Enhance your meditation skills through the study of Meditative Inquiry
3.5 min read – It brings us so much joy to share with you more details about our new elective, Meditative Inquiry. This wonderful elective has been authored by ACHS coach Tim James. He shares his experience with this transformative meditation discipline and invites you to deepen your meditation practice through the study of Meditative Inquiry.
How it all started…
Wind back to September 2018 in the Himalayan foothills.
For 10 minutes, we were jumping up and down dripping with sweat in 38-degree heat, with arms in the air, breathing out aloud ‘woo’, ‘woo’, ‘woo’ and the thought, ‘what is this meditation all about?’ sprang to mind.
If you’re fascinated by meditation like me, then to explore and unravel the practice of meditation is just part of your everyday life. So when asked by an Osho meditation master if I wanted to meditate with him for 5 days in India, of course, I said, ‘Absolutely’! It was a remarkable experience. To receive such generosity, to meet and be with amazing people, and of course the meditations – pools of sweat and all!
I found out that what we were practising was called dynamic meditation. Not something I was familiar with up until then, but it certainly left a joyous imprint on me.
I love the exploration into meditation and the different techniques and approaches. Just when you think you’ve come across pretty much everything you discover another approach. It’s endless and fascinating!
Throughout my personal journey with meditation, there is one practice that has been an ever-deepening, ever nourishing source – that is Meditative Inquiry. And I have learnt that you don’t need to jump up and down to practice it!
What is Meditative Inquiry?
Meditative Inquiry is the space to bring your big questions.
Who am I?
What’s my purpose?
What do I really want?
And, the questions that help navigate life.
What’s my next best move?
What do I need to know right now?
Meditative inquiry is the practice of holding an inquiry in the field of aware presence. It is allowing what unfolds to unfold, without expectation. It is a space of deep listening without needing to know.
A form of Meditative Inquiry, called Self-Inquiry, is also an approach for moving beyond the rational mind, accessing inner wisdom/insight, as well as for directly recognizing, or resting back as, that which you are, beyond the physical body.
So Meditative Inquiry is beneficial for seeking insight in the physical world. For everyday challenges and concerns, from exploring emotions to supporting decision making. It also supports seeing beyond the physical world, receiving spiritual insight and inquiring into the nature of who we are.
My path to discovering Meditative Inquiry…
I was first introduced to Meditative Inquiry through the Eckhart Tolle book, The Power of Now. Whilst it wasn’t called Meditative Inquiry, this book and its words deeply rooted in presence supported an opening in me to what is beyond the physical body. Questions were sparked, held in presence and insights flared like flames bursting in the night sky, illuminating the previously darkened spaces.
I dived deeper into this ‘work’ through book after book, retreat after retreat and teacher after teacher. Seeking and searching for the spark. The path lead back upon itself, back home to here, where I always already am.
Meditative Inquiry supports a free moving flow with life. It is simple and yet may not be easy. You may find yourself exploring your innermost emotional turmoil, or resting in the nature of who you are. It can be both challenging and enlightening.
What are some of the techniques?
There are numerous Meditative Inquiry and Self-Inquiry techniques. Within the course that is offered by the Australian Centre for Holistic Studies (ACHS) we dive into various approaches including, but not limited to;
- Mindfulness – the awareness that arises when you are being attentive to what is happening around and within you, without judgement. Mindfulness provides a supportive foundation for meditative inquiry.
- Neti-Neti (Not this, Not that) – this is a practice of seeing clearly that which we are not, allowing us to see what remains.
- Ramana Maharshi’s Self-Inquiry – Indian Spiritual Teacher Sri Ramana Maharshi taught that the individual self is nothing more than a thought or an idea.
Keep an eye out for our blog next week that explains these techniques further.
How can I study Meditative Inquiry?
This new elective can be studied through the Certificate/Advanced Certificate in Guiding and Teaching Meditation. There is a pre-requisite to complete up to Sessions 8 of the core subjects.
Please leave any comments or any questions you might have about this amazing new elective, and we’ll be sure to answer them!
I welcome you to study Meditative Inquiry with me,
Tim is a certified meditation teacher based in Adelaide and a coach at ACHS. His business, Meditation Life, specializes in mindfulness and self-inquiry practices for groups, corporate and one-on-one.