What’s the more real, more personal question

I went to meditation at a Buddhist center in Oslo yesterday. I like their simple and informal approach, and also that we sit and chat for a while after with a cup of tea.

During this informal chat, one of the participants asked a convoluted abstract question that I didn’t really understand, and I am not sure if he or the teacher understood it either. Instead of asking him to clarify, or find the simple essence of the question, the teacher answered by talking about something related and more practical. I don’t think she answered the question to his satisfaction. She likely felt it was easier to deflect a bit than ask him to clarify – for himself and her.

For me, this is a reminder that if we have a question that seems convoluted and impersonal, and it feels important, there is usually a far more real, practical, and personal question behind it, and an important part of the process is to find that simple, juicy, alive, and intimate essence of the question.

We may not know what that is at first, but it’s worth exploring what that essence is for us, and then sitting with it and seeing what comes up.

The essence of these questions is usually with us whether we notice or not. They tend to reflect our life koans, challenging situations in our life we don’t have a ready answer or response to. This essence is also sometimes so simple and to the point that, when it’s found, it gives its own answer.


INITIAL DRAFT

WHAT’S THE MORE REAL, MORE PERSONAL QUESTION

I went to meditation at a Buddhist center in Oslo yesterday, and after the meditation, one of the participants asked a convoluted abstract question that I didn’t really understand, and I am not sure if he or the teacher understood it either. The teacher answered by talking about something vaguely related and more practical.

For me, this is a reminder that if we have a question that seems convoluted and impersonal, there is usually a far more real, practical, and personal question behind it. We may not know what that is, in the moment, but it’s worth exploring what it is, find the juicy essence, and then sit with that question and see what comes up.

During this informal chat, one of the participants asked a convoluted abstract question that I didn’t really understand, and I am not sure if he or the teacher understood it either. Instead of asking him to clarify, or find the simple essence of the question, the teacher answered by talking about something related and more practical. I don’t think she answered the question to his satisfaction. She likely felt it was easier to deflect a bit than ask him to clarify – for himself and her.

For me, this is a reminder that if we have a question that seems convoluted and impersonal, and it feels important, there is usually a far more real, practical, and personal question behind it, and an important part of the process is to find that simple, juicy, alive, and personal essence of the question.

We may not know what that is at the moment, but it’s worth exploring what’s behind it, finding the juicy essence, and then sitting with that question and seeing what comes up.

An important part of the process is to find the juicy essence of the question. Those kinds of questions are usually with us whether we notice it or not. They tend to reflect our life koans, challenging situations in our life we don’t have a ready answer or response to. This essence is also sometimes so simple and to the point that, when it’s found, it gives its own answer.

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