What is self-inquiry?
During self-inquiry, you meditate on meaningful questions like Who am I? What is freedom? What is love? Who would I be without my limiting beliefs? Your answers will come from your own wisdom and are often surprising and deeply touching. But most importantly, they will set you free. What is required? Guidance, time, and a bit of dedication. Once you have learned the ‘methods’ of self-inquiry, you can do it anywhere, anytime, alone or with others.
My path to self-inquiry
At various times in my life, I’ve dealt with depression and anxiety. That and my curiosity drove me to explore different techniques of self-discovery.
I experienced gestalt therapy, encounter groups, tantra, mantra, meditation, body & breathwork, fasting, and psychedelic-assisted therapy. I cried, sobbed, shouted, wrestled, hyperventilated, roleplayed, meditated, danced, and fell to the bottom of the barrel, only to discover there was always another layer to uncover. The journey of self-discovery never seems to end.
Every method I tried was important at the time; it was what I needed then. I am deeply grateful for the wonderful teachers and therapists who guided me. They showed me so much love, generosity, and integrity. I am still amazed by the layers of patterns, trauma, and beliefs I have uncovered.
Nowadays, my daily practice is quieter and more contemplative. I mostly use self-inquiry to look deeper at any problems, restrictions, or fears that I might have. I know two powerful methods for self-inquiry, and I highly recommend both: The Enlightenment Intensive (aka Satori Process) and The Work of Byron Katie.
Self-inquiry asks meaningful questions
Self-inquiry is not about asking yourself random questions that the mind brings up. Certain questions do not lead us to more insight. Examples of unhelpful questions are:
Why am I like this?
What am I doing wrong?
Why did my mother/ father not want me?
Why can’t they be more loving?
Why did they leave me?
What is wrong with me/ him/ her?
Why can’t I find true love?
Why can’t I overcome my addiction?
Why is life so hard/unfair?
These painful questions often go around and around in our minds. They trigger disturbing emotions like anxiety, sadness, anger, or depression. The process of self-inquiry uses different types of questions. Questions that are designed to give us more clarity and to set us free.
The Enlightenment Intensive / aka Satori Process
During the Enlightenment Intensive you attempt to answer questions like:
Who am I? What is another? What is life? What is love? What is freedom? What is my purpose? What is death?
For example, instead of repeatedly asking yourself the painful question, why don’t they love me?, you are invited to ask a much more profound question: What is love? This question can dislodge you from your attachment to the other person and your ego. This method will support you to go beyond your personal wants, needs, infatuations, demands or obsessions. It will set you free.
The Work of Byron Katie
4. Who would you be without the thought?
Your path to independence
Are you curious?
● Byron Katie, Loving What Is, and I Need Your Love, is it True?
● The Teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi: Who am I?
● Charles Berner and Mona Sosna, Consciousness of Truth