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.
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.
Hi everyone, this is Peggy. I want to give you a quick summary before we jump into the blog.
Today’s blog centers around a conversation and teaching that happened on one of our recent membership calls and is presented here with permission from the participant. It starts when Kyle asks participants to share one thing they’d like the group to know about them.
It’s about how when we hold judgments on ourselves, we often also take the egoic position of the opposite side of that judgment. And, consequently, we are pulled in two directions: one of judging ourselves for not being x and one that is proudly asserting that we are x. In this blog, we explore that tension and what we can do to free ourselves from it.
We invite you to read the dialogue and teaching below, or you can listen to the audio recording. The audio is a neat way to experience what the membership calls can be like and why coaching is helpful. We also find that often some of your own growth comes from experiencing the new awareness and growth of others.
To learn more about our membership calls, click here
Listen to the audio here, or scroll down to read the conversation and teaching.
Client: One thing I’d like you to know about me is that… I’m shy.
Kyle: How does that show up?
C: I don’t speak up sometimes. Sometimes I just hold back.
K: What’s behind you holding back?
C: Fear of judgment.
K: What’s the judgment you most fear?
C: I don’t know what I’m talking about.
K: Ah, you fear the judgment that you don’t know what you are talking about.
When did you first learn that one? How old were you?
[After the client feels into the original place/people this judgment came from, Kyle switches to some teaching]
K: When we have an existing judgment, i.e. “I don’t know what I’m talking about, “ our psyche puts on the opposite idea as a defense, in this case: “I do know what I’m talking about” or “I want to know what I’m talking about”. It’s not a defense in the moment, but it’s this idea that I’m supposed to do that other thing instead i.e. I’m supposed to know what I’m talking about. And, I start to hold that egoic position of: “I do know what I’m talking about”. And, I get attached to that idea.
And, it pulls us in two directions – we have this judgment on ourselves, and at the same time, we find ourselves attached to that opposite egoic position.
But, we don’t have to live in that tension.
I don’t know if you notice but when I’m teaching there is both a quality that I do know what I’m talking about and there is also a quality that I don’t know what I’m talking about. The heart of inquiry is open curiosity- a total willingness to be informed differently, it’s kind of like: Hey this is kind of my best shot at it.
There is so much freedom in having no position on knowing what I’m talking about, not that I do or don’t. Sometimes I do know what I’m talking about and sometimes I don’t.
At the Freedom Experience, we sometimes put these opposing ideas metaphorically in each hand. In this example, “I know what I’m talking about” would be in one hand and “I don’t know what I’m talking about” in the other. And we can see visually, that we get stuck in this duality. I’m trying to repress that I don’t know what I’m talking about and simultaneously, I’m trying to amplify that I do know what I’m talking about. So, the hands/our psyche gets pulled apart. But, when we let go of the energy between them, the dualities come together (visually the hands come together). And, in this place where the dualities come together, it becomes a non-question- the whole issue of knowing or not knowing what I’m talking about disappears. It’s a non-duality, a non-question. I have the freedom to sometimes know what I’m talking about and sometimes not know what I’m talking about.
So, there are all these things like this. And, this is part of what we do at the Freedom Experience. We identify all these places of duality
- “I’m not pretty enough” and “I’m trying to be pretty”. It has this duality and tension rather than just being.
- I may be trying to be smart but that means I also repress or shutdown not being smart. I hold this open question/judgment: Am I smart or am I not smart?
So, there are all these dualities in these thoughts and beliefs that we hold about ourselves. And when it goes away there is this freedom from the struggle in between these dualities (and that’s why we call it the Freedom Experience).
Another judgment could be that “I’m too scared”. If you take the energy out of it, it collapses to “I can be scared or not scared.” And, then in any given moment it may be: “I can be scared or not scared, but I’m feeling scared right now. And, the whole resistance to it changes, it becomes “oh I wonder why I’m scared now, maybe I should pay attention.”
So, the more that we can identify these dualities and let all the energy out of them, there is more freedom to just be.
In the original example, once I let the energy out, knowing what I’m talking about or not knowing what I’m talking about isn’t even a consideration. It just doesn’t occur. It’s more “maybe I do and maybe I don’t.” Self-trust comes in. There is a deeper truth that comes in when I don’t have to know or not know. The more we get out of needing to know, the more we get into source.
Every time we can collapse one of those dualities, the more we are connected to source.
To read more about our members calls, click here
To read more blogs on self-identity and ego, click here
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
A teacher in India once said to me that the yogic path is not one of evolution but devolution. That we are not working to become more complex but more simple.
In devolving, we are not working on ourselves to be more, know more, think more, or do more, but to become truer to our simplest self. We are already whole and unbroken and completely worthy in every way for just being.
