The #1 Tool for Quantum Healing, Spiritual Growth, and Consciousness Expansion
(10 minute read)
Imagine yourself sitting in front of a mirror. You are watching your own reflection. Your tummy grumbles, so you place your hand on your tummy. Then you feel an itch on your arm, so you scratch it. You yawn. You stretch your arms out. Every movement you make is reflected back to you, highlighting your usual, linear experience of reality as cause-and-effect.
You go on watching yourself in your reflection; you take mental notes of what is happening; you witness your belly rise and fall. Just like sitting on a riverbank, watching your emotions, thoughts, feelings, moods, and sensations float on by.
But, what if you were to collapse, melt, and merge into the mirror? What if you were to become one with your own reflection? What do you think would happen? What would it be like to jump into the river, instead of just watching it?
Remember that scene in the Matrix where Neo’s hand gets swallowed up by the mirror after he takes the red pill as Morpheus says, “how would you know the difference between the real world and the dream world?”
Self-inquiry is like taking the red pill.
You can spend years meditating, doing yoga, journaling, shadow work, breathwork, ego work, inner child work, all the work.
Or you can take the red pill and, like Neo, enter a world within a world.
Let’s dig deeper:
In this Matrix scene (and in life), the mirror is a metaphor for both perception and boundary. Before taking the red pill, Neo’s perception of himself and his surroundings was just an illusion which he perceived as real. By touching the surface of the mirror, Neo crosses the boundary between the Matrix and the real world. By getting swallowed up by the mirror, he experiences the dissolution of reality. The collapse of time and space. The world within a world.
Self-inquiry is like taking the red pill because it holds a mirror for us to see ourselves.
The more open (and willing) we are to see ourselves, the closer we get to the boundary between who we think we are (our perception) and who we really are(reality). At the boundary between perception and reality, there is a complete collapse of time and space. An eternal nothingness. A silent, formless abyss. Within this space, there is no “you,” there is no reflection of “you,” there is just an experience. Few are courageous enough to go there because it is the complete dissolution of the ego. But those who take the leap can experience quantum shifts in their spiritual growth, healing, and personal evolution.
Instead of doing inner work within this dense, 3D reality, self-inquiry invites us to heal, grow, and expand within the quantum. Hence why it’s called,“quantum healing.”
Keep reading to understand what self-inquiry is, what it isn’t, and how to practice it.
What self-inquiry isn’t
Before I get into a more non-metaphorical explanation of what self-inquiry is and why it’s so powerful, let’s talk about what self-inquiry is NOT.
Self-inquiry is NOT:
- Positive thinking
- Past life regression
- Free association
The reason why we don’t use these methods in self-inquiry is because they either engage the mind and consequently take us out of the present moment.
The mind leads us down the path of storytelling, narration, and fantasy, instead of down the path of personal Truth. When we engage the mind, we tend to see ourselves for who we want to be, expect to be, remember to be, or believe to be, instead of who we actually are.
The Truth is, who we want, expect, remember, or believe to be is an illusion. Illusion doesn’t mean that it’s not real; it just means that it’s impermanent and subject to change.
Consider yourself at different time points in your life; who you thought you were in high school is probably not who you are today in terms of your beliefs, values, personality traits, etc. And who you will be 5, 10, 20 years from now will also probably shift and change. Think about it: how can you be your beliefs, values, identity, personality, thoughts, emotions, etc., if they can easily change? Would you be a different person if you were called by a different name? And if you’re not these identifying markers then it begs the question: who are you?
This is the whole effort of self-inquiry—to reach and touch the part of you that does not change. The part of you that is eternal; whether you are young, old, rich, poor, sleeping, awake, dead, or alive. Whether you are black or white. Whether you are a man or a woman; whether you are called by one name or another; whether you are a Pisces or a Virgo. The part of you that is indestructible, unshakeable, untouchable, unfuckwithable. The part of you who exists beyond labels, beyond form, beyond roles, identities, memories, and even beyond your body.
