Self-inquiry is a type of practice focused on self-discovery. Self-inquiry can be described as a type of meditation or spiritual practice. Self-inquiry aims to understand yourself at the core of your being—to look beyond the things you identify with and like.
Self-inquiry often begins by asking the question, “Who am I?
Self-inquiry is a mental exercise similar to meditation. However, the goal of meditation is to keep the mind free from thought. Self-inquiry encourages thought and examination of beliefs. In this way, self-inquiry promotes transformation. It requires mental discipline, a desire to uncover truth, and detachment from expected results.
Unlike other forms of meditation that can be practiced daily, self-inquiry is not usually undertaken as a primary and ongoing practice. Instead, self-inquiry is more limited and specific.
Ramana Maharshi Teachings
Ramana Maharshi is considered by many to be the father of the self-inquiry practice. He was an Indian spiritual leader who taught that you do not need to worship anything, join an organization, or adopt a specific belief system to begin a self-inquiry practice. Instead, Ramana Maharshi believed that the ego is what separates you from your true, divine self.
Self Inquiry and Psychedelics
Many people that interact with psychoactive substances experience what is known as ego death. In some ways, ego death achieved from a psychedelic experience is like an accelerated self-inquiry practice.
A self-inquiry practice before and after taking psychedelics can help make the process of psychedelic-assisted therapy more effective.