Inquiry Method™ is not just a technique for interacting with people or addressing deeper personal issues, but also an approach to life in general.
A while ago, I spoke with some teachers who had talked about our minds as ego and emotions. They referred to how our minds are constantly wanting to put things into the categories of good and bad, positive and negative. So, when we are in our minds, we are always interpreting everything around us from this quality of good and bad. When I heard that, I thought to myself that if I dropped the discernment between good and bad and stopped putting things into those categories, then my life would be neutral.
I thought I would test it, so I imagined that I would drop all good and bad and see if life would be neutral. I was very surprised to find that life was far from neutral. When I looked at it from that perspective of the elimination of good and bad, I was aware of just the miracle of life and even the miracle of existence.
The idea that, out of nothingness, all this appeared, that I even exist, the world exists, this planet exists, the universe exists is truly just an incredible miracle.
I began to understand the deeper, maybe religious or spiritual understanding, or even the practical understanding of the true appreciation, gratitude, and experience of life. This is what was so shocking from breaking the habit of putting things into categories of good and bad; I switched into having wonder, awe, and amazement for just being here.
Any time I remember and bring myself to that place again, I am stunned by the existence of my consciousness, the existence of life, the planet, plants and animals, things that happen, things that come into my life. Cars and cell phones, raindrops, everything starts to take on a quality of wonder.
Innocence and wonder are at the heart of the inquiry approach to life. We are so used to focusing on our wantiness and drives and feeling like there should be something more to life; Inquiry Method TM instead guides us to finding a quality of deep appreciation and acknowledgment in life. Because, when I am out of wantiness, neediness, and exchange, I can be present for my day without needing it to be different. And from that place, I can just be curious and engage in life with a sense of wonder.
Wonder is such a beautiful word that combines a sense of curiosity with a sense of awe; awe implying awareness of beauty, awareness of serendipity, awareness of magic, and even awareness of surprise about life.
Once your heart is committed to something it’s easier to do it.
Here is a tool to help you commit to practices you want to incorporate into your life: Put it in your schedule and then just never argue with your schedule.
A study showed that you only have x number of willpower points per day. It’s why it’s easy to follow your diet first thing in the morning, but then after work you’ve expended them all, so at that point, it feels like pizza or beer is a really good idea. We only have a few points per day, so we expend them throughout the day, and then we run out of them towards the end of the day. So, the end of the day is not a good time to make a decision or make efforts.
Some of the guys who are into hacking life say they decide ahead of time what they are going to eat all day long so they don’t waste any willpower points on deciding what to eat. They say – I go to work at the same time, I wake up at the same time, I use the same toothbrush, etc. They save their willpower points for later in the day. They eliminate all these decisions so that they save their willpower points for things that are significant.
This is kind of like that. If you want to do yoga, put yoga in your calendar, and just do what your schedule says. Surrender to your schedule so it doesn’t take any willpower to go to yoga because it is in there the same as if you had scheduled a client. And you treat it like it is the same. I call it templating your life. Template your year. Template your life. Template a month. Template a week. Even template a day. You are pre-creating it so that you can just flow into it.
You don’t have to be in negotiation around things because you’ve created a structure. And it’s fine to change it, but change the structure, don’t just say “I’m not doing that thing today”. Meaning, if you don’t want to do yoga today, you either have to change the structure and quit saying that you go to yoga every day, or you go to yoga. This makes it a container you can flow into and find your rhythm.
You don’t question your decision. You create a container and then you stick to it.
Listen to the audio here, or scroll down to read the blog.
This is the Valentines day edition of the blog.
The topic today is a topic called I want to be loved. A lot of us feel that and have probably said that phrase: “I want to be loved.” It’s kind of fun to take it apart and examine that thought and that phrase and that belief.
The first thing you can notice in the statement: “I want to be loved” is that it is set in the past tense. There is this quality (and I talk about it at the Matrix) there is this void – something that we haven’t received. When we put it in the past, we’re basically saying I want to go back in the past and receive the love that I haven’t received; which makes a lot of sense because there’s a certain aspect or way in which we recognize that we would feel differently about ourselves, we might feel differently about life if we had received love in a different way or a specific way or differently at some point in our life. There is this yearning to go back and repair that wounded one.
If we can let go of that, if we can heal that past aspect, we can actually drop the past tense to that. If we drop the past tense, we say “I want love” instead of “I want to be loved.” Meaning, I want to receive love or even I want to receive love in the future. As soon as I say I want anything, I’m emphasizing the fact that I don’t have it. One of the definitions of the word “want” is lack of…, as soon as you are wanting, you’re not having. You can’t want and have at the same time. So, when you say “I want love”, you’re saying you don’t have love.
If we drop that aspect of lacking, it comes down to “I love” and that is beautiful. In fact, it’s the most powerful approach to love there is.
