close your eyes, and just focus on the sensation of the air as it passes in and out of your nose. Spend some time, ten minutes maybe, just trying to get a feel of it. You may want to do just that the first time.
Next time, try counting the out-breaths. Every time the air goes out of your nose, count it silently in your mind. With the first out-breath, say to yourself silently: 1; with the second out-breath: 2. Until you get to 10.
Now, truth be told, you may not be able to get beyond 1 or 2 without getting distracted by your thoughts. For instance, you may find yourself thinking that this exercise is stupid and you'll never going to get it. Or that it is too easy, and what's the point anyway?
Even more likely, you may find that your attention has been hijacked by a crowd of thought forms that have swallowed up your intention.
When you notice that you are following something other than the feel of your warm breath as you breathe out and your cool breath as you breathe in, you are no longer doing the exercise. Stop immediately. Don't criticize yourself, don't tell yourself you can't do it, etc. Stop right then and there and immediately direct your attention to your breath and start counting again from 1. No judgment.
The goal here is not to get to 10. The goal is to notice when you have moved away from the focus point (the breath) and then choose deliberately to move your attention back to the sensation of the breath in your nostrils, and start again from 1. It is this conscious, deliberate movement to start again that counts.
Take at least 10 minutes a day to do this exercise, perhaps when you wake up or before you go to sleep. Or both. Set up a timer so you know when the time is over.
You may find yourself starting over and over from 1 for a considerable while. This is completely normal. Don't push yourself too hard. Be patient with yourself. This can seem unbelievably hard to do in the beginning. But as it becomes easier, you will be able to count up to 10, and you will do it more often. It won't take long before you start to see the real benefit of this exercise in your life.
Do this for a week or so. When you feel confident that you have acquired some control over your attention, move on to Step One.
In the same way that you directed your attention to the feeling of your breath as it passed through your nostrils, now direct the focus of your 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 or the emotions that rise and fall within you or any ideas about your nature that you have heard or read about.
This simple act of inward looking at your me-ness, the sensation that you would call me, automatically and instantaneously dissolves the background of anxiety, distrust, and dissatisfaction that is the experience of life for most of us.
If it's done right, just one look is really enough. But since this is an uncommon movement of attention and we are not used to making it, it may be hard to tell if you have done it right or not. We advise you to continue trying to get a taste of your me‑ness whenever you feel the desire to do so. Do it until you're satisfied. This will not harm you and it can actually provide some relief. It's a safe place to put your attention.
In time, as you begin to see the changes unfold in your mind, you will simply lose interest in doing the act of looking at yourself, since in fact you are here all the time.
After that first look at yourself, you may experience relief, lightness, and a sense that all is going really well for a few days, weeks, or even months. After that, there may be a period of psychological confusion, and old patterns of thought and behavior may reappear.
Just pay them no mind and they will die of starvation. They live on the energy of your attention and nothing more.
We think of this time of confusion as the recovery from a psychological autoimmune disease, and this recovery can be truly miserable. But when the confusion clears out, you will never regret that you did this.
The best way to get through the difficult time of recovery is to continue your daily practice of the Self-Directed Attention Exercise. This practice will help you strengthen your control over what you pay attention to and will help you develop true human self-reliance.
After some time of practice, if you pay attention, you will begin to notice that there is a slight space between you and your thoughts and feeling states. Just enough space for you to see them for what they are.
They are all mere thoughts. They are not you. You can look at them, or not, and you can decline to give your attention to them.
As you can see, the instructions are very simple. If you can forget everything you know for a while and focus on simply following the instructions, you will be fine. But even the simplest instructions can be misunderstood because of the previous ideas and concepts that we all carry around with us.
You can find help and support from John Sherman himself by joining him online every Tuesday and Wednesday, by having a private session with John, and by posting your questions in the Just One Look Forum. If you are not sure you were able to follow the instructions, please don't hesitate to ask for help.
More than anything else we want you to be free of fear and its misery as soon as possible, and we will do all we can to leave no one behind.
Our new ebook contains 125 reports from people all over the world who have used the Just One Look Method to eliminate the foundation of fear that is at the bottom of the mind for most of us, and are experiencing life in a brand new, previously unsuspected way. Download your ebook today.