Explaining inquiry

How do I explain the Living Inquiries? Here is a way that focuses on examples:

  1. Why?
    1. To reduce suffering.
    2. To see what’s there. (Can be helpful in itself.)
    3. (To undo “velcro”.)
  2. What? 
    1. (a) Not therapy, advice, or much analysis.
    2. (b) Imagine a red circle vs. mother. (First one, then the other.)
    3. Notice the images, words, and sensations that come up for each.
    4. Sensations may appear “stuck” on words/images. This is called velcro.
      1. Velcro creates a charge. (It’s also how likes/dislikes are created, and stress and discomfort, and a sense of reality and meaning.)
      2. May create a deficient self. (Or inflated self.) May notice this when imagine mother.
      3. Can also create a sense of threat + someone threatened.
  3. How? 
    1. In inquiry, will slow it down so can see (and feel) what’s there. Will examine words, images, sensations separately.
    2. Will ask to look at words and images, and feel sensations.
    3. May ask additional questions about each. Most answers, yes/no.
    4. Helps undo/release the stuckness. Gives sense of ease. (Less charge, stickiness.)
    5. Look for the actual thing, not something pointing to it, referring to it, or a part of it. As if looking for a pair of shoes in the closet. Is that shirt the shoes?
    6. Answer based on body response. Body response = yes. (The mind may give another answer. Not all questions may seem to make sense. That’s OK.)

In a “script” form:

Know? What do you know about LIs?

Disclaimer. It’s not therapy, advice, or much analysis. It’s about seeing what’s here.

Example/velcro. It may be easiest to explain with an example.

Imagine a red circle. Can you see it? Do you notice it’s an image? Do you feel something when you look at this image?

Imagine your mother. Do you see an image of your mother? Do you feel something? (Is there a reaction in your body?)

Sensations can seem “stuck” on images and words. This is called velcro.

It’s what creates a sense of a charge, and what creates suffering.

(Also, velcro creates likes and dislikes, and a sense of reality and meaning.)

This can also bring up a sense of a deficient self. (I am a bad son. I am lazy. I don’t visit enough.) (Or an inflated self.)

Slow down, see what’s there. In the LIs, we slow it down. We look at words, images and sensations separately. So we get to see what’s there, and feel what’s there.

Questions. Will ask some questions about each. Most questions have yes/no answers.

Body response. If there is a response (reaction) in your body, it’s a yes. (Some question may not seem to make sense, and that’s OK.)

Actual thing. We are looking for the actual thing (self, object, concept, threat, someone threatened). Not something representing it, pointing to it, or a part of it.

As if we are looking for a pair of shoes in the closet. Is that shirt the shoes?

Reduce suffering. This process helps release the stickiness, and also suffering. Gives a sense of ease. (Also makes it easier to feel what’s here, whatever it is. Less need to avoid it.)



And a similar way of organizing it, which is more abstract:


(a) To reduce suffering. (Human level.)

(b) To undo velcro. (Technical.)

(c) To see what’s there. (Curiosity. Reality.)


(a) W/i + s = charge, reality, meaning. S seems stuck to w/i, then gives it charge (and sense of reality, meaning). Velcro.

(b) Look at w/i/s, one at a time. See what’s there. Releases the stickiness. Allows the charge to release. (Ease. Less suffering.)

(c) Look for a deficient (or inflated) self, threat, object, concept. Look for the actual thing. (Not representation of, part of, pointing to.)

(d) Ex: red circle vs. mother. The charge comes from w/i + s. (Including any sense of reality, meaning.)

(e) Not therapy, advice. Not much analysis.


(a) Will ask questions about the w/i/s that come up. Most Qs answered by yes/no.

(b) Body response = yes. Allow the body to respond. If a response, then “yes”. (Even if the mind has another answer.)

S = sensations. W = words. I = images. Deficient self = a self that seems lacking. E.g. Not good enough. Unlovable. Too angry.       Another way to organize it: What do you know about the LI?

  1. Stickiness (velcro)
    1. The reason we suffer is that w/i/s seem stuck together.
    2. S seems stuck to w/i. S + w/i = charge, reality, meaning. (Gives a sense of reality, meaning.)
    3. Ex: imagine red circle and mother. The charge is velcro. S stuck on w/i.
  2. Look at / for.
    1. Will ask questions about w/i/s, one at a time. Look at w/i and feel s.
    2. Look for what seems to be here – a self, threat, object or concept. (See how the mind creates its own reality).
    3. Will look for the actual thing. Not a part of, representation of, or pointing to.
  3. Yes/no + body response = yes.
    1. Most Qs will have a yes/no answer.
    2. If the body responds, then is a yes. No “right” answer, apart from how the body responds.
  4. Not therapy or advice.

…………. …………. …………. What to include:

What do you know about the Living Inquiries?

Not therapy, advice, analysis (or very little).

Velcro – when words and/or images seem “stuck to” sensations. The sensations give charge to the words and images. (Gives a sense of reality to it too.)

Example: Imagine red circle vs. mother. The emotions/charge comes from velcro.

Also example from own inquiry.

Will ask questions about the words/images/sensations surfacing. Mostly yes/no answers. Any response to your body is a “yes”. Go to your body for the answer.


Suffer because of w/i/s seem “stuck” together. Mind fixates on it.

Deficient (or inflated) self. May seem very real. Ex: One who is afraid, not good enough, lacking etc.

Also, a threat and a threatened self.

See if we can find what appears to be there – a threat, someone threatened, a deficient self. See if it’s real. Look for an actual object or self. As if look for a pair of shoes in the closet.

Looking for the real thing (object, threat, self), not a sign of it, or something pointing to it.

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