In exploring knots, I find it helpful to allow the mind free reins in going into beliefs… attention naturally goes there anyway, since they are juicy and have a charge for us, and are intimately intertwined with the center of our life: the story of this separate I.
And in going into beliefs, stories and beliefs naturally surface which can then be inquired into, and emotions are triggered which can be met in a gentle and heartfelt way, allowing them to be seen and felt as they are, even if they would never change.
It is all a process of exploring what is already there, through the three centers. Inquiry and differentiation (head center), a felt-sense (belly), and from those two, a natural love of what is (heart). And a heartfelt being-with of whatever arises is what allows each of those three to take place.
Right now, I am exploring beliefs about marriage inherited from family and culture, and deliberately stirring it up is very helpful here, in seeing beliefs and their effects more clearly, and in allowing and being with whatever emotions are triggered. Even if I on the surface see myself as having a more enlightened view on marriage, I see that there are still many deep beliefs about it inherent from many sources, which each limits the possibilities and range of choices.
Exploring this is also a reminder of how cultural, social and family expectations are experienced as oppressive and a pressure when I myself share the beliefs. I follow them without being aware of them or questioning them, I follow them while being ambivalent about them, or I rebel against them, but in each case, there is still a belief in them. I am still trapped by them, I find myself on the inside of them, confined by them.
If I have investigated them, there is freedom around them, whether the stories are triggered or not in me, and whether they are believed in or not by those around me.