This is the seed of your consciousness. Your true nature, atman, or soul.
One of my favorite recent films is Ford v. Ferrari, the true story about the famous American race car designer Caroll Shelby who builds a revolutionary race car for Ford Motor Company. I quote my favorite line from the movie, where Shelby says:
“There’s a point—7000 RPM – where everything fades. When your seeing becomes weightless, just disappears. And all that’s left is a body moving through space and time.7000 RPM that’s where you meet it. Can I ask you a question? The only question that matters. Who are you?”
Self-inquiry brings us to that point of 7000 RPM. Except you don’t have to be driving a race car to experience this weightlessness. You only have to immerse yourself so deeply into the present moment that space and time collapse, multiple realities intersect, and all your mental concepts, including “you,” disappear.
What Self-inquiry is
Here’s a quote by the Indian spiritual teacher and philosopher of nondualism, Sri Nisargadatta, that captures the beauty and wisdom of the self-inquiry method:
“The most fundamental tool that we have is self-inquiry. Self-inquiry is a path onto itself that includes both the path of awareness and the path of love. In fact, to inquire, we do need awareness to be able to recognize what is, and love to be able to accept and integrate our realization so that it becomes a living experience. The interweaving of Awareness and Love defines the quality of our Presence. When I see Iʼm nothing there is wisdom and when I see that Iʼm everything there is love. And between those two my life moves.” - Sri Nisargadatta
Self-inquiry is a practice that has its roots in Zen Buddhism. This practice was originally used by Japanese Buddhist monks in order to attain satori, which means “seeing into one’s true nature.” Satori can also be likened to a sudden and temporary state of enlightenment which increases in frequency and intensity depending on how much it is practiced.
Self-inquiry was originally practiced using a koan, or a paradoxical puzzle, riddle, or question meant to provoke great insight. A koan can be an existential question such as, “Who am I?” or a puzzle such as, “there’s a blue ghost in the room, how do you get rid of it?”
Zen Masters would instruct their disciples (usually Buddhist monks) to inquire into a koan and return to them once they found the “answer.” In a traditional setting, the monks would inquire into their koan by facing a wall. They would spend weeks, months, or even years working with the same koan until they graduatedt o a more advanced one.
In the 1960/70s, self-inquiry became popularized in the West.
Someone had a brilliant idea to modernize this ancient practice to fit our chaotic, busy lifestyles. Instead of facing the wall, we work in a dyad exercise (i.e. two people facing each other). Within a dyad, one person is the communicator and the other person is the listener. This introduced 2 modifications to the original self-inquiry practice:
1) Working in a dyad meets the standards of a Western therapeutic approach. It gives us an opportunity to communicate our deepest truths, and to be held and seen by a non-judgmental person within a safe container. The only difference (and a MAJOR one) is that the traditional patient-therapist-teacher-student hierarchy doesn’t exist between the two people. This is a process of mirroring, or reflecting each others’ feelings and experiences. Mirroring allows for two people in a dyad exercise to see and feel each other deeply, as well as see and feel themselves deeply, without the interference of the mental concepts and hierarchies imposed by the mind. This creates a powerful energetic container of trust, healing, love, and wholesome interaction between two souls.
2) Within a dyad, we explore real-life questions, conflicts, or uncertainties that a person is facing in their life. This opens up the possibility to source answers to our problems and conflicts from deep within, rather than through superficial reflection, analysis, introspection, pondering, and other ‘mind-based’ methods. Inquiry brings an energy of curiosity, playfulness, exploration, and mystery to the process, so our questions are answered not through logic, reasoning, or intellectualization, but through an embodied experience.
The hallmark of self-inquiry is the simple practice of presence. But rather than being passively present as we do in traditional meditation, self-inquiry invites us into the practice of active presence.
Being actively present is the capacity to consciously explore our embodied experience of the present moment with a non-judgmental and compassionate attitude. Rather than allowing our uncomfortable sensations, emotions, feelings, moods, and thoughts to pass through us, we use them as information to take us deeper into our inner Being and reach profound insights about our psyche + spirit.
