The Living Inquiry by Paul Galewitz

It wouldn’t be much of a reach to suggest that we are living through some very turbulent times at the moment. Many of us have seen some of our most treasured ideals, hopes for a better future, and dependable institutions trashed over the last several months. This has undoubtedly engendered an entire spectrum of difficult feelings, ranging from fear and anxiety to the bleakest despair. I have experienced this range of feelings, including boiling rage, bitter disappointment, and extreme sadness. These feelings are ongoing, and I can only wonder how much of this a body can endure.

But you know what? None of these feelings last forever. It is the nature of feelings that they are transient. You might be hard pressed to remember what you were feeling before you began reading this blog. As wave forms, feelings are not designed to get stuck in our systems. They are designed to pass through. It is only our resistance to feeling these so-called “negative” feelings that keep them sticking around. If we resist them long enough, this resistance can lead to emotional outbursts, depression, and perhaps physical and/or emotional breakdowns and health issues.

The prevalent programming on this planet is to encourage our avoidance of any feelings that might be labeled “negative.” The number of forms this avoidance takes are apparently infinite, and can often involve the use of addictive substances and/or addictive behaviors. If you examine your life right now, my guess would be that you wouldn’t have too much trouble noticing the substances or behaviors you use in order to avoid difficult feelings. Many of these substances and activities can be enjoyable and even beneficial in some cases. But the next time you sense a difficult feeling looming in your awareness, also notice your next move. Is it to allow the feeling, or do you want to avoid it by taking something, eating, going for a run, turning on the TV, or doing anything at all in order to avoid feeling that feeling? Once you notice your “go-to” move, your life  may begin to change in expected and unexpected ways.

Allowing difficult emotions and feelings may not be as easy as simply intending to do that. As stated before, the prevalent programming on this planet has been to avoid, rather than to allow, being with difficult sensations. We shouldn’t underestimate the strength of this programming, as it has created some pretty sticky patterns for us to unwind. However, we also shouldn’t underestimate the power of our focus and intent, so when you are ready to go down this road, and reverse the programming we have been subject to, there is no doubt that you can succeed.

One of the tools available to us that is of extraordinary help in this regard are The Living Inquiries, as originated by Scott Kiloby and a few other collaborators. The basis for the inquiries is that suffering is caused by the fact that thoughts, in the form of words and pictures, are attached, or velcroed, to bodily sensations, feelings, and emotions. Once we are able to examine the words and images as simply that, words and images, we are free to allow the sensations to be felt. This allows the feelings to be free to pass through, as they are actually wave forms, and are designed to move.

Because there have been so many shocks and traumas in our lives, some pretty sticky patterns of avoidance have been established. This is entirely understandable, as we were struggling to survive in our families of origin, especially in our very early years, or even in utero. During a Living Inquiries session, many of the thoughts associated with these events can actually reveal themselves, accompanied by the sensations associated with them. The good news is that there are tools that will allow you to “unvelcro” the memories (words and images) from the sensations, allowing you to simply sit and be with the sensations by themselves; in other words, without the story they have been associated with.

A huge component of The Living Inquiries is coming to a place of profound rest before a session. Many of us have experienced this place of peace and relaxation in meditation or at other quiet times. You will be guided to revisit that peaceful, quiet place inside before the actual inquiry begins.

Revealing these memories is not the goal of a Living Inquiry session. The goal would simply to examine whatever you are experiencing in any given moment. Any issue you are experiencing in that moment is the jumping-off point for beginning an inquiry. One never knows where an inquiry will wind up, and what surprises may await you.

It’s not as if doing an inquiry will actually change whatever situation you are experiencing, although it could. Rather, something about you will change. You may notice that you are perceiving the same situation differently than you were previously. I like to say that the solid ground you thought you were standing on begins to shift, and that change becomes the only certainty.

Which brings us back to the beginning of this blog, the turbulent times we are facing. So many people in my experience are being triggered by what is happening on our planet. If you are one of those people, and are ready to inquire into what might actually be triggering you (it’s almost never what you think it is!), I invite you to explore the websites below.

Whatever you decide to do or not do, know that we are all together in this, and that this is the time to use all the tools you have at hand. We will be reaching out to each other now more than ever, and my appreciation for what I have learned and the people whom I reach out to has never been more profound.