I suffered from nearly crippling anxiety for 21 years. Prozac, Ativan, Psychotherapy, CBT. You name it I tried it, with little success. In fact my anxiety was getting worse. Nothing was helping, it felt like a death spiral.
I was looking for answers everywhere, eventually I discovered Self Inquiry.
I have found self inquiry as the most powerful way to destroy anxiety and panic.
Depending on how anxious you are throughout your day, will determine how well this method works. If you are not already Meditating, I encourage you to start. Just a few minutes a day can have a profound affect on your daily life.
Using this method with Meditation is extremely Powerful, and I’d love to hear your success stories using it! First, let’s talk about what Self Inquiry.
What is Self Inquiry?
Originally taught by Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950) in his classical spiritual text “Who Am I” (download the PDF)
Self Inquiry also known as Self-Realization or Direct Path is simply asking yourself the fundamental question, “Who Am I?” (Nan Yar?).
We are more than thoughts, thoughts come, thoughts go, thoughts pass, thoughts do not create who we are. Thought creates patterns and conditioning in our mind, we are much more than our mind.
Rupert Spira does a great job of explaining what Self Inquiry is and how to practice.
So ask yourself, Who am I?
It may seem like a silly question, but with greater understanding it’s the most relevant question you can ask yourself.
Suppose you meet someone for a job interview. You’re asked so “Tell me a little bit about yourself”. A typical or expected response might be something like…
I’m 40, married, I have 2 children, I am an experienced Business Analyst, I went to such and such college, I enjoy….
This response shows, you are identifying as your physical body, an object, past memories, not truly what you are. Who is the I behind the answer?
I precedes everything we are. Even thinking, we say “I am thinking” who is the I doing this thinking?
Every morning we wake up, do we need to ask ourselves, “am I here”, no. If you were to be in a coma and wake up one day, would you know if you are still here? Your mind may certainly ask “Am I dead” but you do not need to ask yourself if you exist.
You instinctively know, because there is more to you than just your physical body and mind.
You are simply switching between states of consciousness. When you are sleeping, do you have every day worry and fear? We look forward to going to sleep, to get OUT of our physical world and associations.
Once you can grasp this concept, even just a little bit you can begin to use the Drop everything method.
The Drop Everything Method
I found this method from watching Mooji videos. Mooji describes this method, but when I took this method and started applying it anytime I was anxious, it literally obliterated the anxiety.
Depending how anxious you are will depend how often you need to use this method at first. Over time you will find few if any situations where you need to use this method.
Exercise: DROP EVERYTHING
You can practice this anytime, anywhere.
To start you may want to sit down and do this exercise so you can get an idea of what it feels like to keep nothing, to simply feel space. It may take a few tries before you start to really grasp the concept and the nothingness that is left.
Once you get the feeling of nothingness, use this anytime you start feeling anxious or panicky.
It’s not a feeling or something words can really describe, what is left after you drop everything, “nothing”
In your mind, drop everything. Throw everything away.
Anything you are thinking, feeling, you as a person doesn’t exist.
You are not a husband, you are not a wife, you are not an uncle, a father, a brother, a sister.
You are not good, you are not bad, you are not rich, you are not poor.
Every worry, fear, feeling vanishes.
Now, focus innerly, what is left? What remains?
Here’s a great Mooji Video on Dropping Everything.
Practicing Self Inquiry
Self Inquiry can be used to go beyond anxiety relief.
When you initially start practicing Self Inquiry it may feel difficult. When I started I was practicing all the time, anytime a thought came up I didn’t like I would remind myself. “I am not thought, thoughts come, thoughts go, thoughts pass”
If you don’t already have a daily meditation practice, start one today. Introduce Start Self inquiry and when used together is possibly the quickest way to Enlightenment.
Peace to you!