The circular nature of curiosity and wonder…
February 1, 2010, 2:30 pm
Filed under: Random Reflections, Thought-Provoking Muses | Tags:

In all the reading I am doing lately, and listening to spiritual teachers describe various techniques to become more awake, aware, mindful (or mind-empty if you will), I am learning a lot about meditative inquiry. This is the type of questioning that the mind ultimately finds unsatisfying—and so is incapable of dealing with. A simple curiosity about all that arises, such that one begins to notice all that IS, and in that noticing a further sense of wonder arises. (It become circular, doesn’t it?)

Perhaps it could be compared to the same sense of wonder an infant experiences as he first gazes out at this new world he finds himself in. There is no language he can use to convey his curiosity—it just penetrates his being, and is revealed in his eyes, his facial expressions, his body movements. As certain feelings arise, he flows with them and easily expresses them in the only ways he can, with no attachment to them. Once whatever has caused the feeling is passed, like passing gas, then the expression used to communicate it ceases. Another may rise to take it’s place; perhaps a smile at the relief he feels. Does he feel curiosity and wonder? Who knows. What we can know for certain is that he is experiencing or noticing [his] inner and outer world.

This is obviously an incredibly simplistic analogy, but it seems to me that there can be simple listening to all that arises (or appears), in the midst of all that arises, including the stillness that is beneath (or permeates) every thought, feeling–and thing. So as I see it, in this way listening may be considered a form of inquiry, and vice versa. For when one inquires, one must attentively listen in order to hear (discover) the answer one seeks.

What I love is that, for me, with this kind of awaring (as Toni Packer calls it), thought actually arises less and less because the answer(s) cannot be found with the mind. And when the answer is found in the absence of thought, as an experience, all that remains is the experience (which is the answer: stillness)… and perhaps, again, wonder at, or with, what may (or does) arise next.

It is challenging to communicate what is ‘real’ with words–even to convey the ‘real’ thoughts and feelings one has, to say nothing of trying to convey experiences. And so, as I re-read this post, I see that I have probably failed to adequately convey what I mean. But words fail me, and I have no real desire to try to come up with better, more understandable words. I am left with the question, “What is important here?” Is it the words, or the questions, or the answers… or the *aware* curiosity that remains when all else fails?

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3 Comments

I hear what You are trying *not* to say quite eloquently

Comment by doreen

….last part of “Govinda” chapter describes interesting response to your challenging questions.

Comment by CatlowComments

Thanks to you both!

I will track down and read “Govinda”.

Comment by equiwolf




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