Questioning The Question

Three Contemporary Voices Address an Age-Old Theme.Gil Fronsdal, Thanissaro Bhikkhu, Narayan Liebenson Grady

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Real questioning has no methods, no knowing—just wondering freely, vulnerably, what is it that is actually happening inside and out. Not the word, not the idea of it, not the reaction to it, but the simple fact.

Toni Packer, The Work of This Moment

Who’s Asking the Question? 

Gil Fronsdal

In my first question to a Buddhist teacher I asked, “What kind of effort is needed to practice zazen?” He questioned back, “Who is it that makes the effort?” His response made no sense to me; the conversation came to an immediate end. As I mulled over this exchange, I concluded that I would have to answer both my own question and his counter-question for myself. In doing so I discovered that there are certain spiritual questions that we only answer through our own direct experience.

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