An Amazing Book and Some Expansive Questions

I have been reading this amazing book called Seeking the Heart of Wisdom: The Path of Insight Meditation by Joseph Goldstein & Jack Kornfield. {You may remember me quoting from it the other day here}.

You know the feeling when you’re reading a book and you feel something shift, and you know that the book will be one of those on your list of books that changed your life? This is one of those books for me. It feels like I found the book {and the book found me} at the exact right moment. Sometimes when I’m reading, everything goes still. It’s like I’m understanding some things on a core level—things I’ve been trying to understand for a long while now. This, combined with other experiences I’ve been having lately, has really made me feel like there is something shifting in me.

For those of you who are curious about the book, here is why I love it: It talks about peace—how to live peacefully in this ever-changing life. The answer is both simple and hard—mainly that peace comes from acceptance and love of all parts of life, and a deep understanding that everything passes away. It requires effort and a continuous process of mindfulness to understand this and live by it. I am really simplifying things here because I am just learning, and every page has some new wisdom in it. One of my most recently discovered favorite wisdoms:

The receptive quality of love allows every experience to enter us, to touch us. It allows us to be touched by the wind and the sun, by other people and by each part of ourselves, by the trees and the birds and all of nature. Dharma practice is the practice of intimacy with all life. From this receptivity can come an outflow of energy that is appropriate and responsive to each experience, rather than reactive (p. 193).

If you are at all interested in these ideas, please don’t be scared off by the word “dharma” or “meditation.” There is so much wisdom in this book, and honesty, and really accessible ideas and exercises. You don’t need to be a scholar of Buddhism to understand it.

One other thing I’d like to share with you from the book is a series of expansive questions. You know I love expansive questions! The following in italics is an exercise quoted from the book:


Take a quiet period of meditation and ask your heart about service. Let yourself sit and be silent for some time. When you are ready, pose the following questions inwardly to yourself. Pause after each one and give your heart time to answer, allowing a response from the deepest levels of your compassion and wisdom.

Imagine yourself five years from now as you would most like to be, having done all the things you want to have done, having contributed all the things you want to contribute in the most heartfelt way.

What is your greatest source of happiness?

What is the thing you’ve done of which you are most proud?

What is the contribution you’ve made to the world that brings your heart the greatest satisfaction?

To make this contribution to the world, what unworthiness would you have to relinquish?

To make this contribution to the world, what strengths and capacities would you have to recognize in yourself and others?

What would you have to do in your life today to begin this service, this contribution?

Why not begin?

(from Seeking the Heart of Wisdom: The Path of Insight Meditation
by Joseph Goldstein & Jack Kornfield, excerpted from page 214)

I love these questions. They really get to the heart of something—beyond goals, and what you think everyone else thinks you should do.

I hope these little wisdoms find you well today. And I wish you wide blue skies of peace and possibility.


3 Responses to “An Amazing Book and Some Expansive Questions”

  1. 1 Leah November 8, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    I will definitely check out this book. It sounds like something I need right about now. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. 2 Marianne November 9, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    Hey there Nicole! Thanks so much for sharing this. I’m going to check my local library and see if they carry it. I believe that the world is shifting to a higher frequency and different state of consciousness and that artists like us are honing into it intuitively- so some wisdom and guidance along the way is just the thing we need to help get there! Thanks for your kind encouragement on my blog the other day. Take care! -M

  3. 3 Kerri November 14, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    Love this Nicole. Sounds like an amazing book. I love those expansive questions!

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Hello there! My name is Nicole K. Docimo, and I am an artist and writer from the U.S.A. but currently residing in Zurich, Switzerand. Thank you for visiting my blog!

Some Thoughts

"Be thirsty for the ultimate water,
and then be ready for what will
come pouring from the spring."

{from "Joy at Sudden Disappointment"
translated by C. Barks.}

~This Work ~

Unless otherwise noted, all images and writings on this blog were created by me, Nicole K. Docimo aka Blue Bicicletta. If you would like to share anything you see here for inspirational purposes online, I just ask that you kindly let folks know where you found it. If you are wanting to share/reproduce any of my work in any other way, or have any questions about how you will be sharing the work in relation to copyright, please contact me directly at nkdocimo {at} gmail {dot} com. Thanks!

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