Excerpts About Inquiry
Spacecruiser Inquiry, p. 55 • discuss »
Spacecruiser Inquiry, p. 57 • discuss »
Spacecruiser Inquiry, p. 113 • discuss »
Spacecruiser Inquiry, p. 280 • discuss »
Spacecruiser Inquiry, p. 372 • discuss »
Spacecruiser Inquiry, p. 262 • discuss »
Spacecruiser Inquiry, p. 270 • discuss »
Brilliancy, p. 244 • discuss »
Brilliancy, p. 109 • discuss »
Brilliancy, p. 92 • discuss »
Spacecruiser Inquiry, p. 27 • discuss »
The Unfolding Now, p. 13 • discuss »
The Unfolding Now, p. 41 • discuss »
The Unfolding Now, p. 121 • discuss »
Spacecruiser Inquiry, p. 90 • discuss »
Inquiry means that we learn to be spiritual not by pushing away our ordinary experience but by embracing and feeling it more completely than we usually do. In fact, being spiritual includes experiencing ourselves and being in touch with our experience as completely as possible because, generally speaking, most of us don’t experience ourselves completely. There are limitations, restrictions, on how we normally experience things and how we experience ourselves, including our thoughts, emotions, sensations, tendencies, desires. If we experience all of these fully, and if we really understand them, then we will see that they are the manifestations of our spiritual nature. They themselves will take us across the great divide; they themselves will become windows and entryways into the primordial ground, into eternity. In our orientation here, we do not throw away anything, we do not push away anything, and we do not try to get rid of anything. We always embrace our experience completely, as completely as possible. Inquiry means being aware of our experience, being present in it, feeling it as completely as possible, and at the same time having a curious mind about it. To inquire is to be interested in not only asking “What am I experiencing?” but also wanting to know “What does it mean? what is it about? Why do I feel this way? What makes me experience this feeling or this emotion or this sensation, or these thoughts? Why am I thinking that way?”
The Power of Divine Eros, p. 19 • discuss »
When it is part of a true relationship, inquiry brings out our experience of vulnerability and openness, which tends to bring our true nature, the depth of who we are, into the interaction. At the depth of who we are, there are beautiful qualities: kindness, sweetness, appreciation, gratitude, clarity, brightness, depth, peacefulness, energy, dynamism, power, and so on. Imagine a dynamic in which both of you have a degree of empathy and are open to feel and be affected by each other, and where the relational field includes enjoyment of one another. You are enjoying the other person, you are just enjoying who he is. And if he is sensitive to you, he begins to feel your joy and begins to laugh with you, to become happy with you. That makes you enjoy him even more . . . and the interaction keeps deepening and expanding. After a while you can’t stop laughing together, giggling, bubbling.
The Power of Divine Eros, p. 139 • discuss »
In the Diamond Approach, the central practice of inquiry reveals clearly the pitfalls of practicing with any particular aim. Practicing toward any end already implies that we know what is supposed to happen next. We are second guessing reality about what it is going to present. Having a goal for our practice also assumes that what is happening is not enough, is not sufficient. When we strive toward some end or another, we are rejecting what is actually happening. Aiming for any particular end becomes an obstruction, a subtle veil over our immediate experience. One of the basic principles of inquiry is that we simply stay with wherever we are, we see the truth of the moment, we don’t try to get someplace. Where we are is where we need to practice, without judgment and without a goal. Seeing the truth of the moment develops and unfolds the moment in whatever way it needs to go, independent of our desires and beliefs. In the practice of inquiry, it is vital that we are not trying to orient what is happening, to direct it in one way or another. We don’t inquire, we don’t practice, in order to change where we are. We inquire simply to see what the truth is in that moment—and that might or might not change as we inquire.
