Contemplative inquiry starts, as with any research, with a question or object of study. Attention is also paid to the manner in which the question or object is held. Precisely because of our capacity to distinguish one thing from another–the kneebone from the anklebone, the flower stigma from its style, myself from another person–we know ourselves and the world around us as separate. An inward acknowledgement of this separation and the longing to overcome it, brings a sense of humility and the possibility of respectful relationship with something more than the solitary self.
Meditation and other contemplative practices enhance and develop one’s capacity to be awake, compassionate, and responsive–engaged in the world. Contemplative inquiry is an approach to research that uses this enhanced capacity to understand the relationship between the object of research and the researcher’s subjective experience.
Physicist and teacher of meditation, Arthur Zajonc, calls contemplative inquiry a path of knowledge and a way of bringing experience and reason together. At Three Stone Studio, the body-based practices of Authentic Movement and the Alexander Technique support development of embodied awareness as the ground work for contemplative inquiry.