Inquiry: I need resolution


Some beliefs around resolution and clarity.

I need clarity. I need resolution. I need to know what to do.

It’s not clear. It’s not resolved. I don’t know what to do.

I need to get my head above water. I don’t have my head above water.

Other people are more clear, know what to do, have their life together.

My thinking/actions need to be perfect. I need to transcend/go beyond my humanness.

If I don’t find clarity/resolution….

My life will get messy. People will be disappointed in/angry at me. My life will go downhill. I will make wrong/bad decisions.

My life can be messy/go downhill. It’s possible to make a wrong/bad decisions.

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Inquiry on rejection


I need to go to The School because….

It will help me grow. It will help me be more clear.

I was not accepted on staff and that means that….

They rejected me. They didn’t treat me fairly. I am left out. I am unwanted. I am unappreciated.

Current situation: Not receiving scholarships or staff position offers for The School or other BK events (while others I know do).

Earlier situations: (a) As a kid, especially elementary school, feeling rejected, left out, misunderstood, mistreated, unfairly treated. (b) Possibly as a baby, left alone in a dark room, feeling lost, alone, helpless.

Spirituality and seeking perfection


What came up for me here is any confusion around my spiritual path being about ‘improving’ or ‘bettering’ myself so that I only think ‘perfect’ thoughts or behave perfectly (whatever that may be!). This is a clear example of the war within myself, and how I may take myself overly seriously.
– S.F. posting in the forum for the telecourse on turnarounds

I find it helpful to look at my motivations for being on a “spiritual path”.

Partly, it may be an innocent seeking for clarity, peace and returning home. And there may also be a set of equally innocent beliefs here.

Some beliefs:

This is not home. I don’t feel at home here. I need to feel at home. It’s better to feel at home.

I need to be perfect. Perfection is possible. It’s better to be good.

I can improve myself. I need to improve myself. I need to better myself.

I am not enough as I am. This is not enough. What’s here is not enough.

Clarity is better than confusion. Awakening is better than staying confused.

What I seek is out there (in others, past/future).

Exploring tiredness & vitality


I have been drawn to exploring tiredness recently.

In short: It’s tiredness —> it’s vitality.

It’s vitality. What do I find?

Exploring sense fields

When I label something as tiredness (fatigue, exhaustion), what’s really here? What’s here in sensation, as pure sensation? (When I put this back into words, right now, I find tingling in my body, a slight pressure on the forehead.)

What happens when the mental field comes in with a label (interpretation, story) of tiredness? (It appears as tiredness, it seems real, substantial, I feel tired, other stories around tiredness comes in, hopelessness, I feel I need to rest.)

The Work

Two of my beliefs here are my health is not so good, and it’s tiredness. 

The turnarounds are my health is good, and it’s vitality. 

I find that when the story of tiredness comes up, attention goes to symptoms of tiredness. There is fear here, and stories about what tiredness means, what it may lead to, and that I need to rest. When I believe the story of tiredness, there is a sense of fatigue and tiredness. Working with the turnarounds in daily life, staying with them to see what may come up, I find many examples that my health is good (my medical results are very good, people tell me they see me as healthy, I get up in the morning and do everyday activities, I seek to find clarity around thoughts, I travel, I visit friends, I take photos, I study and learn).

Combining sense field exploration and The Work

Exploring it’s vitality, I stay with what I have taken as symptoms of tiredness – how are these symptoms of vitality? It’s energy, a warm vibration through the body, aliveness. It’s vitality. As I stay with it, the label of vitality seems genuinely as or more true. What’s here are simple sensations untouchable by any label. And the vitality label is as or more true. I stay with this to see what more may reveal itself.

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Beliefs brought to the Surface by CF


Health challenges are good for bringing beliefs to the surface. Here are some that still come up for me, sometimes – as this weekend – triggered by a simple cold:

I won’t be able to function, people will judge me.
I am a disappointment to god/others/myself.
I am not living up to my potentials.
I am responsible for the cf/dark night.
I shouldn’t feel tired. I need to have more energy (in order to do what I want).

It’s cf. It’s a dark night.
I can’t do what I want.
It’s not what I want. **

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I am…..


I find it helpful and interesting to do inquiry on I am statements…..

