‘Inquiry’ can be defined as the process of intentionally living in the question of something: consciously engaging our experience in a way which invites it to unfold. We can “inquire deeply” about any problem or concern at the leading edge of experience. This method is useful when we want to amplify our awareness of a challenging situation, a particular emotion, or a difficult relationship. We approach our experience with the attitude of delving into it, feeling whatever it is more fully, and inviting it to reveal itself.
Posing an inquiry question is a powerful act unto itself; the question frames and constructs an intentional matrix of meaning around experience. I think of the process of as a kind of psychospiritual exoskeleton which supports growth and the emergence of new experience. The path of inquiry unfolds in its own way and as a function of our intuitive wisdom. Explicit inquiry frames the intention to grow with and from our awareness of emotional life.
The practice of inquiry rests on the existential premise (beautifully articulated by the psychiatrist Viktor Frankl) that one of the most important things humans beings can do, regardless of their circumstances, is to consciously find— create— meaning in what is happening. In the spirit of this intention, engaging the process of inquiry constructs an explicit frame of meaning around our experience. It is a method for exercising conscious ownership of psychological growth and transformation.
In the words of the poet Rainer Maria Rilke: “Live the questions now, and perhaps without knowing it, you will live along someday into the answers”. ….Rilke