Insight #76 ~ ZEN Shredding…
June 16, 2010

Ask questions of your life.


Ask questions of yourself, of others; of what you’ve been taught; of everything you believe yourself to be. It’s important to engage and apply the process of enquiry and investigation into your life, to examine all the beliefs that you have about life. 

Enquiry and investigation prevent denial and resignation. It is the birth of a new narrative based on the present, not the past or future. Your best questions entice the Universe to respond in a dance of “co-creation” that transforms your subjective experience.


Extended commentary:


Any good dialogue therapist understands the impact of well crafted question. A well crafted, skillfully delivered question can change the understanding, perception and behavior of a client forever.  A “change” in ones understanding and perception can often lead to a change in behavior, which inevitably leads to a change in ones life and the way with which one lives ones life.  

Well crafted questions can open doorways that can lead to freedom: illuminating buried thoughts, revealing hidden feelings ~ placing a spotlight on self sabotaging ideas, notions, perceptions and associations with which we live our life.  A well crated question can also create context, meaning and purpose for an individual and their lives.  A well crafted question can unveil order where there once appeared to be disorder.

As a general rule we might often avoid the use of “Why” in dialogue; it is often relegated to a “use only if… and when… status”, due to the seduction of its nature as a “call for justification”; an invitation to create a story or reason, where there may be none.  Better said, one can easily trap oneself or another more deeply into the story of “me” and “why”; the story that we might be telling ourselves or others, when asking or addressing a question that begins with [Why?]

That being said, there are always exceptions.  There’s always exceptions, and there will always be moments when a well crafted, skillfully delivered [Why?] will open up a mother lode of information and ideas so pure, so informative and so valuable, that they can change the direction of ones life or another’s forever.

[ Living in the [Why] of Life.]


As a strategy for successful living, a well crafted, open ended [Why?] question, can reveal a spectrum of ideas, notions and values that often can shape and influence an individuals entire motivation; it exposes the roots of their “modus operandi”; the very impulse of [Why] we do, what we do; “our reason for being”.

 [Why] am I in this relationship?

[Why] do I enjoy my [fill in the blank] work?

[Why] do I want to do “this” or “that”?

[Why] am I so unhappy in this [fill in the blank] job?

[Why] do I feel what I feel?

[Why] do I do, what I do?

[Why] am I here?

 As any good dialogue therapist knows, a well placed open ended, [Why?] often initially unlocks a dearth of information that requires mind-full navigation: where the [How?] and the [What?]; the [Who?], the [Where?] and the [When?] must equally and necessarily, be applied with exacting precision, to the uncovered material so that it might be harnessed to its fullest potential.

A well crafted, closed ended, question [Who?, What?, Where?, When? and How?] can lead the dearth and seemingly, perceived chaos of that revealed information [the Why?] in supportive directions that will inform and enable the inherent value of that [Why?] to come alive.

A provocative, all encompassing [Why?] has the inspiration and power to lead us to an engaging [How?], and an engaging [How?] can steer us to an essential,[What?]! 

[Why] am I here?

[How] can I cultivate, refine and develop that inspiration most easily?

[Who] can support me in the implementation of that purpose?

[What] do I need to specifically do to engadge the creative process in the world of form?

[When] do I need to do the above?

And therein lies the strategy and life cycle of a well crafted question!


 What part of your own story do you need to question?



Please watch this inspiring TED talk by Simon Sinek; a master of dialogue…




To order a copy of ZEN Shredding please visit:


Visit my new Blog for daily quotes based on my writings and the book ZEN Shredding:




Hot off the Press:


The Doctrine of ONE…




Other work:


ZEN Shredding: The Prequel




The Essentials of a Good Life…



(c) Copyright – Michael Sean Symonds.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide. 



Insight #58 ~ ZEN Shredding…
September 24, 2009

WB 119 

Interrupt ongoing noise in your life. 


On the slope, you can find perfection in silence.  Take a moment to notice and enjoy the serenity, simplicity and silence in things, as they are mirrors of your Being.  Notice the pauses and gaps in your life; they are your greatest friends, they are filled with potential and possibility. They are the source of your dreams and the connection to your true Self.


 Extended commentary:


Between one thought and another,

there is space.


Between every breath,

a pause.


As sound arises,

so it will fall.


Between one idea and the next,

a gap.


Between each beat of the heart,

a rest.



It’s funny how we avoid stillness in life.  It’s funny how uncomfortable most feel with the pause of silence that permeates all activity; how we want to fill that still silence with activity.

If we take an honest look at our lives, I think most of us would agree that we have filled those lives with too much “having” and too much “doing”.  Where is the space of Being?  I think it would be fair to say we avoid the stillness of silence by consciously and unconsciously filling it with activity.

Ironically all activity itself arises from the stillness of silence.  To avoid greater awareness of that stillness; to lose touch with that silence, by focusing only on the having and the doing, is to lose touch with not only the stillness, but also the essential birthplace that gives rise to all activity, including life itself.  Even when activities of the body appear to cease, the mind seems always ready to take over, bingeing itself on movements of the mind.

It’s so easy and so simple to lose awareness of our essential nature as we compulsively and forcefully engage a never ending list of activities authored by the mind.  To introduce the stillness of silence into our activity, to introduce this stillness to the mind, is to temporarily withdraw ourselves from the thinking, the having and the doing of life; and in that engagement, in that stillness, we enliven with dynamism not only the mind, but also all activity to come. 

In stillness, in the restful alertness that can be found in silence, there lies the potential for unbounded, dynamic activity.  To engage the stillness, to engage our awareness deeply into that silence, is to allow what is, to Be, and in that space of silence something greater can be noticed, something much greater can be appreciated. 

Perhaps, if only momentarily, we can step beyond the foreground of the thinking, the having and the doing, and we can touch with awareness the background of Being which resides as the stillness; from this silent nothing, something becomes. 

In this appreciation of stillness, in this appreciation of Being, all activity that arises will not only be nourished by the background of Being, but also will then serve in unimaginable ways, the foreground of the thinking, the having, the doing and the being.  Being will then supplement in amplified ways, the thinking, the being, the having and the doing…


How can you introduce silence as a practice to your day?


 To order a copy of ZEN Shredding please visit:


Check out “Living The Dream”, the gift book version of the slideshow/movie that is available to view free on You tube or the ZEN Shredding website; an inspiring read with full color photo’s of Whistler/Blackcomb Alpine…



 When you get a chance, please visit the home of my latest work:



The Essentials of a Good Life…


(c) Copyright – Michael Sean Symonds. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.


%d bloggers like this: