Wordless inquiry

I am drawn to exploring a more wordless, felt inquiry these days, and I notice – not surprisingly – that it’s difficult to put it into words.

An emotion or contraction presents itself, or discomfort, or physical pain, or an image or thought held as true (triggering the emotion, contraction or discomfort, or amplifying the physical pain).

Attention is brought to and stays with it. This happens in a gentle way, as a feather.

It’s quietly and wordlessly noticed as one or more of the following:

An universal (shared human, impersonal) energy. An emotion, contraction, discomfort, pain, image, or verbal thought can all be seen and experienced as an energy, an impersonal energy.

Created from taking images or thoughts as true (if it’s an emotion, discomfort), or an image or thought held as true.

Devoted to me (being there for me, supporting me, wishing the best for me).

Love (worried love).


There is a gentle welcome, appreciation, love.

There is a staying with it. Noticing what’s there, what’s revealed. (Some images or thoughts may be noted for later inquiry, using The Work).

How is it, what happens, when it’s noticed in this way? Gently and wordlessly welcomed?

 It’s difficult to talk about this partly because it’s a wordless, felt inquiry, and partly because it may require some familiarity with the terrain. I see how my experience with sense field inquiries, The Work, Voice Dialog, the Big Mind/Heart process, ho’oponopono, true meditation (Shikantaza), stability practice (stable attention), and other approaches all support and makes this simple, wordless inquiry available to me.  Read More

The wisdom of fear

There is a wisdom in emotions, in the stories behind them, and in any belief.

Fear comes up, and one of the stories behind it is that I’ll be too late for the plane.

This is worried love. The fear and belief wants the best for me. It’s devoted to me.

And I see the wisdom in it. I don’t want to be late for the plane either. It comes from intelligence and kindness.

At the same time, when it’s held tightly, when the thought – and the wordless images behind it – is taken as solidly true, as absolutely true, it’s painful. It’s chaotic. It’s stressful.

It’s a being in pain, that suffer. It’s not aligned with reality, with all as love. So I can welcome it, thank it, apologize for having pushed it away for so long, apologize for having made it into an enemy, find the wisdom in it, find the love and intelligence behind it. And I can also identify the thoughts and images behind it, and – for the strongest ones, and eventually each one – find what’s more true for me, what’s more aligned with reality.

In this case, I see I want the same for me as the main thought behind the fear. I also don’t want to be late for the plane. It comes from kindness and intelligence.

I also see that I honestly don’t know if I will be late for the plane. The plane may be delayed. I may arrive on time even if it’s not. And I may get another plane that will get me there the same day, or the day after.

Also, there are some underlying images and thoughts here. In this situation, is it a terrible thing if I am too late for the plane? I really don’t know. And I can find genuine examples of how it’s not. (I may experience the kindness of others. I may get to see it works out anyway. I may get to find how resourceful I can be.)

And I can explore this with everyday and “smaller” fears, and also the fears that appear bigger and more basic, such as the fears around relationship, illness and death. Can I find the wisdom behind it? Can I find the kindness and intelligence in it? Can I find that it’s love, worried love? Can I find where I have pushed it away, made it into an enemy? Can I find – for the strongest belief – what’s more true for me, what’s more aligned with reality? Can I find the same for some or all of the underlying images and thoughts?

The rest of the iceberg

From the outside, The Work may seem like a play with thoughts at the thought level only.

And yet, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

What’s really happening – and more and more as we get familiar with the process – is an inquiry at much deeper levels. At the levels of images, wordless thoughts. At the level of emotions. At an energetic or physical level. And noticed and lived in daily life.

What I find is that a thought may be seen as not true at a conscious level, yet it’s held as true in other ways. It may be recognized as not true in a conscious and general way. And it may not have been explored in a more finely grained way, through a thorough inquiry. It may still be held as true at an emotional level. I may still, to some extent, live as if it’s true. And that’s where a more thorough inquiry can be very helpful, used as meditation, and taken into and lived over time in daily life.

The tip of the iceberg may be thoughts in a conventional sense. These thoughts are used to point to a deeper inquiry, and reflect back what’s seen, felt and noticed. And the rest of the iceberg is wordless. It’s wordless thoughts in the form of images. It’s wordless emotions, energies, and changes in the body, reflecting beliefs or clarity on the same thoughts. And it’s a life lived as if a thought is taken as true or seen more clearly.

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Befriending fear

I still have nights where experiences surface that’s difficult to befriend or welcome. Mostly, it’s a sense of strong wordless inner struggle along with a sense of everything dissolving – the image of a larvae in a pupa describes it. From the outside, I see there is nothing to fear here. It’s probably just part of the process. But from the inside, when it happens, a great deal of fear comes up.

When I get caught up in this, it’s easy to “forget” what may help, so I’ll go through it here as a reminder for myself.

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