Now What?……….Inquire

by | Apr 20, 2011 | Meditation

Humanity’s Awakening is well underway. Choosing to participate requires a clear and conscious choice—made over and over again. You will be affected over and over again by your personal and the collective’s energy patterns whether you choose to awaken to them or not. This poem speaks to the wonder of this difficult choice….

Almost anybody can learn to think or believe or know, but not a single human being can be taught to feel. Why?
Because whenever you think or you believe or you know, you’re a lot of other people: but the moment you feel, you’re nobody-but-yourself.
To be nobody-but-yourself-in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else-means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting . . .
Does this sound dismal? It isn’t. It’s the most wonderful life on earth.

~e e cummings

Awakening requires engaging with your capacity to know the present moment. There is no other. All practices of awakening have this fundamental truth at their core. There is only one Awakening. To practice awakening to presence requires inquiry. Persistent, yet gentle and curious, nonjudgemental inquiry. Inquire as to your thoughts during quiet sitting. Inquire as to the ability to welcome your emotions as they arise. Inquire as to your ability to find comfort through the sensations of your body.


This is all there is. Moment to moment changing sensations. Nowadays it feels like they are coming faster and more intensely. Likely the circumstances of your personal life and/or the events of the global world have brought this question up recently…..Now what?

Economic challenges, earthquakes, tsunamis, wars, increasing fundamentalism, environmental degradation; the list goes on. Now what?

Relationship challenges, health issues, economic challenges, toxins in the food, the potential of radiation toxicity;, the list goes on……Now what?

Huge uprisings of connected synchronous ‘wholes’ or people in Libya, Egypt, Wisconsin, on the internet, in your local neighborhood and community holding a unified intent to support connection, sharing, reverence for all of Life, and harmony with each other and our planet……Now what?

Both scenarios are present and also everything in between. The practice of navigating through each present moment of Now what? and any other moments IS the practice of remaining present. This requires gentle, persistent, and curious inquiry of those moments.

Your level of ability to access the fundamental qualities of peace, joy, wisdom fearlessness, gratitude, wonder, harmony, and vitality is directly proportional to your practice of being present to each unfolding moment.


Lately the quality of fearlessness has been forefront and center. Fear about financial collapse, fear about potential radiation exposure, fear about environmental damage; the list goes on. Now what?

I recently heard a dharma talk by Pema Chodron who said ‘the quality of fearlessness depends entirely upon being able to stay present in the face of fear’. Fearlessness is not something you ‘do’. It is an inherent quality of wholeness—it is what is there when you are open to the present moment of fear without trying to ‘do’ something about what it holds.

You are remaining gentle, yet curious and persistent to what is. Even when you don’t like it or your immediate reaction is to run, turn away, avoid, disconnect or rationalize. Staying open to collecting information with non-judgmental curiosity from both ends of the spectrum is helpful.

Take the example of potential radiation exposure for example. You can find ‘we are all going to die from radiation exposure here in the US’ so why inquire? Just give up. You can find an equal amount of ‘there is absolutely no cause for concern’ so why inquire? Just stick your head in the sand and continue on as you are. You can find anything in between pulling you this way and that. Now what?


Sit by the lake and observe....

Spend time sitting quietly. Open in a warm, friendly non-judgmental way to what is. All of what is. The sensations that arise within the fear. The sensations that arise within the panic. Allow yourself to think of your emotions as a deep, big lake. Just come and sit next to the lake and observe. You don’t have to even put your toe in at first. As you observe and allow yourself to just feel the experience of the moment without reacting, you will come to discover that the sensation changes. Morphs. Moves into a new sensation. As time goes on, you may be able with curious and gentle inquiry begin to put your toe in the lake and go a little deeper into the sensations of the emotion of fear. Not get caught in the details of the content of the fear but explore the emotion as it arises within you. Fear will be the same no matter what the content.

Allow yourself to read the news, see the posts of others, hear the radio, listen to the conversations from all sides of the perspective, and just sit with ‘All that’ from the same non-judgmental yet curious place. Wait and listen. Really, it is wait and feel. Allow your own inner intuition and wisdom to arise and show you what actions to take. Do you prepare a survival kit and/or a plan? Do you make some changes to your diet to increase your ability to handle toxins? Do you start a daily sitting meditation practice? Do you begin another type of practice for staying connected such as Qi Gong? Do you write letters and sign petitions to your politicians? Do you continue to stay abreast of the unfolding information from all sides while continuing to stay connected to your inner world? Do you allow this inner world to guide your actions?

Wise action occurs from some place deep inside–from your interconnection with wisdom. It does not occur from either extreme but is informed by these extremes. Wise action continues to be known through inquiry of your unfolding sensations from one present moment to the next.These times are here to provide continued opportunities to open to the present—to Awaken. Through your individual sensations, in order to know you connection to the whole. As E. E. Cumings said, “When you feel—you are nobody but yourself”–that feeling wisdom arises from presence. That IS Awakening!

Join Carrie at the upcoming Interconnection Meditation on Fri, May 6 through Feldenkrais and Qi Gong in Seattle. This is a free meditation however donations will be accepted for Japan Disaster Relief at this meditation sitting. They will be donated to Oxfam. The meditation is done monthly to promote the qualities of Unity Consciousness and to promote a collective consciousness for planetary healing. Carrie can be contacted at, (206) 459-1773, or

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