Asking Beautiful Questions

Jul 21, 2018
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After an amazing two weeks of teaching in Tampa, FL I am back in Oregon.  As I settle back into my regular schedule of classes and various routines of my life I am carving out some extra time for quietness and aloneness.  I can feel the great curling finger inviting me into a deep place of asking powerful questions.  This where I am with it right now.

“The ability to ask beautiful questions, often in very unbeautiful moments, is one of the great disciplines of a human life. And a beautiful question starts to shape your identity as much by asking it, as it does by having it answered. You just have to keep asking. And before you know it, you will find yourself actually shaping a different life, meeting different people, finding conversations that are leading you in those directions that you wouldn’t even have seen before.” - David Whyte

Recently, I started reading Frank Wilczek’s new book, A Beautiful Question: Finding Nature’s Deep Design… “ a mind-shifting book that braids the age-old quest for beauty and the equally timeless quest for truth...” I learned about this book from Krista Tippett’s podcast OnBeing, but I think what really drew me to read the book is that I am in a time of questioning myself and reconciling some difficult things. Who am I now at this stage of life? What do I have to offer the world? What is meaningful to me? How do I want to live my life?

I think what I’m searching for isn’t answers, but a deepening of the questions I’m asking myself.  In Mary Oliver's poem, Daisies, she writes of the mockingbird:
"he must turn silent
were he suddenly assaulted with answers. Instead 
oh hear his wild, caustic, tender warbling ceaselessly 
unanswered."

It is in the process of leaning into the unfolding questions that the path to deeper truth and wisdom slowly reveals itself.  What is required, though, is patience, creating space for reflection, and commitment to being present for what shows up.  The way of life is not generally the way we think, expect, or want it to go.  The way to a rich and satisfying life is to embrace and move with what actually shows up on the path.  Our greatest teachers are oftentimes fear, pain, resistance, and disappointment.  These are pointers to where we are in conflict with what we want to be true and what is actually true.

Most questions we are ask are eternal.  How we ask them, and maybe even more importantly, how we listen after the question has been asked, are what shape our individual, unique journey through this amazing world.

Here are a few questions that some of the great thinkers, artists, and scientists have asked.  These are great questions for contemplation and journaling.

~Are you breathing just a little and calling it a life? - Mary Oliver
~What is it that stands between you and direct contact with your life? - Jon Kabat-Zinn
~What conversation am I not having with my heart and mind? - David Whyte
~Is the world a work of art? - Frank Wilczek
~What color is the scent of the blue weeping of violets? - Pablo Neruda

What are the beautiful questions you are asking?  Message me.  I'd love to know.