This is a post about a process by Richard Bolstad.
"When (other) thoughts arise, one should not pursue them, but should inquire: ‘To whom do they arise?’... Thereupon if one inquires ‘Who am I?’, the mind will go back to its source; and the thought that arose will become quiescent. With repeated practice in this manner, the mind will develop the skill to stay in its source."
One of the really useful processes I have been fortunate to be learning, is The Unanswerable Question Process. It has been developed by Richard Bolstad and Margot Hamblett. For further information visit The Unanswerable Question.
The Question "Who Am I"?
Most of us have many levels of identifications with feelings, sensations, emotions, beliefs, and images. We perceive ourselves through representations of our mind, rather than through recognizing the immediacy of ourselves. The process of returning to our source is like an unraveling, back through all the beliefs, and mistaken identities we held. Asking the question "Who Am I?" is known as a deep question to inquire into, and can take us more and more into the true center of ourselves.
If you are interested, this process can help you inquire into this question in a systemic way. You can have someone guide you through the questions, or use it to take yourself through the process.
It is useful to repeat the process over a period of time, and continue exploring the question "Who Am I?".
It helps to approach the process with a sense of curiousity and an attitude of compassion - after all we have done the best we could with the awareness and resources we had access to.
Steps of the Process
1.The guide enters a calm and resourceful state.
2. Establish rapport. (note: a relationship based on mutual respect and trust)
3. Identify the situation the person wants to change.
4. "Think of yourself in that situation you want to change. What feelings do you have there...Now, you say you want to change that situation. Who is the "you" that wants to change that?" Listen for the words that the person equates with "self".
5. "How do you see, hear, or feel that ("you") you say you are there?"
6. "As you think of that ("you") in that way now, who are you, that is aware of that thought now?"
7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until the internal representation asked for is "void" (i.e., the person has no answer, or says something that indicates there is nothing equivalent to that "self").
8. "And just be aware as that question becomes unanswerable. Having found this state, just be aware; listening, seeing, feeling, tasting, smelling, with all the senses awake."
9. "Staying in this state, be aware of the (representation of the "you" immediately preceding it). Is it there?" If it is, say, "How does this state change that ("you") now?"
10. "Staying in this original state, be aware of the (representation of the "you" immediately preceding this). Is it there?" If it is, say, "How does this state change that ("you") now?"
7. Repeat for each "you" back to the first situation. Finally, ask "How does being in this state change the process occurring in the situation which that first "you" wanted to change?... And how does it change the way you feel there?"
Thank you and with permission from Richard Bolstad.
For questions please contact me.