The Unfindable Inquiry
The Unfindable Inquiry (the UI) is the main tool within all the Living Inquiries. The UI is the foundation for the relationship inquiries: the Boomerang and Panorama Inquiries. The UI is the inquiry we use to see that a particular person (e.g., self or other) is empty of separate nature. It focuses on one person at a time. In sessions, the client tries to find that self, by looking individually at the words, mental pictures and bodily energies that arise. In not finding that self, there can be a profound release from the story as well as a release of the emotional and sensory energy that accompanies it.
Here’s how the Unfindable Inquiry works:
- Name it. Name the person (e.g. the unlovable self, the victim, the inadequate “me”). What you are trying to find depends upon the content of your own story.
- Find it. Try to find that person. Go through each of the main thoughts, emotions, and sensations (one by one) that make up the person. For each appearance ask, “Is this me?” (e.g., Is this thought me? Is this emotion me? Is this sensation me?). Of course, if you are facilitating the inquiry for someone else, you replace “Is this me?” with “Is this you?”
The Boomerang Inquiry
The Boomerang Inquiry is an additional tool to use when you can’t quite name or “get a feel for” the deficient self. Like a boomerang that returns back to the thrower, the deficient self is mirrored back to you in relationship. By using the Boomerang Inquiry, you’ll see that mirroring effect and you’ll be able to name and then see through the deficient self that is being reflected back to you in relationship. You can inquire into your relationship with anything using the Boomerang Inquiry—any person, place, event, goal, or other thing. When we really believe that we are deficient at the core, almost everything can appear to confirm our story.
Here’s how the Boomerang Inquiry works:
- Use the mirror. Whenever you are triggered in relationship, find out what deficiency story this person or thing is mirroring back to you.
- Name it. Give the deficient self a specific name (e.g., unlovable self, unfulfilled self, lacking self, incomplete self, broken self, unsuccessful self, unsafe self or invalid self).
- Find it. Try to find this deficient self, using the UI.
The Panorama Inquiry
The Panorama Inquiry is based on the panorama view of all your relationships with people and things. Like the Boomerang Inquiry, it is merely a tool to help you name the deficient self that is being mirrored back to you in all your relationships. Once you name it, you then try to find it using the UI.
Imagine yourself sitting in the middle of a room, with all the people and other things in your life placed around you in a circle. Scan around the whole circle. As you look at each person or thing, notice how it appears to reflect back that you are deficient in some way. This panoramic view will help you see and name the particular deficient self that you take yourself to be. You use this panorama view to see what these people and things mirror back to you about your own sense of deficiency. Then you use the Unfindable Inquiry to see if you can find that self.
Here’s how the Panorama Inquiry works:
- Create a circle and scan it. Create an imaginary circle of the people and things in your life. As you scan around the circle, stop whenever you feel triggered in any way.
- Name it. Name the deficient self that this person or thing appears to mirror back to you.
- Find it. Try to find that deficient self using the UI.
- Repeat. Scan the circle again, repeating steps 1 – 3 for each person or thing that triggers you.
*Perhaps the most important thing about these inquiries is that they are best experienced, at first, with a facilitator. The facilitator gently guides you through the questions, so that you can just look at words, pictures, emotions and sensations.
The facilitators are trained to help you use the Boomerang and Panorama Inquiries if you have difficulty putting a name to how you feel about yourself when you find conflict or disharmony in relationships.
Book a session with a facilitator.