One of the most interesting things to come out of this blog for me was the realization that I see distinct kinds of curiosity, and that this realization came so early, on Day 030, when I wrote about:
- Existential (or River) curiosity
- Mindful curiosity
- Desire-to-learn curiosity
- Interpersonal curiosity
Then, on Days 250 and 251, I realized that I had developed different exercises for practicing these different kinds of curiosity. This is something that I’m taking with me and will continue to use, I hope, to build my curiosity capacity. As of September 1st this year, “Curiosity blog post” will no longer be on my daily to-do list, but “Practice curiosity” will remain as a reminder. When I find I can’t practice in any big way—like exploring with Inquiry a viewpoint completely repugnant to me ;-)—I can turn to my list of exercises and do one just to keep my hand in.
In revisiting my posts preparatory to this final week, I realized that I had over the course of the last year identified certain nuances of curiosity that I wouldn’t consider different kinds: quiet, wraparound, and physical. Quiet curiosity is when it’s nothing dramatic but I am aware of a gentle curiosity. Wraparound curiosity is when I consciously explore what is all around me, not just in front of my face. And physical curiosity is when I feel my body opening up in a reflection of curiosity.
And, actually, I’d like to add social curiosity as described on Day 164. For me that is different from interpersonal curiosity in which I try to understand how the other person sees something. Social curiosity is more about trying to find out about the person–what he or she does, where he or she comes from, his or her favorite vacation spot, and so on.
Not much to report today, but on our dog walk this morning I remembered what I have written elsewhere about wraparound curiosity or being aware of what is going on behind me, too, and consciously checked that several times. It does broaden my experience for a brief time and in a small way. Better than nothing.
A reminder—when you are looking for a solution to a problem look behind yourself, too. Look all around.
Today I went out to brunch with friends. (It’s been a sociable time lately.) We had two tables pushed together. Each table had a tea light in a glass holder. In one of them the candle was lit. In the other it wasn’t. Not having any matches with me I was trying to get the unlit candle out of the glass so that I light it from the other. It was stuck fast. One friend sitting across from me, looking behind me, said with a smile, “You could always just take the candle at the next table [which was empty]. It’s lit.” And that’s what we did.
A variation on what I wrote here.
Rarely do I get an answer to a question so quickly. On Monday I wrote about getting beyond a superficial experience of something by being more curious, and on Tuesday I already had one idea.
When I did the Five Senses Exercise Tuesday morning, I became aware right on step one that I have a tendency to plant myself in one position and then focus on what is in front of me and easily visible to the left and to the right. Clearly if I simply turn around and look also at what is behind me, I get a deeper—or at least broader—experience of that moment.
In fact, I got so absorbed in trying this wraparound approach with all my senses, and was having such a good time with it, that my dog started to miss me and came running back as if to say, “Hey, what are you waiting for?”