The Power of Self-Inquiry

I recently hosted a Meetup event on The Power of Self-Inquiry and thought I’d share some of the conversation here. What is self-inquiry? What can it give us? And how do we apply self-inquiry in daily life? These are the main questions I’ll try to briefly address in this article.

“As you persevere more and more in the practice of self-inquiry, the mind acquires increasing strength and power to abide in its source.” ~Sri Ramana Marharshi

What is Self-Inquiry? Self-inquiry is an investigation. It may start with exploring the contents of one’s mind and the unconscious beliefs and conditioning behind that content. The ultimate self-inquiry question is “Who am I?” Then you enter the realm of self-inquiry that takes you home - to the core of your very existence.

What does Self-Inquiry give us? Not everyone may be seeking the ultimate answer to life-the universe-and everything (we already know it’s 42, anyway). But in my experience and those I’ve seen employ this kind of inward looking exploration, the depth of realization is transformative in every way. It brings about greater compassion, peace, joy, patience, understanding. Eventually, the enlightened ones say, it brings freedom. A complete break from the conditioned mind most of us let lead the charge.

How do I use Self-Inquiry? You don’t really “do” self-inquiry so much as you allow it to undo you! There are many incredible self-inquiry questions and most will probably be generated from your own deeper intelligence. Allow them to surface and check it out. If you want some examples, below are a few I either ran across in Gangaji books or they popped to mind while I was preparing for my Meetup. Self-inquiry questions aren’t meant to be rushed through. Yet, they also aren’t meant to prompt mental analysis. Simply dive in to each question, quietly, see what surfaces in the stillness without thinking about what the question means or what the right answer is.

  • For a moment, stop practicing being the person you think you are, or the person you think you should be. What is the experience of your Self, when you stop all the practicing of “I”?

  • What do you notice when you suspend all knowledge, belief, thought, and expectations about who you think or feel you are?

  • Who are you if you are untouched by any past and untouched by any future?

  • What is the truth of who you are when you are unburdened by any concept of idea of who you are?

  • If you are seeking the truth of yourself, where are you looking? What distance is there between the seeker and the one who is sought? What difference is there between the seeker, the seeking, the sought, and the awareness of it all?

Enjoy the journey! Please feel free to share any experiences, insights or questions you have.