5-7-17 Curiosity

Curiosity

Curiosity: to discover, to question and to be open to what arises; concern, interest, regard, wonderment. Desire to know. To know that you don’t know, but are interested in seeing what it is.
Antonyms: apathy, disinterestedness, disregard, indifference, unconcern, opinion.

Scientific process: the scientific method is for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. The scientific method — the method wherein inquiry regards itself as fallible (don’t believe everything you think), and purposely tests itself and corrects and improves itself. To seek truth depends on a standpoint that is, in a sense, unlimited.

“Curiosity is one of the great secrets of happiness.” I don’t think I’d be alive if it weren’t for my curiosity. For me, curiosity has brought a kind of “fun” and “enchantment” to an otherwise bleak, painful, and seemingly hopeless period in my life. Ultimately, curiosity is what allows us to become knowledgeable about aspects of ourselves. In some ways, this [What, exactly??] was the best thing to happen to me. Most importantly, my curiosity—that desire to keep questioning, to keep finding something new, an opening, a possibility, kept my eye on positive change. –Tiny Buddha

My addicted mind did not have much curiosity. It embraced fear, confusion and separation from anything that would not indulge my need to hide. I have progressed in and past recovery to a more joyous, open and engaged period in life. One in which I do make plans and work to achieve goals, but am more able to be flexible and accepting of what IS, rather than bemoaning what I don’t get, and pointing the finger at others who have denied me my “rightful place.” I can keep a sense of curiosity about what I am feeling, and then often am stirred to laugh at myself. I can decide to relax and continue letting the light in. It takes curiosity to find that magic.

[In meditation], “it’s useful to develop a sense of curiosity about where the sensations of the breathing end. We notice so little of the breathing process that the mind’s actually bored, and we find that lots of thoughts are arising to fill the vacuum in our experience. But if we start exploring what’s around those token sensations, with a sense of curiosity and openness, then we’re starting to pay attention to “the breathing” and not just a token representation of it. And as we notice more of the breathing, then the mind’s less bored. It’s actually quite interested! And often our attention is so full of the sensations of the breathing that there’s no room in there for thinking, and the mind becomes quiet.
It’s worth emphasizing as well that this exploration needs to be done in a spirit almost of playfulness and wonder. It’s not a checklist…” –Bodhipaksa

Not-knowing is uncomfortable because it is a kind of emptiness. We try to fill that emptiness by jumping to conclusions. Once we have an opinion, we don’t need to wonder any longer—the matter is closed. Those fixed ideas about ourselves, about others, and about the relationship between self and other are what stop curiosity. Curiosity is allowing ourselves to be open to ambiguity. It is enjoying the mixture of form and emptiness: knowing and not-knowing. It means actively seeking uncertainty. It is inviting things to be as they are, and dancing with them. In curiosity, we soften our boundaries, we are patient, and we allow wonderment.

So patience, in order to be part of the path, has to be coupled with curiosity. Patience acts as a kind of ballast, keeping the mind grounded, giving a solidity to what we’re doing, and preventing curiosity from zipping away too fast, saying this must be this, and that must be that. Patience makes sure we go through the steps.
When the Buddha gave meditation instructions, he didn’t spell everything out; he didn’t have an ironclad method. He gave instructions to show what is possible…to pique our curiosity, so that we want to explore. The ultimate challenge is to accept ourselves exactly as we are, but never stop trying to learn and grow.

I can feel my mind and heart open up when I just want to see what is there, in many different circumstances, instead of plodding along with my usual, somewhat naysaying, defensive agenda.

What is it like when you don’t feel good about yourself? What is it when you do? Be curious, and begin working with what is healthier. The next time you notice you are fearful or impatient, breathe and let yourself be curious about what it is you are doing, without any fear. Be brave enough to embrace some wonderment.

Curiosity is a natural part of being human. Look at young children and the wonder they see in the world. We have replaced much of our natural curiosity with fears we have learned socially and personally. What would it be like to not feel fear? We tighten up in so many situations that we become very used to a defense or avoidance behavior and think it is normal (and necessary). We can have fear and impatience of: going into the store, meeting people, taking a new class, driving, worrying what others think of us, being out of your favorith food, etc, etc, etc. Many small things that tend to program us. But when we engage Curiosity, fear begins to fade away into the non-existent mist that it is.
We can choose; be habitual or be curious.

The one gift we can give to ourselves and everyone else, always, is curiosity. It always opens our heart to others and is always compassionate and playful with the circumstances of our lives and the lives of others. When I am curious, I am usually smiling. ?

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for.
Heart Of Recovery web site — fcheartofrecovery.com