Runaway Realization, p. 50 • discuss »
We continue to ride the razor’s edge until, at some point, our inquiring, our taking responsibility, and the self-revelation of Being become one thing. The inquiry moves to new ground. Prior to this, our inquiring and the self-revelation of Being might seem like two things, two forces interacting in a dialectic, interacting from varying degrees of proximity or distance until the interaction becomes so subtly and intimately connected that the inquiry is spontaneously happening as the dynamism of true nature revealing its possibilities. This is what I call diamond meditation, which means that we are being the true nature that inquires and reveals its truth. True nature inquires by being open and interested in its own revelation. Its inquiry is an invitation for it to reveal its mysteries. The inquiry and the revelation can become so connected that, at some point, they are one movement. Inquiry becomes a dynamic revelation, a nondoing with a dynamic engagement. In our teaching, this particular maturation of practice is an important reason why we emphasize the nondoing meditation at various stages of the path. In the Diamond Approach, we begin with a concentration meditation and, at some point, we transition to the nondoing practice. We learn concentration by focusing on the Kath point, known as the Hara or Tan-t’ien in other traditions. As concentration is established, we let go of that focus and simply let ourselves be. This is the beginning of nondoing. When we let go and simply be, if the concentration has been sufficiently established, then there is stillness and clarity, and we naturally are that stillness and clarity. This stage of nondoing, in which we are simply still and clear, I call obsidian samadhi.
Runaway Realization, p. 132 • discuss »
So the primary practice of inquiry attains further wisdom, and our understanding of nondoing also becomes subtler. At the beginning of our nondoing practice, we are simply sitting in stillness and clarity. As the nondoing practice matures, not only are we sitting in effortless tranquility, but also we are abiding in and as Being itself. As we integrate the dynamism of Being and recognize the wisdom of realization, the practice of nondoing fully and effortlessly uses the discriminating intelligence and the discerning clarity of Being to understand the condition of realization. The entire force of the universe focuses with intelligence and energy to discern its own condition, to understand what samadhi is, what nondoing is. The inherent awareness and insight of this condition of nondoing discerns when there is doing. When we see the doing happening, we can recognize the attitude and assumptions that make it happen. This insight helps us to disengage from that activity by revealing what is responsible for the doing. We might see that a certain self-identification or a fear of aloneness or a resistance against emptiness underlies our basic experience of doing. But we don’t only see what our particular issues and obstructions are. The discerning intelligence, in an effortless way, also fills the condition of samadhi with clear understanding and recognition of the condition of samadhi itself. We can’t help but see the characteristics of whatever presence or awareness or realization is happening.
Runaway Realization, p. 134 • discuss »
There can be inquiry even with stillness, when the mind is completely gone. We assume that there is no possibility of inquiry in this state, but that is not true, because inquiry does not have to be verbal. You may think that you have to ask questions with words, but if you say that, you have already put a boundary on how inquiry can proceed. Maybe inquiry can proceed in other ways. Maybe there is curiosity without words, without mind. So even the state of stillness, where there is no mind, can have an inquiring quality to it. There are no limitations. The fact that experience continues shows that there is an infinite possibility for inquiring. Regardless of how deep and enlightened one’s experience is, it is possible to go further, to have experience open up more. When we appreciate this fact, inquiry can bring us an intrinsic energy that has a sense of deep and thrilling freshness, as if your blood were nuclear energy that is moving and bursting with aliveness, bursting with drive. The drive here is not effort but movement—an inexorable, powerful movement, an unfolding. Being is then always opening up with power, with energy, with strength, with intelligence, with gentleness. Sometimes the opening is delicate, sometimes slow, sometimes fast, sometimes bursting, sometimes quiet.
Spacecruiser Inquiry, p. 28 • discuss »
Inner support implies that we need to be in touch with our experience. Inquiry is not a mental exercise, disconnected from ordinary reality. We have to be rooted in our everyday personal experience and in touch with our own thoughts, feelings, body, and behavior. Inquiry does not require us to leave our body or try to reach unusual transcended heights of perception—and we will not feel our inner support by doing so. Instead, we need to become more concrete, more down to earth, by delving into our own everyday experience. It is the embodied soul that is the entry to all the treasures of Being. When you are inquiring, it is important to keep sensing your body—to stay in direct touch with its movements and sensations. This includes the numbness, the dullness, or the tensions you may feel. To ground your awareness in your bodily experience is important because your essential qualities are going to arise in the same place where you experience your feelings, emotions, and reactions. They are not going to appear above your head, they are going to arise within you. So your body is actually your entry into the mystery.
Spacecruiser Inquiry, p. 294 • discuss »