We had a conversation in our teleclass of when turnarounds seems to work and not work for us.
For me, inquiry seems to work best when I follow the simple directions. (Do inquiry with a specific situation in mind. Use it as meditation. Turn around the turnaround to the opposite, self, other. Find three or more examples of how each turnaround is equally or more true.)
If I am quite free with the form of inquiry, it may still be interesting. And yet, it may also be a way “out” for the mind from the “chess mate” The Work sets up, a way for the mind to stay within familiar patterns.
In general, I find there is a freedom in discipline and in following the simple directions. When I follow the form in Breema, my attention is free to work with the principles of Breema (body comfortable, no extra etc.) When I follow the form in a meditation retreat, attention is free to go to the practice (stability, inquiry, whatever it may be). When I follow the form in The Work, attention is free to go what surfaces from the simple questions. If something creative comes up, I can make a note of it and look at it later.
There is, of course, no inherently “wrong” way to do this or anything else, and I can find many benefits from straying from the simple directions (I may feel I am not ready to see what I may see, it may get me to appreciate following the simple directions, I may discover something I wouldn’t otherwise). At the same time, I want to explore The Work and I do that by following the simple directions. And I find many benefits of staying with the simple directions. It’s where my mind – with its familiar confused patterns – may come to “chess mate”. Its where it can find clarity.
– discipline, follow the simple directions
– can make note of what comes up and look at it later
– kindness, stick with inquiry, see what’s there – truth is what’s kind
– if too lax, too much leeway, becomes a way out for the mind, a way for it to stay stuck (stay in familiar patterns)
– inquiry, not about feeling better, it’s about truth, what’s there
– (turnarounds, not there to make me feel better)
– if I stray and someone sees it, i want them to tell me
– Christ with a sword, full dedication to truth, because that’s most kind