Inquiry is an invitation to notice what’s here, and really an invitation for what’s here to notice itself.
Inquiry is also an antidote to, or medicine for, a fixed (stressful, uncomfortable) view, one that’s out of alignment with reality.
It can be applied in a formal way, following a method or system, and this can be very helpful – especially in the beginning, and also when looking at more dense beliefs.
And it can happen in a more fluid and spontaneous way. The more formal systems are really just a reflection of how the mind works when it is more fluid.
Depending on what may be most helpful, here are some things that may be noticed in a more spontaneous and fluid inquiry:
What’s here – what may initially appear dense, solid, real – is awakeness itself.
Is it true this, what appears so dense, is not awareness? That it’s not awakeness?
This image is an image, this thought is a thought, this emotion is an emotion, this sensation is a sensation.
What’s here in images? (What’s the image component of this deficient self?) Do you see it’s an image?
What’s here in…. thoughts, emotions, sensations. Do you notice it’s a thought, emotion, sensation?
Images and thoughts are innocent questions about the world. They may be more or less true in a conventional sense, and yet not in any real or more absolute sense.
Is this (stressful) image true? Is this (stressful) thought true?
Can I know for certain it’s true?
There is validity in each of the reversals of this image or thought held as true.
What image or thought is held as true? What’s the stressful image or thought? What’s one of it’s reversals? Can you find specific, real examples of how the reversal is equally or more valid?
What I am, fundamentally, as that which doesn’t come and go, is not this content of experience – this image, thought, emotion, sensation.
What’s the image component of what’s here? Is this image what you fundamentally are?
What’s the thought, emotion, sensation that’s here? Is this thought, emotion, sensation what you really are, as what doesn’t come and go?
What I am seeking is often something more basic than what I initially think I am seeking, and I can find it here now.
What am I seeking, wish for, need, want, addicted to?
What do I hope to get out of it? What am I really seeking?
How does it feel to have it? How does it feel in the body?
Can I find it here now? Can I find it here next time this seeking surfaces?
Is it true that what I am seeking is not already here? (More simply.)
What’s here is already allowed, and it can be consciously welcomed or not.
Is it true that what’s here is not already allowed?
How is it to intentionally welcome it? What resistant images and thoughts come up?
By feeling what’s here, it may reveal itself to me. And by feeling what’s revealed, I allow it to work on me and realign me.
How is it to feel what’s here? To take it in? To feel it in my body?
If there is a contraction, where in the body is it the densest? How is it to feel it?
When I find something in inquiry, how is it to feel it in my body? How is it to take it in?
If something feels overwhelming, it’s because of an image or thought held as true.
Is it true it’s too much? Is it true I can’t take it? Is it true it’s overwhelming?
Most images and thoughts rest on assumptions. By identifying and inquiring into these, the basis of these secondary images and thoughts fall away.
She doesn’t like me, and that means…. She will talk about me behind my back. She will turn others against me. She will leave me. I will be alone. I will suffer.
She doesn’t like me, because…. There is something wrong with me. I am awkward. I am unlikable. I am unlovable.
Unless I take a close look at what I fear the most, these fears will continue to run in my life, and run my life.
What I fear the most is…..
What I fear the most about [death, life, relationship, health, money] is….
When a thought says I am confused, ambivalent, don’t know what to do, I find I often do know what to do. When a thought says I don’t know why it happened, I find I often do know more than I admit to myself.
What do I know that I don’t want to know?
I often see or recognize something, and don’t take it in. It stays mental, or briefly touched upon, and I don’t allow myself to realign with it.
When I see or recognize something, how is it to feel it in my body? How is it to take time to let it sink in?
What am I afraid would happen if I let it inform my life? If I lived it?
Time and space only occur in my images and thoughts, and they allow for the appearance of a separate me or I existing within time and space.
If I close my eyes, where do I find time? Can I find time outside of my images of time? Can I see how past, future, and present, and it’s content, are all images?
If I close my eyes, where do I find space? Can I find space outside of my images of it? Can I see how space and it’s content are all images in my mind?
– inquiry, invitation to notice what’s here
– apply as an antidote, a medicine, to a fixed (stressful, painful) view, out of alignment with reality
Any formal form of inquiry – The Work, the Unfindable Inquiry, exploring sense fields – is a crude, and often helpful, version of what happens naturally when the mind is more fluid. Each of these reflect how the mind naturally works when it’s more receptive.
And over time, they tend to lead into a more natural, spontaneous and fluid form of inquiry.
– notice what’s here – images, thoughts, emotions, sensations (also, notice emotions as label + sensations) – notice images and images etc. – notice it’s not what i fundamentally am (because these come and go + are content of awareness)