First, a list of ideas of what I am:

I am. I am a being. I am a human being. I am a man. I am Norwegian. I am P. (And so on – any label, identity I have in the world and in my mind.)

This can continue with a list of what I think about my mind and body, how I think others see me, what this means, and why it is that way (I am… because).

Some examples:

What I am most afraid others will see me as, is….

Stupid. Smart. Ugly. Awkward. Uncomfortable. Arrogant. Blind.

I am stupid, and that means….

Others won’t like me. I will be lost. Alone. Despairing.

I am awkward because….

I am not comfortable with people. My parents didn’t give me the love I needed. There is something wrong with me.

And I can then take this to inquiry.

How is it possible to believe a stressful thought?


How is it possible to believe any particular thought? (Which then becomes stressful.) What are the mechanics behind it?

What happens in images and thoughts? What happens in the body to support this? (Tension, numb?)

So far, I have found explorations of the sense fields to be very helpful, and also The Work, with support from practices to invite a more stable attention (samatha) and body-inclusive explorations such as TRE and Breema. I am not going into details here since there is enough materials there for a book (or a library), it’s more helpful to discover it for oneself, and also because some other posts have more on that topic.

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Article: My Decent into Hell


It was when I was 22 years old that everything in my life changed. It was in that year that a series of painful and ecstatic spiritual openings, which had been occurring over the past six years in increasingly quick succession and intensity, came to their inevitable head and initiated my descent into Hell.

Deep shadows from my unconscious started to erupt into full view of my conscious mind, often showing up through vivid archetypal images, painful memories, or strange sounds, smells and colors. On a mental level, my internal thought processes no longer seemed to function in any coherent or rational way. My thoughts became chaotic and undirected meanderings that I experienced as banal and painful. […]

Real beauty can only be known and experienced through a deep recognition and embodiment of its opposite. Only when there is no fear of the ugly and the dark can we truly touch into the deepest indestructible radiance that lies at the core of all things, and is each of our birthright.

– Vanessa Fisher in My Decent into Hell and What it Taught Me About Beauty 

It’s good to see that these stories are offered in relatively mainstream publications.

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Reality is enough


In inquiry, I find that simple, clear and genuine examples are enough. As I find and take these in, they create a context where there are no footholds for beliefs. And if there are, I can take these to inquiry.

Reality is enough.

Some related beliefs:

Reality is not enough. (For finding peace, happiness, contentment.)

I cannot trust reality. Reality is not to be trusted.

Reality is not good. Reality is not friendly. Reality is scary to me.

Reality needs to be enhanced. Reality needs my help.

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In progress….

What I fear the most about fatherhood is….

I won’t be respected. He/she will feel lost. I won’t be up to the task. I won’t know what to do. Others can do it better.

What I fear the most about being a teacher is…..

I will say something wrong. People will take what I say/do too seriously. They won’t think for themselves. They will be mislead. They will misunderstand.

What I fear the most about having influence is…..

I will abuse it. I won’t be genuinely receptive to feedback. People will take what I say/do too seriously.

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Deeper fear, layers of beliefs


When things seem a little frozen, a little stuck, there may be deeper fears and underlying beliefs there.

So I can ask myself….

Then what may happen to you? What’s the deeper fear?

What worse can happen? What’s the deeper fear here?

An example:

I can’t be completely honest and open with her (about how I feel, what I want.)  I can’t express my wants freely with her. 

What do you fear may happen?

She will be angry. –> She will abandon me. –> I will be alone. –> I will be lost. –> (silence) I may see it’s not true. 

Inquiry on teacher


I am doing a bodywork intensive, and the main teacher’s teachings both mirror and trigger beliefs for me to take to inquiry.

Some beliefs triggered by him:

He underestimates his students. He treats them like children.

He should use inquiry instead of talks. It’s more powerful when people find their own answers.

The structure is patriarchal, old fashioned and allows only one-way communication. It’s better if a group invites and is receptive to honest feedback.

He should should talk about his own experience in specific situations. He shouldn’t overgeneralize to all situations and all people (“everyone”, “nobody”, “always”, “never”).

He is too tied to tradition in his teaching (Gurdjieff). He talks about things he has read in books.

Note: The practice is a deeply nurturing form of bodywork, and more a form of meditation in action which can be applied to any situation in life.


