Is the image sad?

Here is one form of mini-inquiry that has been helpful for me:

(a) Look at the images, words and sensations making up – or associated with – what I want to explore. It may be an emotion such as anger, sadness, joy or exhilaration. It may be physical or emotional pain. It may be feeling hurt, being trapped, being a victim, or being unloved by life. It may be resistance.

(b.i.) For each image, look at it, and ask is that image angry? Is it sad? Is it annoyed? Is it trapped? Is it a victim? Can it resist anything? Can it suffer? (Or whatever it is that I am exploring.)

(b.ii.) For each word, look at it – or listen to it – and ask the same. Is that word sad? Is it unloved by life?

(b.iii.) For each sensation, feel it, take your time feeling it. And ask the same. Is that sensation sad? Is it angry? Is it in pain? Is it uncomfortable?

Say I have anger come up. I look at the word “anger”. Is that word – those letters – angry? (No.) There is an image of an angry face. Is that image angry? (No.) I see an image of me angry. Is that image angry? (No.) I feel the anger in my body. I feel the sensations labeled anger. Are those sensations angry? (No.)

Through not finding it, and realizing that everything making up anger – the images, words and sensations making up my experience of anger – are not actually angry, there is a release. It feels less heavy, and less real and solid. It’s less of a “thing”.

Right now, I notice sadness. I feel the sadness, the sensations labeled sadness. And ask is that sensation sad? There is a clear “no”. And a sense of lightening and release. The sensations can be here now. They are OK. Even the label “sad” is OK since I see it’s a label, it’s something thoughts came up with to help.

Note: This is one aspect of the Living Inquiries, and one I find helpful as a “flash inquiry” in daily life, at least right now.


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