Living Inquiry… Conscious Practice With the Unknown.

on Mar 13, 2021

I’m currently offering a Continuum series called Living Inquiry.

Throughout the series I am encouraging participants to intentionally arrive in to “not knowing”, not only each time we are together and with our explorations, but also practicing with this in moments of their every day lives, outside of class time. 

So this week, I also wanted to ask you dear readers, to ponder the questions, “What don’t I know yet?”, “What am I curious about?”.
If there’s nothing that comes to mind maybe a question could be, “What do I want to be curious about?”.   Another could be, “What is something I do not yet see?”. 

Let’s spend some time living into these questions, letting ourselves open to them, not to get to an answer, but just as a lived invitation to a dance with curiosity.
Letting these questions deepen into our systems opens us to new possibilities of life that we never could have seen by only staying within our version of what is. 

Another possibility or way to invite some time with the unknown could be to practice being with something that is very familiar to you, maybe a house plant or a pet or a tree, in a different way.  Take five minutes and be with this life appearing in front of you with beginner’s eyes, as if you are seeing it for the first time.  Drop everything that you know about what you are looking at and just notice, what is here right now, shining through, without any label or story about it?

My invitation for myself, those who said yes to this series with me, and also now you,  is to move, intentionally with the realm of the “unknown” for a bit.

Intentional is a key here…
Making this intentional choice to be in inquiry for time periods, to make time for dipping into this space of unknown, is different from being tossed into the unknown.  When we are tossed in, we can feel totally flipped upside down or disoriented or scared.  This lends itself to the tendency to feel the need to frantically try to find our way back out, do whatever it takes to get ourselves to “solid ground”.  I think this is why many struggled so much with 2020.

In this exploration of living from inquirywe instead say I choose to let myself be with inquiry, with the questions, with the unknown.  I am going to do so without a need for an answer, but instead to choose into the experience of opening myself up to the mystery, the place beyond my “map”.
THIS is a wonderful opportunity for discovery. 

When we dare to ask, see, or invite into our awareness that beyond which we think we “know”, we then get to discover aspects of being that were not attainable to us before.  
This invites us out of the limitations of living only within what we “know”.
It frees us from the confines of staying small and stagnant, and opens us to growth and freshness in our lives.  

When we take some time for intentional discovery, to regularly and consciously dip into a dance with the unknown, we can actually begin to develop comfort and confidence here.

Then, when we are thrown unintentionally into the unknown we have some practiced and developed skill in being in this kind of territory. 
I see this kind of
like swimming lessons for living in the ocean of life.
If we have experience with swimming lessons, then we are more prepared for a time when we might fall off of our little personal boat.  Whether it’s a small little raft or big grandiose boat (a case for community and friends…), you’re still in an ocean and waves will come.
If you are clinging, white knuckled to your own personal little raft, a fall from that place will seem very scary.
If you have swimming lessons and experience with leaving what is familiar and being in the flow and movement of the water, an unexpected wave or event sending you toppling might still feel scary.  Depending
on how big or unexpected the fall is into the water, it might still be a startling event, but if we’ve had some practice and experience in the water, we are much less likely to panic, sink, or drown. 

In fact, we might even be so comfortable in the waters of the unknown that we relax a bit.
Maybe we even notice the refreshing temperature or movement of the water, take a breath and dive even deeper down under and play, let ourselves float back up, rest with our belly’s to the sky and discover that we have a new way of floating with the current.