Self Inquiry is one of the most important aspects of personal growth and to reaching your full potential in life.
If you ask yourself this question “Who Am I?” you begin to realise that the usual answers are not quite adequate.
Eg, I am Megan, I am a mother, I am a counsellor, I am a student. These are shallow answers to this question. They do not answer who you truly are – or who I am
You soon realise that I am not this or this or this.
And much of the identification falls away. This is a method that is taught in yoga, However for some of us it is a realisation that came from much meditation; an organic falling away.
If you dig deeper you begin to experience an opening up to a space, a depth of reality, not normally felt or experienced. But, one that has always been there, a limitless sense of self. An emptiness that is full of potentiality. What many call spirit or consciousness itself.
The beginning of the journey to truth.
Reflection is a part of self inquiry.
I drew this one day when I was thinking about the art of reflection and how when I look at my self now verses myself many years ago – I am a completely different person – because I have self reflected. And grown.
If we become a witness to our thoughts and feelings we get to see what is ruling our life, Literally.
A lot of new age teachers and books point to a mirror effect. The idea that another person mirrors us. That what we dislike in another’s behaviour is in our selves (an example of this is the work of Byron Katie). And if we work on this we can become free and therefore happier.
I don’t entirely agree with this – as sometimes we simply see that behaviour in someone is not working for their happiness and this is why we don’t like it. Or, there could be many factor’s for seeing it as disturbing the flow. So in some cases it may be true (and a helpful discernment) but not always.
Doubt everything is a teaching of the Buddha. Well, actually it goes more like this:
“Therefore, Ananda, be islands unto yourselves, refuges unto yourselves, seeking no external refuge; with the Dhamma as your island, the Dhamma as your refuge, seeking no other refuge.” Maha Parinibbana Sutta (DN 16)
It refers to not accepting everything as truth and to using your own heart and mind to discern your beliefs about life. I like this because it promotes healthy skepticism; living on blind faith takes away your personal power! An important establishment in the journey of self inquiry.
It is good to reflect on things, to look deeply at what we are seeing, hearing, being told etc.
I think it is always best to be self aware, self reflective.
Reflection is the process of looking back on our lives (and even our days) so that we can see what is successful and what is holding us back (from peace or truth). It’s an important process, as it helps us to unfold what is working and not working in our lives.
I love the saying “If you believe, then it is so”
I drew this pic after a trip to Bali.
The Balinese people are the happiest people in the world. They are always smiling and happy and very generous of themselves and their culture. Ahimsa is prevalent in their interactions, permeating their being.
The Balinese have a deep faith or belief in their Hindu traditions (somewhat different to, but derived from the Indian tradition). For them the earth is a place given to them by the gods. They give offerings to the earth gods in gratitude for their time here. It is their belief in gratitude that is deeply entrenched in their psyche, that (I believe) makes them so open and hospitable.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “You are what you think all day long.”
This is so true. what else could there be? Spirit?
As we awaken our belief system rewrites itself.
This can be a painful process, as we often have ingrained beliefs at our core, in our psyches, our cells; at an energetic level. This can be a tricky time. Reflection can overwhelm our capacity to function, yet is vital to our growth or realising of Self.
This is why meditation is recommended. It nurtures peace and relaxes our minds and bodies; helping the process.
All of these elements are integral to us becoming whole human beings. To overcoming or becoming at one with suffering, to moving from limited self to the experience of unity.
This is spirituality.
As one asks Who am I?, one reflects and one’s beliefs fall apart; allowing in a ‘not two’ or non-dual experience – of union with all that is.
Experiencing self as the human spirit, a creative flow, that is endless, mindful; mindless 🙂