Simplified explanation of inquiry

Here is one way to talk about the Living Inquiries:

  • Why
    • We get to see how the mind creates its own experience of X.
    • X can be a perceived threat, something that seems real (a deficient/inflated self, an object, a concept), or a command to do or not do something.
  • How – general
    • We look at sensory experiences and imagination and how the two combine.
      • Sensory experiences include sensations, sight, taste, smell, touch, movement and more.
      • Imagination tends to mirror sensory experiences: Imagined images, sounds, tastes, smells, touch, movement and more. This imagination includes words (picture + sound).
    • Most often, we feel sensations and look at mental images or listen to words.
    • We ask simple questions to see what’s there more clearly.
      • The main question is is it X? Is this image a threat? Is this word me, the one who is alone? Do these sensations tell me to eat ice cream? 
      • To see what more is there, we can ask questions such as: What does it (the sensations, image, words) mean? What does it want from me? If it could speak, what would it say?
  • How – practical
    • Start with words or an image, or perhaps a sensation. Start with the most obvious.
    • Take some time to look at it, or feel it if it’s a sensation.
    • Ask is it X? 
    • If yes, then see how you got that answer. Did you feel it? Or was it an image or words? Go there and ask the question again.
    • If no, then rest. Return to a previous yes and check again. Stay with the original question.

As mentioned above, it’s all about seeing how the mind creates its own experience of something. By looking, feeling, asking simple questions, and “leaving no stone unturned”, two things may happen. We may befriend it and see it’s not as scary as we thought. And the charge may go out of it.


Initial notes……

  • see how the mind creates its own experience of X
  • senses + imagination (visual, sound, taste, smell, touch etc.)
  • ask simple questions to see what’s there
  • when feel sensation or look at images or look at/listen to words, ask is it X?
  • if yes, then see how got that answer (felt it, words, images) and go there
  • ask question again
  • if no, then rest + return to a previous yes and check again

simplified + flow chart


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