Plattsburg, New York
I was wondering about what you refer to as "holding a question." In a sense, I've worked with the questions of "who am I?" and "what am I?" and come to logical and rational conclusions not unlike your own. However, a direct experience of the answers to these questions has, as far as I can tell, not yet been forth coming. I was wondering how exactly you "hold a question" like you speak of in your writing. I guess my question is what exactly you mean by "holding a question"? I am hoping to get at an experience and understanding akin to what you describe getting from the contemplative seminars. Are there any other contemplative exercises I should consider? Any pitfalls or things I should be worried about?
Thanks in advance.
Holding a question is simply contemplating. But contemplation, as I'm speaking about it now, isn't sitting and thinking about or trying to answer the question. It is setting out to experience the answer, so to speak. And yet it isn't an "experience" we are looking for either, it is the direct consciousness of the thing we are wondering about.
We say "hold" the question because it is like remaining steadfast in this one question for a long time. Without necessarily thinking things or searching around for something to occupy your attention, you hold on to this question, which is really mostly having the intent to deeply and directly grasp what something is.
A first question of this sort is often: "Who am I?" In this you would hold the question by dwelling on your self with the intent to directly experience yourself. The question "who am I?" helps drive your attention toward that end. Within this question, you can ask: Who is seeing? Who is thinking? Who is walking? Who wants to know? Who is laughing, scratching, eating, listening, or anything else that might be happening. This helps drive you back into the question of who you are no matter what is going on. If you do this steadfastly and without break, it is called holding the question. You can set up a period of time in which to do this, an hour, a day, several days, 15 minutes, or whatever, and then commit to doing nothing but hold a chosen question for the entire time.
For more work in this I'd recommend attending an appropriate workshop or intensive here, like Experiencing the Nature of Being, or the Empowering Consciousness Workshop.