The Repeating Question Your Inner Work Tool

The Repeating Question ― Your Inner Work Tool

This technique is a powerful tool for self-discovery.   Every serious explorer needs this for their spiritual toolbox.  See how you can use it to enhance several spiritual exploration tools.

The Repetitive Question Exercise

The repeating question exercise is a powerful technique of personal discovery.  It is a versatile technique for inner work. Clinicians use this exercise in regression therapy. We use it in many processes of spiritual exploration. You’ll find used with in the following methods:

Repetitive questioning gets below our superficial automatic responses. It drills down to the core thinking patterns, values, and beliefs.  It enables us to get through the Ego filters and our cultural programming.  Both of these mechanisms create pre-programmed responses to perception.  Repetitive questioning helps us get through these filters.

This process works best with two people. One person repeatedly asks the same question, giving the other time to provide a different answer.  When we repeat the question over and over, it forces us to search for authentic answers.  However, you can also do this exercise on your own.

We recommend you use a timer to stop the activity at 5 minutes in either case. Then take the time to record your answers in your spiritual journal. It’s essential to record your discoveries. They will provide you with critical clues to any roadblocks you may have.  It also helps you to see your incremental growth.

You can do several 5-minute sessions with the same or similar questions to excavate the subconscious mind.  It can be emotionally draining, so be mindful not to push yourself too hard.

The Repeating Question Inner Work Technique

The repetitive question technique is simple. With a partner, you sit facing each other.  Your partner asks, and you answer.  You jot down a few keywords to help you remember your answer.  Then your partner asks the same question again.

By repeating the question, we drill down for a different answer.  Eventually, we get past the canned responses or excuses of the Ego to the core thought processes.  Sometimes our answers may contradict what we would typically provide.  The answers are often Eureka moments of self-discovery, which is why we consider it a powerful inner work tool.

The person asking the questions needs to be patient and wait for the answer.  They also need to be non-judgemental. Remaining as emotionally neutral as possible can be difficult because we are programmed to judge. Try to be neutral with body language. Don’t cross arms or legs.   Do not encourage or discourage any answer.  It is better not to respond at all.  Just wait for the other person to document anything, then repeat the question.

It is best to do this exercise in 5-minute increments.  Then document your answers.  Contemplate the data.  If it brings up powerful emotions, use the emotional check process.

One question for 5 minutes seems like a long time, but time goes by quickly once you get started.  When you begin, you’ll give superficial answers. As you keep asking the same question, you will discover core truths. It will pull up some interesting data about your memories and the emotions attached to them.

The basic ground rules for this exercise are:

      • Be patient.
      • Remain non-judgmental and maintain total confidentiality.
      • Give honest answers.
      • Don’t say things you want the other person to hear.
      • It’s best to work with someone you don’t know well.
      • Each time they give you the question, think of a new answer.  Take your time.

When you use the repeating question on your own, set a timer, be honest.  Repeat the question aloud, don’t just repeat it in your head.  You will probably need to do this exercise for at least 5 minutes to get to anything meaningful.

It’s essential to realize this exercise can bring up repressed memories and feelings.  We recommend using the emotional check process with this exercise. It is vital to maintain a calm non-emotional state of mind.  This technique is a profound inner work tool for personal discovery.  Sometimes it can become emotionally unsettling.

Some people find that it also yields better results if you’ve done this exercise a few times.  The more you do it, the easier it is to get past your programmed answers.

Examples of Repeating Questions

Here is the list of repeating questions we recommend for identifying significant memories.  You can tailor this list to fit any psychological or spiritual topic.

      • Tell me about a memory that always makes you happy.
      • Tell me about a memory that always makes you sad.
      • What is the oldest memory you have, how does it make you feel?
      • Tell me about a memory you associate with hate.
      • Tell me about a memory you associate with love.
      • What are the memories of childhood that bring you the most joy?
      • Tell me about a memory you associate with nature.
      • Tell me about a memory you associate with family.
      • What memories bring up the emotion of fear?

In Conclusion

Inner work involves personal discovery, and the repeating question exercise or (repetitive question process) is a powerful technique to assist in this quest.  So use it with proper care.  If you are doing it yourself, try it for 5 minutes and wait.  Sometimes this technique will stir up powerful emotions.  Be sure to be familiar with the emotional checking process so you can deal with things positively.

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(1) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia

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