When I was in graduate school studying Applied Behavioral Science one thing I loved learning about was the very beginning first steps to approaching a “problem”.
Houston, there’s a problem.
You have a certain (apparently limited) amount of time, you’re over THERE (outer space, for example) and you’d prefer to be back HERE instead (like, on earth).
Or you feel very frightened or anxious, you’d like to feel free before you die (your limited amount of time in years) and you’re not sure how to get from THERE (imprisoned) to HERE (liberated).
In classes that I took on group work, group processes, and organizational development, the first thing we learned to do was to understand what was presently happening right in that moment, in that situation.
No trying to change it.
That may happen five seconds from now, depending on how speedy you’re trying to be, but first there must be a moment of taking in information and seeing what’s going on.
It’s an Intake Session in the world of health care, or mental health, or change efforts in a group.
This information gathering, the state of affairs in the NOW, is super powerful. That’s why I have people who work with me on food and eating issues keep a journal of their feelings around food, so they can see what’s going on without control, without any efforts to change it.
When you’re reviewing like a researcher your own mind, you may need a little (or a lot ) of help from friends.
Just like the Space Shuttle returning to earth, a team of people all thinking about something together, all discussing, looking, offering ideas, listening, brainstorming….
….these kinds of group connections and interactions and think tanks have always offered me profound, bubbling, powerful insights into PROBLEMS.
Not one of those brilliant engineers alone, all by themselves, could have gotten the astronauts home.
That’s why I love inquiry with a group.
You stay, through your connection to others and the combined power of the group energy….you stay, listen, clarify.
You hear things that make light bulbs go off.
I’ve been on a lot of meditation retreats. Everyone there doesn’t speak hardly one word, and yet we’re gathering with others intentionally.
We’re not in a room all alone (even though that might offer something amazing too).
“It’s important to realize that inquiry is about noticing, not about dropping the thought… Inquiry is not about getting rid of thoughts; it’s about realizing what’s true for you, through awareness and unconditional self-love. Once you see the truth, the thought lets go of you, not the other way around.” ~ Byron Katie
If you’ve been looking for a community, some might call it a sangha, to examine the mind and question your thoughts at a high, repetitive, deeply committed level, then this coming Year of Inquiry may be for you.
We begin in September together, on the phone, and with an in-person retreat for a weekend.
We travel together for an entire year, looking and noticing, and come together again in May for 5 more days in Seattle.
Every month there’s a new problem, to find our way home from.
We all do The Work together and separately, collectively waking up and returning again and again to planet earth.
If you’re ready to read more about a Year of Inquiry, click HERE.
“I feel like I’m tapping into such a good group, all these people with all this experience. I’m ready to learn fast, I feel like it’s on the fast track.” ~ YOI 2013-2014
“I feel I’ve made life-long friends but people who oddly don’t have to know any details about my life, but instead my inner life. This is what is most important to me. I am closer to this group than my regular friends. I feel I have a place of power to question what I believe.” ~ YOI 2013-2014
“I so appreciate this work, and this group. I love this group. I’m so happy that after going to The School, I have a community to keep on track in such a beautiful way.” ~ YOI 2013-2014
If you’re trying to get back to Houston, and you notice you have a problem with your thinking, join this group to question your mind, and change your life.
You can get assistance finding your way back home.
If you’d like to experience telecalls now, to get a feel for how this process might work for you, join us in Summer Camp for July.
Click to see it in action: Houston, There’s A Problem Here
Much Love, Grace