Yesterday I received not one, but two letters from participants in the One Year Program of Inquiry that I facilitate.
Our group began meeting in June, and we connect by phone or skype with a different topic each month. Then we’ll meet live and in person in both September and next March (for those who can travel to Seattle).
I’m excited, because a second group will start on Thursdays, Sept 12th in the afternoon instead of the mornings (5:15 to 6:45 pm).
Here is what these sincere inquirers wrote:Dear Grace, I am grateful for your classes, and your spirit, and just doing what you do. The relationships I’ve developed through your classes…with you…and others…it’s so amazing how there are now all these like-minded people in my life…and how these relationships of radical openness spill over into “regular” relationships…with [my friend], my sisters, my Mom, Brother in law, nephew…just seems to be more and more a way of being. ~ JB A Year Of Inquiry Program And to our Private Group Forum: Hi All! I’d like to say how much I’m enjoying being a part of this group. I thank you all very much for coming together and making it possible. (I thank me, too, for this gift to myself:) ~ DS A Year of Inquiry Program There is no one more grateful and impressed than ME by the sweet connection, authenticity and determination of the people who chose to join.
The full title of the year is A Year Of Inquiry For The Addictive Mind.
(But I like to call it YOI for short. It makes me laugh).
Addictive MIND? But no one in this group is consumed by addictive behavior, or using drugs or alcohol all the time, or engaging in intense or flippant compulsive behavior, or lying in the gutter…..
….they really aren’t.
And yet they answered a call of being invited to join for a full year with fellow passengers on a journey to understand their own compulsive and painful thinking.
They all wanted to investigate the thoughts, ideas and notions that create their own suffering.
They wanted to do it over the passage of time….so that events, changes, or circumstances might occur, and they’d have a support group to work with as life happened.
That’s what I have signed myself up for, as I have worked with groups and teachers being a student of The Life of Grace Bell (whoever that is) and the Human Condition.
Addiction is defined in the dictionary as the state of being enslaved to a habit or a practice.
It feels true with thinking sometimes…..have you noticed?
Something alarming happens, someone says something threatening, there is change….and the mind is off and running, believing everything that makes it nervous.
Addictive thinking is that automatic reactive thinking that works faster than the speed of light, it seems, at believing that uncomfortable (or excruciating) things are absolutely true, without stopping to question them.
On the flip side, it is also believing that I want more, and more, and more of the Truth, of feeling good, whatever that may be.
Very tricky mind.
The mind, which appears to have a compulsive way about it, says “grow this beautiful state of experience over here” and then “get away from that nasty experience over there“.
Once when I was in meditation retreat, a man came to the microphone and told his terrible story of heroine addiction.
The teacher, Adyashanti, commented that this man’s addictive process was just like everyone else’s! Even the people trying to catch the drug of spiritual enlightenment and bliss all day long!
“Addictions are always the effect of an unquestioned mind. The only true addiction to work with is the addiction to your thoughts. As you question those thoughts, that addiction ceases because you no longer believe those thoughts. And as those thoughts cease, as you cease to believe them, then the addictions in your life cease to be. It is a process.” ~ Byron Katie
Once inquiry begins, this way of thinking followed by immediately reacting begins to slow down.
Relaxing becomes possible, without anything needing to change in our environment.
Pain is present still….it appears that this is something that is a part of life. Pain, death, loss, sickness, hardship, fear….all here in this world, in the middle of this life.
The pain of my father’s death, my friend who just died at age 22, the best friend I thought I once knew having committed a stunning betrayal, the man who dramatically threatened to kill himself, the woman who lied, the man who was verbally violent, the desperation of some I have met….
….all so painful. Destruction appears to happen here. Endings. Change. Goodbyes. Beginnings. More Endings.
But ongoing suffering? Ruminating on the past? Thinking about all these painful events over and over? Asking why, endlessly? Trying to avoid them ever ever happening again?
Surrendering, not believing that is it absolutely true that it is all a House of Horrors and a Big Mess….knowing there is nothing I can do about any of it…..the suffering fades away.
I am open to what is mysterious in this moment, the Great Unknown.
I notice I am breathing and still here, today. I notice my heart is beating. Or should I say, “this” heart is beating (I’m quite sure now it is not “mine”).
“Suddenly I realized that what I was addicted to was me–me, the one who was struggling; me, the one who was striving for enlightenment; me, the one who was confused. I was a junkie for me. Even as I was trying to get beyond myself, to break through to a different view, I couldn’t because I was actually addicted to me. And there wasn’t a secret about how to get un-addicted. I had to get to the point where I bottomed out, where I stopped, where I realized that I didn’t know anything.” ~ Adyashanti
If you’re ready to Un-Know Everything, practice self-inquiry with others, learn to facilitate well, study your thoughts, connect intimately…
….then come join us starting in September for a Year of Inquiry.
YOI for YOU!
Read all about it by clicking here.
And if this group isn’t quite right, check out the other telegroup classes below, find a partner to work with, or just begin by writing down your stressful beliefs and calling the Help Line to speak to a volunteer facilitator (I am sometimes there too!)
Much love, Grace