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Asking is about getting clear on what it is we want. It is setting intentions. When education is working well, it opens the mind. A good teacher will invite questions and discussion to wake up the mind to possibilities. Asking questions clears the way for discovery.

Science begins and ends with a question. Can this be done? What is this? How does it work? What more can this do? Just think of the things we wouldn’t have if someone didn’t ask a question first. When an hypothesis is set, isn’t that really a what-if question?

Asking acknowledges that we can’t know everything. From this place, there is more room for learning to take place. The Buddhists talk about being in that place of “Beginner’s Mind.” Where you know you don’t know it all and the mind can be a-light with questions.

In one of the Gawain stories in the Arthurian and Celtic legends, Gawain finds himself in a strange castle where a warrior is laid out as if he’s dead, with a sword in his heart that continues to bleed. Later, Gawain is witness to the Grail which floats through the hall serving everyone present. Gawain, however, fails to ask about the Grail and instead asks after the warrior. (You kinda can’t blame him for that, being a warrior himself.) However, though the land began to heal, the king still suffered. It wasn’t until later, when Gawain saw the Grail for the second time, that he remembered to ask about it. And then, finally, all was healed. This story carries a side note to me that you get more than one chance to ask. But the key is always in the asking. You don’t have to know all the answers, you just have to ask.

Seems you don’t even always have to hang around for the answer. Ask the right question and things can start to change instantaneously. The answer comes in a holy instant. You might not need to do anything more about it. Including discovering what the answer was.

We might balk at times about putting our lives in God’s Hands. After all that work to figure out what we want! But when we ask for what we want, aren’t we in a way, giving it up? Handing it onto someone else? What if we ask ourselves if we could think of it as handing it over to God? Is there much more powerful a thing to do than that?

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