Holding Questions On Why To Hold Questions :)
Posted by Parag Shah on Jun 6, 2017
"So then the million dollar question is: .................................... A good question to hold. :)"
This is something so common to my ears and probably to many of us in our ecosystem. As I start applying that into so many different contexts, I understand actually how profound this approach is. Within it, I can see many answers to mysticism, spontaneity, challenges, problems and even suffering of human life.
For a human mind not to have palatable answers is undesirable and frustrating. It continually attempts to look for instant answers, and ask questions to propagate itself. In a world of artificial intelligence, Google offers us all the answers right at our fingertips by pressing that home buttons. But I'm seeing that deeper intelligence lies in not how many answers we have but how many questions we can hold. Holding questions without trying to resolve them affords us the space and wisdom of not-knowing to operate on our intellect. It allows the inherently dualistic mind to see its own boundaries. What organically arises from holding the question long enough is the foundation of a non-dual state.
So, what does it actually mean to hold a question? Well, what I have experienced is that there are different contexts and nuances to that. The whole attempt to hold a question is ensure that we don't operate from status quo, that there is a transformation within us as we navigate through the question.
As I reflect on it, I see few qualities that my mind cultivates with this practice of holding questions ...
Vigilance: the answer to any particular question is going to be different for different people and different even for the same individual in different contexts. Say for example, I'm asking: "How much Sugar I should consume in a day?" Such questions make you vigilant, and that itself is the answer.
Self-inquiry: when we want to understand any aspect of life, there is a need to investigate that issue. More than finding answers, holding a question teaches us how to be curious, refining the inquiry into its nuanced parts and seeing what moves within us as a potential response.
Awareness: when we ask a question like, "How can I serve in my work environment?", the technical answer is that you can serve in every moment. But actually, contextual answer emerges when we learn to be mindful of the inquiry itself. That awareness ensures that we tune into our surrounding, which then guides our stream of conscisouness to serve more effortlessly.
Skilfull Spontaneity: life is very dynamic and emerging new in every moment. Spontaneity is what makes us alive. In this vibrant and vast flow of life, with its constant movement within us and outside of us, there can't be any set recipes. Any pre-meditated response is like stale food. As we learn the art of holding a question, we shift from generating blind reactions to skilful responses.
Seeing: for every answer we get, another question will invariably arise. But holding the question invites us to exhaust that endless Q&A cycle. It forces us to look at the field of the mind in which questions are arising. It give us space to see the unending game and quiets the mind so that we can see more clearly.
As I try to gather my thoughts on holding questions, what I am left with is holding questions on my understanding of holding questions. :)