The work is shedding everything that is not us, down to our simplest self. Everything we have added trying to be worthy obscures us from ourselves and others. But, the simpler we get, the more source speaks to us. Life gets easier. We become more loving and more loved. Not because we got it right, but because we didn’t need anything extra, because who we are is inherently worthy, loving and loveable.
In simplicity there is little to plan or figure out, by being able to get quiet, do less, to wait and listen, we will have everything we need to know and do. Getting simple opens the doors to everything you already have, which is more than you will ever need or even yet realize.
Much of the suffering I see in people is around the topic self worth. What is the value of a person? How do you compare the relative value of people? The way I see it is that the absolute value of a person = 1. It could be any number but I chose 1. In that case the value of every person = 1. So, the relative comparative value between people is always 1:1. I am having fun with my simple math skills but it came home to me so profoundly this weekend at The Mountain Experience, through Inquiry Method, in a context of sanctuary, that every person has a profoundly unique and paradoxically equal value. Amazing!
Below all the patterns, habits, behaviors, pain, ego, voids, drive…, humans are beautiful and good. We are all uniquely, profoundly and equally worthy of an amazing life. This is not to say that all participation and contributions are equal and the same, but fundamentally we are equally worthy. It is an amazing gift of this work to be able to see clearly through all my layers of judgement and also be able to see through all the coverings and protection of another person to the unique, beautiful being inside. I feel so fortunate to have had this experience, to deepen my understanding of this life changing principle and to witness others having this awakening- such a supreme gift of The Mountain Experience.
The more you uncover yourself, the more you can accept who you are. The act of uncovering yourself is like going through darkness or a shadowy area. On the other side of uncovering who you are is the opportunity to discover approval for yourself. As you identify the parts of yourself that you do not accept, you can find a way of gaining approval for them.
This is a part of what we do at the Freedom Experience; we look into all of those things that we have repressed and judged about ourselves, and we talk about how they are necessary parts of a whole human. For example, judging that we are lazy or slothful is also the part of us that allows us to rest. How much do you honor the part of you that needs rest and nurturing? Or we may discover that the part of us that gets angry is also the part of ourselves that wants to take care of us.
A client recently asked me, “How do you form an intention from the heart?” The short answer is you can’t; it’s impossible. You can only discover what your intention is. Inspiration is not something we are in charge of, so the best we can do is to uncover and identify it. Like in Inquiry Method with the Mountain Experience, we just uncover intent, not form it. In other words, You cannot do anything that you do not want to do.
This idea is part of surrendering to oneself, surrendering to God, surrendering to life; however you want to say it, you have to just keep discovering. Opinion itself is actually pointless; we are just here to discover the truths about ourselves and you are going to be most powerful when you are most like yourself. You have to work to be in alignment with your authentic intentions rather than some kind of artificially driven intentions. The best you can do is be more like yourself.
We get taught that we are supposed to be different from who we are, but it’s about accepting who we are and discovering that from a place of acceptance. There are three points to this: resistance, which is non-acceptance; acceptance, which is kind of neutrality towards something; and approval, which is enthusiastic engagement towards something. And we can relate to ourselves in any of those three ways. We can relate to ourselves through resistance, or through non-acceptance of ourselves, we can relate to ourselves through acceptance, or through tolerating and being okay with ourselves, or we can work towards approval and approving who we really are.
Most people think of their mind as their controlling mechanism. However I believe that when we examine it more deeply we find that the mind is rarely strong enough to go against our inner desire or when it does it is to our detriment. We think that thinking can or will override what our actual intention is or what we actually want.
In Inquiry Method we’re looking to derail the mindset that thought has authority over ourselves; in Inquiry Method the only real authority is our inner source, where our intention already exists even before we think about it. Sometimes our minds try to override our true desires and intentions with intellectual or mental intentions or actions. If we can identify these thoughts and set them aside, and look deeper, we can find out what it is that we really want on the deepest level and live our lives from that.
The Mountain Experience ultimately helps you liberate yourself to connect with your source. The focus of the Mountain Experience is on the emotional things that obscure and overlay the ability to sense into what we really want, our source.
It’s important to talk about what we mean by feelings when we discuss source. There are two kinds of feelings: emotional feelings and inner-knowing feelings. When we’re talking about inner-knowing feeling, this is about uncovering our true intentions and true desires and embracing them. Desire and intentions are intimately tied together.
In our culture, women, much more so than men, have not been allowed to have or express their desires; consequently, women in particular really need to learn to develop their own approval for their desires. Desire is the key to intention and is what we mean by authoring our life, a life built on our actual desire. When we’re really in touch with our authentic desires, not just the intellectual ones or the emotionally reactive ones we become powerful and manifest the lives we want.
Sometimes we confuse other people too, because we tell others that our desire is this when what we actually want is that. People often say one thing and then do something totally different when they are not fully in touch with their authentic desires. I encourage you to connect with your inner knowing and to become in alignment with your true desires. I invite you to use me as a guide to help filter through the noise to help you connect with your true self.