– In a nutshell, guided self inquiry is really simple. It’s simply turning your attention from outward to inward.
– And that process is facilitated by a guide. So if we just stop to think about that for a second, okay. The attention is usually going outward, right?
– It is.
– Towards the objects of the senses, you know our senses, we have hearing, we have vision, we have smell, we have taste, all of these senses are all oriented usually towards things that are external.
– And so that’s where we spend most of our time, most of our lives is with our attention pointing outwards. Now, simply by taking the attention and turning it inwards, and some people who are listening might not even really, that might not make sense right now, exactly what that means, so hopefully that will become more clear as we talk tonight. But, it’s just simply, if you think of it as shining a light simply by turning it inwards, I see we have a question, Taylor Marie is asking, why would I want to focus inwardly? So yeah, that is a great question. So, why would you want to take that light of your own awareness and turn it from outward to inward?
– Well, one thought that comes up for me is that, it’s a way to perhaps calm some static of what’s going out. So, I have a moment to pause and reflect, of what I’m really feeling, what I’m really thinking, and maybe what I’m even really needing, before I take any kind of actions or keep looking outside of myself for things, so it’s a way to kind of go in and maybe create some space to navigate my life from.
– Create some space.
– Beautiful, so that’s really essential, Ron, creating space, and that’s just it. By turning the attention inwards, it allows us to detach from all of these, I won’t say distractions, but attractions, distractions, all of the busyness, you know, the static, the white noise in our lives, and to turn that attention back inward and get centered again. Any of you have a meditation practice, practice yoga, you know, simply sit down with a book sometimes, you know, that is actually a concentration practice, and when we sit down and we read a book, it can be very relaxing, and the reason is, we’re taking our attention from being focused on multiple things to just one thing.
– And that alone is just, that’s a calming, in a sense, our attention gets, it calms down when it can focus on one thing.
– I see that. Can I say one other thing that comes up?
– One other thing that comes up is that it’s an opportunity to maybe just shut down the senses a little bit.
– Right? So that we’re minimizing the amount of information that’s streaming in and it just gives us an opportunity to close that down a little bit, and have less coming in,
– That’s right.
– So that we can have a little more calm.
– That’s right. Yeah, exactly, so it takes energy to manage all of the input, you know, when we’re always looking outwards, you know, with our eyes, when we’re hearing stuff, these are all processes that require energy, so it’s just like shutting down some systems, turning it inwards.
– Mm-hmm. I like that.
– Yeah. So, what if we turn our attention inwards, what it is that we might find? That’s an interesting question to ask.
– I have a quote that I love, and that is, “If you want to know yourself, look out to the world. “If you want to know the world, look within yourself.” Because, you know, as you’re talking about senses, that’s how the outside world gains access to our inner life, is through our senses, so what is outside streams in, and that forms our thought and feeling life, and so, we might find who we are based on the world outside of us.
– That’s right. And oftentimes, you know, our self definitions have so much to do with how, you know, how our energy is reflected in the world. Not necessarily any intrinsic problem with that, however, it does, it can be a problem to some if it starts to create suffering, if the only way that we have of defining who we are is through the outer world, and you know, this often would take the place of comparisons and looking at other people and saying, well, look at that person, I don’t have what they have, I don’t look like they have, and again, we’re already, we’re a little bit lost. You know, we’ve just disempowered ourselves by taking, again, our attention away from intrinsically who we are, and starting to put that outside of ourselves. So, it’s just taking personal power and putting it outside.