Feminine inquiry tradition

 

A friend of mine mentioned that we both belong to the feminine inquiry tradition.

I hadn’t heard that term before, and hadn’t really thought of it that way. But I see how it fits.

Here are some of what’s been important to me lately (most of it for a while), that can be seen as feminine:

An emphasis on love. Finding love for what’s here, for this experience, for this part of me and my experience I previously pushed away or ignored. Recognizing that identification (velcro, beliefs) come from love, from a wish to protect, and deep caring.

An emphasis on allowing. Allowing what’s here, this experience as it is. Notice it’s already allowed. Allowing even resistance, contractions, fear and more.

An emphasis on resting with what’s here. Notice. Allow. Rest with even discomfort, tension, resistance, contractions.

An emphasis on feeling. Feeling the sensations that are here. Feeling what I have to feel if I don’t do the compulsive behavior that’s coming up for me to do. Feeling what seems most uncomfortable, here and now.

And the inquiry part:

Inquiring into all of this. Inquire into what’s here. Notice the images, words, sensations. Ask simple questions to see more clearly what’s already here.

So yes, this is a feminine inquiry tradition. It’s love oriented. Feeling oriented. Inquiry oriented. It’s gentle, in a way. And also unsentimental and direct.

It’s even disillusionment oriented. And that too can be seen as feminine. That’s what a mother will do when it’s needed for the welfare of her children and family.

Of course, the reason we may see this as feminine is our stories about it. And these are adopted from tradition and culture. It’s a label. And it doesn’t need that label, which is partly why I haven’t thought about it this way, and may not use that term again in the future. (Unless someone else uses it, and I join in because it fits and helps us connect.)

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Disillusioned

 

For a while, it feels good to be “illusioned”…. to imagine – and believe – that something will save me. With this comes the accompanying illusion is that something will destroy me.

It may even be true, to some extent and in some ways. Some things do lift me up, especially when I believe it will. And some things do appear to break me down, when I believe it will.

Then life shows me otherwise, sometimes in combination with inquiry. I see that words, images and sensations – which is my whole experience – cannot really save me, or destroy me. And the me that looks like it can be saved or destroyed is also made up of words, images and sensations. I cannot find a me apart from or “outside” of that.

This is disillusionment, and although it is sobering and a relief, it can also include disappointment, sadness, grief, even what appears as depression. So much of what drove me – the hopes and fears – fall away.

The parts of me reacting to this process can also be met with curiosity. When I explore the words, images and sensations making up the apparent resistance, sadness, grief, neutrality and disillusionment, what do I find? Can I find these things apart from or outside of the words, images and sensations making them up? Is it as solid as it initially seemed? Is it as real? Is it real in the way I thought it was?

Many maps or outlines of the process show a dark night preceding a phase of more ease with what’s here (AKA equanimity). And with disillusionment – seen, felt and loved – does come a sense of ease with what’s here, independent of what it is. A sense of ease with life as it shows up, as it is.

It’s not nearly as glamorous as it may seem when hearing stories about it, or reading the maps. And yet, it is sobering. And it is a relief.

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Disillusioned

 

dis·il·lu·sion

verb 1. cause (someone) to realize that a belief or an ideal is false.

It seems that disillusionment is central to consciously aligning more closely with reality in our view. And it can seem disappointing at time.

noun 1. disappointment resulting from the discovery that something is not as good as one believed it to be.

For a while, it seems exiting with all the drama and juiciness of getting caught up in images, and the fears and hopes that comes out of it.

And after a while, as I see more closely the reality of what’s going on, there is disillusionment and these dynamics fall away – often over time. As mind sees that the value it thought was in illusion is not really there, the holding onto illusion naturally falls away.

I used to find excitement and a sense of safety in images of the future. Is it true that excitement is not here? Is it true I am not safe now, sitting here? Is it true that what’s here is not as exiting as my previous images of the future? Is it true it’s disappointing?

I am used to find a sense of validation and love from others. Is it true that a sense of validation is not here? Is it true love – for what’s here – is not here? Is it true this validation is less than what I would get from others? Is it true this love is less than what would get from others? Is it true it’s a disappointment?