Holding Questions On Why To Hold Questions :)

Posted by Parag Shah on Jun 6, 2017
3418 reads  
[We had a very interesting call this morning, on fragmentation and wholeness in our weekly Awakin Dialogues call. It inspired me to write these notes.]

"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. :)  

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Comments (11)

  • Sheetal Vaidya wrote ...

    lots of love for your wisdom.

  • Smita Navare wrote ...

    Wow Paragbhai gote some insights rhank you for sharing

  • Nipun Mehta wrote ...

    Great insights, Parag. Now I'm wondering when my karma will ripen for attending one of these Awakin Dialogues live! :)

  • Nisha Srinivasan wrote ...

    Great share. Thank you. Rilke said something like there is a time to live the question and there is a time to live the answer. This looks like both :)

  • Meghna Banker wrote ...

    This is amazing Parag Bhai - To word your answers of holding questions is also a great art of holding those questions :)) Loved reading them!

  • Mihir wrote ...

    Nipun bhai...Awakin Dialogues and its crew is wondering when our collective karma will ripen to have you on the call! :)) We really look forward to it...please feel free to drop in any time!) Next Tuesday we are exploring questions into holding questions :)

  • Sangeeta Jain wrote ...

    Sir nice one feeling lots of gratitude towards ur wisdom

  • Suchi wrote ...

    Very articulate, incisive and thought provoking. Many of my friends enjoy reading it. My thoughts,
    We all know that the act of holding a question is an uncomfortable one. Because we are all so used to and need the security of having answers. Truly holding a question involves staying present and to that unrest of not knowing, while remaining vulnerable enough for clarity to arise in its own time. It also involves holding each clarity lightly , allowing it to morph when it needs to , and not grasping too tightly to it. How does one create that capacity to stay present to the not knowing while remaining vulnerable

  • Renu agarwal wrote ...

    I salute yr wisdom sir
    Sometimes seeking a question within
    and getting an answer within transforms
    the conversation into a prayer which needs
    no accuracy still so perfect and so touching
    that it brings tears to eyes

  • Ashima Goyal wrote ...

    wow.. Parag bhai. Loved reading your reflections. To be able to "not rush to the answer" and hold the question itself seems like a difficult task to me.. like you said in this age answers are a click away.. yet holding a question, leads to much more than just finding the fastest answer. Thank you so much :-)

  • Alissa Hauser wrote ...

    I love the idea that holding a question without grasping at answers can allow for a more transformative field to arise.
    Beautiful!