In fact, if somebody else is loving me I can feel or I can have somebody express their love to me and not feel the love. I’m sure we have all had that experience where somebody proclaims their love for us, but we don’t feel anything from it. Just having somebody else loving us actually never fixes the thing. We can have all sorts of people loving us and still feel the lack of love or still be wanting love. So, really, the only way to experience love isn’t to receive it, but to be it or express it: “I love.”
Loving is the best feeling in the universe and it’s wonderful to seek out and find different opportunities for love. It’s why I love to find a great book. “I love this book” that’s the feeling of love. “I love this movie” or “I love this thing,” or “I love this team.” We all love to find things to love because it’s the best feeling. It’s why we yearn for the right person. It’s why children are so wonderful is just they all give us an opportunity to love, so I recommend healing up any past lack of love, I recommend giving up the idea that you lack love and spend the rest of your life looking for things and people to love, the more the merrier!
Happy Valentine’s Day.
I’m sitting here thinking about life at altitude and what practices are associated with it. Obviously, Inquiry Method is the primary practice associated with life at altitude, but there are other practices that are going to come out over the ensuing months that if included in your life, really support life at altitude.
You may have heard of meditation, and meditation is certainly a huge support to life at altitude. But, there’s another thing that is similar, but totally different called “Contemplation”.
You could say contemplation is another form of meditation, but it’s not quite the same thing. Contemplation is like meditation in that it’s a quiet solo process, and it’s better without any distractions and better with time set aside for it. But, meditation essentially means a singular focus. So, you can meditate on an object, you can meditate on your thoughts, you can meditate on stillness. So, meditating just means – singular focus. Contemplation is different.
Contemplation is also similar to Inquiry Method, but Inquiry Method requires a partner and contemplation is something you do on your own.
The difference between thinking about something and contemplation is that thinking about something often gets you into a loop of thoughts- like judgments, or if you are thinking about somebody- you may think about all your judgments or what you don’t like about them, or what the problem at work is. That would be thinking and it’s a closed loop- stuck system.
Contemplation is a meta-activity, meaning it is an activity of looking at something from a more separated point of view. So, like Inquiry Method, you get into a state of reflection and you’re looking at yourself from a higher level of consciousness, from a sense of inquiry and curiosity, asking “what’s behind that?” You’d be asking yourself: what’s bothering me about that, how can I get in approval of that, what am I not seeing about that, how am I creating that situation- so that you’re looking at the larger perspective of things. It’s amazing to get into contemplation.
Just sitting here this morning, there was something coming up for me. I could just feel that I was carrying stress and I was carrying some tension. And, with my willingness to go into contemplation and get into that higher level of consciousness, I was quickly able to see that there were two things going on.
- One is that I had some stuff stuck in me that needed to be unpacked and emptied out. Things that I was holding that just needed another person’s ear just to empty out. Just to say “oh this is going on for me”. We just had a blog on emptying out, which is wonderful practice. You can read it here
- The second thing I could recognize is that I had a block. I was noticing that I had more creative expensive energy than my mind would allow and so in my contemplation, I could see “oh, my mind is limiting the amount of energy that can flow through my body and the creativity and it’s just a little jammed up” and then that gives me an opportunity to start to look into what are the thoughts and beliefs and ideas that restrict that and create that kind of backed up feeling inside my body.
So, I recommend trying it out, try a contemplation practice. Get into a state of reflection and get to where you are looking at yourself from a higher level of consciousness, from a sense of inquiry and curiosity, asking yourself “what’s behind that?”
And, also see if you can discern the difference between contemplation and thinking. See if you can discern the difference between meditation and contemplation. And, really see if you can get into that higher level of consciousness; in the levels, we call it “Level 4 – consciousness towards yourself”. It’s the level of altitude which allows self-inquiry to happen.
We just started sending out daily prompts for contemplation. If you’d like to get these in your inbox each morning, you can sign up here: http://bit.ly/dailyinq
Read more about contemplation here
There is an upcoming Mountain Experience in September, and for all of you that have had an interest in coming to the Mountain Experience, I truly recommend that you try to make it now. It is going to be a really special one, and it very may well be (at least for the time being) the last iteration of the Mountain Experience. Now I am sure that at some point there will be something similar that comes along on some level, but there is going to be a radical shift in Inquiry Method around how we deliver our teachings. And we have got some very exciting things up ahead.
But before that happens, I wanted to personally invite all of you to attend our last Mountain Experience. I hear people all the time that say, “You know, I’ve been thinking about coming to the Mountain Experience for 15 years or so,” or, “I really want this person I know to go the Mountain Experience.” So, if you have any of these feelings or thoughts this would be a great time to act on them, because pretty soon there will be entirely new experiences coming up.
I am very excited about what is on the horizon, and we are all very happy about it and I am sure you will all really enjoy what’s to come. However, there is also a sense of nostalgia and beauty surrounding the Mountain Experience and what has been. This last one is going to be really great, and there is going to be a lot of power and transformation taking place. So, I invite you personally to attend, and I invite you to let those people know who have always wanted to go to the Mountain Experience that the time is now! I hope to see you all there!
