Spiritual Inquiry is a powerful spiritual practice and tool for insight. It is an essential element for moving past ego.
“Meditative self-inquiry is the art of asking a spiritually powerful question. And a question that is spiritually powerful always points us back to ourselves. Because the most important thing that leads to spiritual awakening is to discover who and what we are—to wake up from this dream state, this trance state of identification with ego. And for this awakening to occur, there needs to be some transformative energy that can flash into consciousness. It needs to be an energy that is actually powerful enough to awaken consciousness out of its trance of separateness into the truth of our being. Inquiry is an active engagement with our own experience that can cultivate this flash of spiritual insight.” – Yoga International
So we might ask questions like: How shall I live, knowing I will die? What Do I love? What is life calling of me? Who am I?
The question that may be least useful is the question Why: Why did that happen? Why did I do that? Why am I like this?
The word Why invites a causal answer. In the physical world, it can be helpful to understand cause and effect. Why does the moon look different every week? Why do salmon swim upstream? When used as spiritual Inquiry, it invites going to a story to explain how things occurred. It leads to creating a personality to explain experience or worse, it leads to coming up with reasons to see yourself as flawed. The question Why creates instant separation from Source.
A key aspect of good inquiry is it moves you away from head and into heart. The word Why is a head question.
“When Inquiry is authentic, it brings you into the experience of here and now, bringing you to the full depth of it, pulling you into it. The question pulls you back into the mystery of your experience. “What am I?” takes you right back into the mystery. If your mind is honest, it knows it doesn’t have the answer. You ask, “What am I?” and instantly, there is silence. Your mind doesn’t know. And when it doesn’t know, there is an experience right here, right now, that is alive. You bump into nothingness inside—that no-thing, that absolute nothingness which your mind can’t know.” – Adyashanti
Let the question Why be an indicator that you are not engaging in spiritual inquiry. Better yet, find your own powerful questions and share them here in the comments.