The inquiry process is simple:
- Find a belief (any time there is suffering, there is a belief)
- Is it true? Can I really know it is true?
- What are the consequences of believing it?
- What would I be if the belief is not there?
- Turn the initial statement around – to its opposites, to myself/others etc, and explore how each of these new statements are as true as the original.
Sincere inquiry – seeing what is really true for me, allows the belief to drop and the nature of mind to be revealed a little further – this stainless clarity expressed as compassion. It opens up the cloud cover a little further.
In this process, phase #1-5 is similar to traditional insight mediation. We gain insights into the process and nature of the mind.
And using pen and paper, as well as phase #4 and the outcome, is similar to calm abiding. Pen and paper keeps our attention on the process. The #4 and the outcome of the process reveals the nature of mind as calm abiding, the crystal clear space everything arises from and as.
So the process itself is parallel to vipassana, and using pen and paper, phase #4 and the outcome is parallel to shamata. One difference is that what may take years on the cushion now can take place in minutes. And traditional meditation practice has something unique to offer as well. As with so much, these are complementary approaches.