The Living Inquiries
The Living Inquiries, which include the Unfindable Inquiry, the Anxiety Inquiry and the Compulsion Inquiry, are tools to help us see through identification with our stories of ‘me and my life.’ Many are finding real freedom from their suffering by directly inquiring into what they believe is true, but on closer examination turns out to be simply a series of thoughts, images, and body energies. When each of these are looked at directly through the Living Inquiries, it is seen that none of it adds up to be ‘me’. When the identification with the stories ceases, what remains is a present aliveness, an openness to all experience, as it is, without claiming ownership of any of it. All thoughts, images and energies are free to be, and they are happening to no one.
Developed by Scott Kiloby, Fiona Robertson, Colette Kelso and Julianne Eanniello, The Living Inquiries are based on the Buddhist concept of the Middle Way. Scott describes the Middle Way as “freedom from the extreme views of “everything is separate,” and “nothing exists.” It is the seeing through of separation and deficiency, while retaining an appreciation for the diversity of appearances—me, you, us, them, and the world.”
The inquiries will not give you anything. They will not add anything to your life or your experience. It is a destructive process. In the seeing through of everything we believe to be true about ourselves and others, we discover the brilliance of the present moment, exactly as it is. Don’t take my word for it. Try it out and see for yourself.
The Unfindable Inquiry
The Unfindable Inquiry (UI) is a life-changing, potent tool to assist you in seeing through the stories that your mind incessantly tells about ‘me’ or ‘other’. Many are finding real freedom from their suffering by directly inquiring into what they believe is true.
Most of us walk through life feeling like a separate, deficient self. Beliefs that I’m not good enough, I’m unlovable, there’s something wrong with me, are often running the show from behind the scenes. We may not even be aware of it, but we are a slave to these beliefs. There is this sense of separation that I am here, and everyone and everything else is out there.
Through this inquiry, which include the Boomerang, Panorama and Unfindable Inquiries, we go about looking for this separate, deficient self that seems to be so tantalizingly, inherently real. We look to see if we can actually find it. We can also look for separate objects, other people, ideas, beliefs and spiritual concepts such as awareness, consciousness and enlightenment.
The Living Inquiries are not designed to make you feel better, or to get to some later point in your story, but rather to let all feelings, thoughts, and other appearances be as they are, without the sense that they form a solid, permanent, separate self. In not trying to get rid of or manage any appearances, it can be seen that the self or person you take yourself to be is quite literally unfindable. You only ever experience thoughts, images and body energies (emotions/sensations).
If you are seeking for some future fulfillment or enlightenment, if you find yourself triggered in relationships with family, friends, work, or are struggling with addiction, deficiency thoughts, or any type of physical or emotional pain or trauma, then this inquiry is for you.
This is a seeing, not a self-improvement plan. It is a present exploration, not a way to change your experience. The well-being shows up naturally as you see through the sense of “me” and “other.” When the self is looked for directly, it is unfindable, and what’s left is simply what is happening, moment to moment, without the sense of needing to alter any experience, while still being able to live and move freely in the world. It is the end of suffering.
The Anxiety Inquiry
The Anxiety Inquiry (AI) is a highly effective tool that deactivates the energy behind fear, anxiety, phobias, and even post-traumatic stress disorders. It is based on the fight, flight or freeze response that is inherent to all of us.
Fear and anxiety can show up in many ways. For some, it’s a daily under-current of anxiety that runs behind the scenes, dictating how we live our lives. For others, it’s a seemingly irrational fear or phobia of something in particular, like bridges, or spiders. It even shows up as anger, resentment, or resistance to our present experience. It often shows up in relationship, when the ‘other’ doesn’t respond or act the way we want them to, or they might disagree with or criticize us. It can feel as if there is an immediate danger or threat, and we must either run from it, fight back, or we freeze or go numb.
In the Anxiety Inquiry, we go looking for the perceived threat in the same way we look for a deficient self in the Unfindable Inquiry, or the command in the Compulsion Inquiry. All we ever find are words, images and body energies. When looked at and felt directly, no threat can be found. In the not finding of an actual threat, there is a relaxation and a freedom to live more fully.
“When we lose the fear of death, we also lose the fear of life.” ~ Scott Kiloby
The Compulsion Inquiry
The Compulsion Inquiry (CI) deactivates the cravings behind addictions and compulsions. It is distilled from Scott’s work on the Natural Rest Method, as well as his Unfindable Inquiry. Whatever substance or activity you’re dealing with, the CI works in a similar way.
In any addiction, there are often subtle, unconscious mental pictures that pop up before you engage in your substance or activity. There are also thought patterns, images, bodily sensations, and emotions that come up in relation to the substance or activity. The CI is a very simple, direct looking that reveals there is no command, anywhere, to do or use anything.
The Compulsion Inquiry can be used on any compulsion, addiction or craving, including food, alcohol, sex/porn, gambling, internet use, obsessive compulsive behaviors, and seeking enlightenment. It can also be used on any behavioral pattern to do something or to not do something. To name a few: to control, not to control, to eat or drink something, to not eat or drink something, to exercise, to not exercise, to give, to not give, to feel, to not feel, etc. It is often combined with the UI and AI, as well as the Kiloby Inquiries tools to more fully release the underlying traumas that led to the addiction.
There is no willpower involved in this process. It is a humane and radical approach to recovery. There is no judgment, expectation, or moralizing. It is not about how well or badly you do, or how quickly you quit or reduce. We do not use words like “cold turkey,” “falling off the wagon,” or “relapse.” We give you the tools to quit, and the rest is up to you. Just as with any recovery program, the success of it depends largely on whether you are open to using the inquiry on your own when cravings pop up.
Although we make no guarantees with this inquiry, it’s been highly successful so far in trials. Participants have not only been able to reduce, if not completely eliminate, specific, longstanding compulsive behaviors and addictions, but have found that compulsion has fallen away generally in many other areas of their lives. For instance, someone might come to a session with a desire to give up sugar, and after a few sessions using the CI, find that he or she has very little desire to engage in a variety of other compulsive activities such as drinking, sex addiction, or even spiritual seeking. Those who use the CI lose interest in unhealthy, habitual activities and gain a passionate curiosity that comes with the discovery that life, as it is, needs no enhancement of any kind because peace and well-being are already one’s natural state.
If you wish to inquire into an addiction to alcohol, tobacco or any other prescribed or non-prescribed drugs, we will first determine if detox is necessary in order to safeguard your physiological and psychological well-being. A referral will be made to The Kiloby Center for Recovery and/or Natural Rest Detox House, and Scott Kiloby will determine if it’s appropriate to work online with me, or if you would be better served through the center and longer term recovery. If we do work together, expect to commit to a regular, fairly intense schedule of sessions. In those sessions we will address your traumas and other underlying causes, as well as the cravings themselves. You will also be taught to do the inquiries on your own, so you may do it any time the compulsion or urge arises.
As with other mindfulness-based practices, we do not give advice, nor do we attempt to change or manage your beliefs or behaviors. By inquiring directly into the nature of your present experience, your beliefs, patterns, and conditioning often unravel and profound changes can occur. However, we do not offer or guarantee specific results or outcomes.
Private sessions are available online via Zoom. Sessions typically last between 1 and 1 ½ hours. Sessions are completely confidential and can be recorded if you like. Just let me know at the start of the session.
I offer a sliding scale of $100 – $150 per session. You can choose the amount in that range that best meets your financial circumstances.
To schedule a session, click the button below, and please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions.