How do the Living Inquiries work?

How or why do the Living Inquiries work?

In general, it’s because we get to see more clearly what’s really here. Instead of being mesmerized by scary or uncomfortable appearances created by the mind, we get to align more consciously with reality. And that in itself is a relief and healing.

Here are some more specific possible reasons why it works.

We go out of story and instead notice thought as mental images and words. The stories may be stressful, and perhaps not entirely true. So noticing them as mental images and words is a relief. We align more closely with that reality. (Withouth denying the validity of the stories.)

By separating out the elements and looking (images, words), listening (words, sounds), and feel (sensations) them, the mind “gets” what they really are, and this allows the glue holding the elements together to soften and perhaps release.

Said another way, when we rest with each element, it sinks in what they really are – images, words, and sensations.

By facing what we fear, a charged combination of elements, we get to see that it’s not as scary as it initially seemed. As long as we avoid it, we reinforce the idea that it’s scary and dangerous. When we meet it, we get to see what’s really there and it’s less scary.

It’s a form of exposure therapy. We rest with the scary images, words, and sensations. We get more familiar with them. We get to see they may not be as scary as they initially seemed.

When we notice the (infinite) space the elements happen within and as, they seem less charged or strong. It’s as if their charge is diluted.

By asking questions such as what’s your first memory of that feeling?, we get to see how the charged combination of elements was created early in life. We may see the innocence of it. And how it made sense then, and makes less sense now in our current situation.

When we work with a facilitator, we are accompanied by someone else holding space and guiding us. This makes is easier to meet and explore what’s here. We feel more held and supported. We have a witness, which somehow makes it easier for us to witness what’s here. This person is also familiar with the process, and knows from own experience that any charge experience is made up of simple elements, and the relief when we get to see and take this in.


Initial notes…..

  • how do the living inquiries work?
    • separate out the elements, look at one at a time, helps the mind “get” what they really are
    • resting with sensations, recognize as sensations (resting with sensations + mining)
    • exposure therapy, go into the fear, see it’s not as scary as initially seemed
    • notice the space it’s happening within/as, seems less big/strong (as if diluted)
    • insights into how the scary thing was created early in life, how it made sense back then and isn’t needed/helpful anymore
    • go out of story, and instead notice mental images and words as that
    • accompanied by someone else, who is not going into the stories/drama


We separate out the elements creating a charged experience (anxiety, depression, cravings, deficiency story), and this allows charge to lessen or go out of it.

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