What To Do When Self Inquiry Doesn’t Work

Those who are interested in or who are currently practicing Self Inquiry (aka Atma Vichara or simply Vichara) for the purpose of Self Realization may know that it can be quite challenging at times. This, perhaps, is due to its direct nature. It is going straight to the root of the mind and suffering. Anyone who has tried to practice it knows there are times where it is hard. Prasant suggests to try working with music during these times and then approach the inquiry again rather than getting “stuck” and frustrated or discouraged.

Music is known to relax the mind. A verse from Indian scriptures states that music makes even the fierce animals peaceful. Similarly, when the “wild animals” of our minds and habitual tendencies overwhelm us, they can be relaxed and made more receptive through the power of music. A fresh attempt at Self Inquiry can then be made if necessary. It is possible that simply the change of pace in itself will allow the awareness to present Itself strongly and clearly enough that only subsequent resting is all that is needed.

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