What Works to Free the Mind -- the Power of Inquiry!

In this day and age, there are so many teachings available. Then there are several of our own personal practices which we have come to embrace. All of them hold for us the promise of inner freedom.

When we look back into our life, we can see that each practice or teaching that has come into our life at a particular stage, has had a certain value and purpose. For several years now, I have used Inquiry as an integral form of my own practice and am in the process of completing a book on the Transformative power of Inquiry.

I spoke with Joseph Goldstein, cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts on the value of Inquiry. I was curious to know what Joseph, a pioneer in bringing Insight meditation techniques from East to the West, had to say about this.

In his book "One Dharma," Joseph writes about how he used holding to the questions as a means to finding freedom from the conflict in his mind about the path. He explains how we can hold the questions without seeking a response. This helps us to make use of the teachings that come our way rather than being conflicted with which teachings to commit to. In this short 4 mins video excerpt of an interview, Joseph and I discuss some of these aspects of the transformative quality of inquiry.

When we are truly mature spiritually, it becomes obvious that even clinging to any one teaching can keep us bound. Then, with openness, every teaching we come across can serve the purpose to free the mind. Ultimately, inquiry in all its various stages is the essence of every field of study and discipline. But for meditators and spiritual practitioners, harnessing the right quality of inquiry can be a direct path to freedom.