Abandoned in a dark room


Here is an image that keeps coming up for me, with feelings:

I am a baby in a crib, alone in a dark room.

Some statements:

My mother has abandoned me.
My mother doesn’t love me.
My mother doesn’t care.
I am abandoned.
Nobody loves me. **
Nobody cares.
I am not worth caring about.
I will die.
Something terrible is happening.
Something is wrong.
I don’t want to be here. **
I don’t want to live in this world.
I’ll show life it made a mistake (by letting me be born).
The world is hostile.
This world is cold and cruel.

Dream: Elevator


I live in an apartment building and am about to take the elevator down. It’s an open paternoster elevator. A woman waits with me and steps out too soon so she falls down. I am certain she will be killed. My fear of heights surface. She then floats up safely, only to be nearly crushed by another elevator. A small group of people appear and one of the pushes the red stop button for the elevators. It seems it was all a test to see how I would react, and I see I froze due to my fear of heights and also because of frozen parts of me here and now – initially frozen in childhood. 

Some beliefs to look at:

I will fall. I will die. It’s terrible to die. If I die, it means something is wrong. I will miss out (of life, experiences) if I die now.

I am responsible for helping. I should have done something. She expected me to help her.

It’s safer to be numb/frozen. I am safer if I hold back/am passive. I am safer if others don’t see/notice me.

Why complicate life?


It can be very simple.

How and when do I stop myself from living an uncomplicated life?

Asking for what I want means….

She will see me as vulnerable. She will reject me. She won’t like me. She will see me as greedy. She will see me as selfish. She will talk about me behind my back. I will feel too exposed.

 What I am most afraid would happen if I told her how much she means to me, is….

 She won’t say anything. She will see me as naive. She will dismiss me. We will feel uncomfortable. She will leave. She will talk about me behind my back. They will make fun of me. They will mock me.




Verb: Become or make smaller in size or amount; contract or cause to contract.

Noun: A clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, or psychotherapist.

I assume the second use of the term refers to psychologists or psychiatrists who reduce the richness of their client to fit their own theories and expectations. They take the richness and mystery of the human experience and makes it small, confined and a bit boring.

And that I do as well as soon as I believe a thought. I shrink the infinite richness and mystery of reality into something that appears to fit a story.

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Doing The Work on Dreams, Fairy Tales and Movies


I find it fun, interesting & helpful to do inquiry on dreams, fairy tales and movies.

There is more freedom of imagination, the themes are amplified, and I am out of my familiar context of everyday life even as the themes and stories are the same.

So I can take any dream, fairy tale or movie, identify my thoughts, and do inquiry on these thoughts. And I can also imagine myself in any role in those stories, image what thoughts I have about what’s happening and other characters in the story, and do the same.

It can be a playful and juicy way of tapping into some core stories.

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Power dynamics


Inquiry has helped me see how some of the social “power dynamics” operate in me.

Any belief related to “I need to be liked” or “I need to survive” – and there is a lot of those! – helps keep me in my place in society. I follow norms and expectations because I am afraid of losing (a) people’s love and approval of me and (b) safety and security (money). It’s how women have been kept in their place, how religions and power structures have been (somewhat) protected against serious questioning, and how people end up doing what’s expected of them in general rather than following what’s more true for them.

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Childhood wounds


Childhood wounds seems to surface now, perhaps as part of a natural process, or perhaps also invited up through inquiry or TRE.

Some thoughts related to these childhood wounds:

Nobody loves me. Nobody is here for me. The world is not a safe place.

Something is wrong with me. I am flawed. I am unlovable. I am alone.

Everyone gets it but I don’t.

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Statements about inquiry and truth


Some fears about inquiry and truth.

– o –

What’s your fear about using inquiry as meditation, and be surprised by what comes up? What do you fear may happen?

It won’t work.

I won’t be able to control it.

I need to control it for it to work.

I know where it needs to go for it to work.

I’ll see something I don’t want to see.

I won’t like what comes up.

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Inquiry on a dream: Russian anarchist


I am in a field in the countryside south of Moscow. It’s late fall. Frost on the ground. The sun is just about to rise. There is a farm house some distance away. I know I am followed and about to be executed – shot in the head – in that house. I also know why. I oppose the planned violence of a larger faction of the anarchists and consider exposing them.

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