More details to come- keep your eye out for blogs and email updates from Inquiry Method!
In all aspects of our lives, planning is an integral part. Planning exercises are important in group settings, such as a couple, family, or for a business, and are equally crucial, individually. The objective of this blog is to help you recognize the power and meaning that can be created through the intention of planning.
The first element of planning is creating your vision. To create your vision, project a period into the future; for example, imagine yourself in one, five, or ten years. What do you want your future to look like? One beautiful application of this step is as a couple. Let’s say you are fifty, jointly creating a vision of what life will be in twenty years, when you are seventy. It is such a powerful process because as you create this beautiful vision together, you both become bonded and equally participating towards fulfilling this joint vision, which in turn creates beauty in the relationship. This visioning process can also be conducted in the context of a business. Or, you can create your own personal vision to motivate and inspire yourself to shape your dreams.
In support of vision, the next level of consideration is strategy. Strategy is the creation of the larger picture- specifically, what are some of the broad topics we would need to accomplish our vision? In the example of planning for when we turn seventy, we may intend to retire to Costa Rica and live in a beach house. In order to achieve this goal, we must make sure that our finances are in a certain shape, define how we would like to be with respect to our health, and describe what we need to do in our relationship to develop wonderful communication and intimacy. Just as we often do in a business or individually, we would define strategic objectives and goals to help us achieve our future vision.
The third level is tactics. Tactics are the day-to-day things that I need to start developing and acting on to fulfill my strategy. For example, planning a meeting to develop a financial plan with my financial advisor, creating a benchmark for required salary, scheduling couples counseling to develop our communication, or learning Spanish. Whatever we need to do to manifest our desired outcome.
In summary, there are three levels:
Vision: where we are, or I am, going.
Strategy: what major things have to get accomplished to get the results.
Tactics: what day-to-day activities are needed to fulfill our strategy.
Create a document with your vision, strategy and tactics and lay out a plan for yourself.
The next blog will talk about how to go deeper with creating that vision, and in view of creating your legacy.
Talk to you next week.
For many years, people have asked me for an entry point into our work that is lighter and more accessible than the Mountain Experience. With the Inquiry Experience Weekend: Inspiring Life at Altitude, we have created just that.
In the Mountain Experience, we do deep work which may appear intimidating to some. The Inquiry Experience Weekend in Raleigh, NC, is designed to be light, fun, and safe, yet experiential, powerful, and moving. It is not intended to push into the deeper areas, but instead to learn and explore Inquiry Method™, to create a beautiful sanctuary, understanding, and connection over this two-day process.
Day One of the “Inspiring Life at Altitude Experience” will be about learning and concepts, Day Two will be applying the Inquiry Method™ work within both small and large group settings.
People are welcome to come and sign up for just Day One, and those who want to continue to develop the practical skills can join us for Day Two seminar as well.
For new people the Inquiry Experience Weekend will be a great entry point; for those who have participated in Inquiry Method™ before, it will be extremely enjoyable and useful. It will be a fresh, new, wonderful way to renew and recharge your Mountain Experience. We would love for you to come and bring a friend!
Tuition is $175 for Day One and $250 for both Day One and Two.
8:30 am Daily Arrival. Event: 9:00 am to 4:30 pm.
Mountain Experience graduates who bring a friend will receive half-price tuition.
I’ve got some exciting news to share with you! As much as I’ve enjoyed writing blogs, I’ve always wanted to record podcasts to share my work, insights and inspirations. I am pleased to announce that we have made lots of progress in making this dream a reality in the past few weeks…
We have purchased top-notch recording equipment, hired Krishan Guzzo as our producer, and have begun to record some of our first podcasts. The podcast is called Life at Altitude, and our goal is to share Inquiry Method™ with you so that you can experience and maintain a higher level of consciousness. We plan on doing this through monologues, clips from the Mountain and Freedom Experiences, interviews and more. Personally speaking, this release is so timely, as these days it feels like I can so clearly and concisely articulate what my work and the experiences are all about.
We need your help to make this a success! I would love to hear your thoughts on what is most meaningful to you, what you like to hear about and your guidance on the format of the show. I also intend to record some sessions where I answer questions that you submit, so please let me know any questions you may have to inspire these conversations.
There is no need to worry- the blogs and my quotes will remain as well, as they have been so warmly welcomed by you all! I thank you for your continued support and feedback; you truly are the source of my inspiration! These podcasts will serve as another exciting way for me to connect with you on another dimension where you will be able to feel my intention on a deeper level.
Life at Altitude can be found on our website, https://inquirymethod.com/podcasts/. We are also on iTunes Podcasts and Google Play under ‘Life at Altitude’.
Looking forward to sharing with you and receiving your feedback!