It’s often the case that one inquiry session can catalyze deeper healing, transformation, and insight within us than years of therapy.
Benefits of self-inquiry
- Learn how to become intensely present in your body
- Learn how to bring awareness and compassion to difficult or unpleasant thoughts, moods, feelings, sensations, and emotions.
- Learn how to release and transmute feelings of anger, fear, or sadness into expanded states of being (i.e. love, oneness, peace)
- Learn how to access repressed or suppressed emotions or memories
- Learn how to listen and connect to a deeper part of your Inner Being
- Learn how to gain mastery over your inner landscape
- Learn how to communicate with your unconscious mind
- Learn how to hold healing space for yourself
- Learn how to defend and protect against mechanisms of guilt and shame
- Learn how to connect to your intuitive wisdom and inner knowing
How to Practice self-inquiry
The practice of self-inquiry is like swimming: hard to learn, easy to master. The most important piece of self-inquiry has to do with the quality of the questions—learning how to ask the right questions. The right questions lead to the right answers.
Here are 3 tips to support you in this practice:
1) Become intensely present in your body.
Most of us are disconnected with our bodies from the neck down, especially when it comes to processing emotions. It’s important to remember that our emotions are embodied as physical sensations in the body. When doing self-inquiry, we are inquiring into the felt experience of the present moment, not an interpretation of it. So instead of asking, “why am I feeling this way?” ask, “how is this feeling manifesting in my body?” Neutralizing your experience will allow you to go deeper into it.
2) Ask, “who, what, or how” NOT “why or what if?”
“Why” or “what if” questions lead to abstractions from the mind. Asking “why” leads you down a rabbit hole of explanations and interpretations, while “what if” leads you down the rabbit hole of hypothetical scenarios. It’s important to stay in the only moment that exists: here and now.
3) Stay in the energy of “suchness”
Suchness is the beautiful Zen teaching that embraces the notion of “it is what it is.” It is an artful approach to embracing the present moment exactly as it is, without interfering, judging, or resisting it. It’s the ability to be both apart from your experience and a part of your experience at the same time. It can be likened to being in the eye of the cyclone; the capacity to be immersed in the moment yet not carried away by it.
Self-inquiry is a mysterious leap into the unknown. Many feelings, thoughts, emotions, memories, etc. come to surface and some of it may feel uncomfortable or distressing. The ego will resist and not approve. The mind will judge it as good or bad, positive or negative, right or wrong. It’s important not to judge or resist any part of your experience, including the judgement and resistance itself.
I know this practice will lead you to deeper insights about yourself so that you can realize the true nature of who you are beyond your past, ego, and conditioning.T he best thing about self-inquiry is that it can be practiced anytime, anywhere, without necessarily needing to be on a meditation cushion.
Once you master this practice, you can truly be in command of your energy, your emotions, and your experience of reality. It will allow you to play in the world of form without judging, labeling, identifying, or becoming any of it. It will invite you to bring a sense of ease and relaxation to all your experiences, even the unpleasant ones. And it will immerse you into the mysteries of the unknown, the dimensions of your Being, and the love and wisdom that is contained within your embodied consciousness.
If you’re curious to dive into this practice and experience healing and transformation through self-inquiry, I'm calling in 5 seekers to enroll in my 6-week 1:1 program, Authentic Self. Self-inquiry is the main tool that I use in Authentic Self as I believe it is the most valuable practice I can teach you. My clients are usually amazed at how simple and profound this technique is in catalyzing deep transformations and shifts within their mind, body, psyche, and energy. This program is for the sincere seeker who is ready to take their inner work to the next level. If that's you, you can apply to my program or schedule a free 30-minute consultation with me to chat. I am also offering 50-minute self-inquiry intro sessions for those who are not ready to commit to the whole program but want to get a taste of how it this incredible practice works. You can book an intro session here.
To your Truth, Wisdom, and Conscious Expansion,