What Do I Really Want?

One way of inquiry is to ask what do I really want right now?

I find this helpful in daily life, in making choices in the present that are a little more rewarding.

Last night, I went to bed and saw that I had the choice between going to sleep right away, or listen to BBC World Service (which I sometimes do) or a talk by Joel (from Center for Sacred Sciences). My first impulse was to listen to BBC, but then I took time to ask myself what do I really want right now?

Between the two audio choices, I saw that BBC was attractive to the scattered tendency of my mind right then – it was entertainment, a distraction, going outwards to some extent. But then I also saw that although listening to BBC is rewarding, it is also just the same stories over and over – as news generally is. The same stories, just with new names, locations, dates. I usually do some inquiry into my own experiences and reactions while listening to the stories, but then also typically fall asleep and wake up at 1am with headphones still on!

Listening to the talk would be far more rewarding and interesting. So although BBC came up as the initial impulse, I saw that listening to the talk was what I really wanted. And it turned out to be a good choice.

Right now, I have a few minutes between ending this entry and somebody coming over for a Big Mind session. I have the choice of doing a few more things on the computer, or do some brief yoga and maybe a few minutes of sitting. What do I really want? When I look, I see that although the initial impulse may be to continue doing something on the computer, I really want to do the yoga and meditation. It is far more rewarding. If I hadn’t taken the few seconds of inquiring into my experience right now, I would probably have gone with the computer option.

This is another way of using the two first questions of the Byron Katie style inquiry. Is it true? Can I absolutely know it is true?

Is it true that I want to spend some minutes on the computer? Not really, especially not if the alternative is yoga and some sitting practice.

And the same goes for work. I have a project that may not have a specific deadline but I need to get it done in not too long. I may have the impulse to hold off on it and do something else first, maybe less productive. So again I may inquire into the options and what I really want. Do I want to do something else right now, or finish it up?

As with any inqury, I see how important it is to be sincere and honest with it. To really want to discover what is true for me now. And this is always, to some extent at least, surprising. I never know until I look.

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