Self-enquiry group in a school or college


I have facilitated enquiry groups with young people in a school and a college, and both groups were very similar. I worked with 15-18 year olds in the school and young people in their early 20’s in the college


I would do a presentation to the entire class and explain what the Human Enquiry Project was, speak of the benefits of enquiry and how this was not a new philosophy or spiritual teaching, but a scientific study of how our minds worked. From this class, a group of interested students would come forward and we would begin a series of dialogues. Each would last about 90 minutes, and have a facilitator, who made it clear that he/she was not there as an expert, but an active participant in the enquiry.

In the accompanying presentation I have listed the topics I covered over a 6 week period- but this can vary. Its good to engage with students on topics that they are interested in – and use them to explore deeper, so we can uncover the way the mind works behind the scenes. The subjects listed in the book, Understanding Me, Understanding You, could also be used as a guide. Begin with basics, like how we listen and form opinions- and explore the difference between expressing an opinion (which is a reflection our own particular memory) and exploring the universal way the mind works. That is the key- every subject explored needs to lead to an uncovering of the invisible way our minds work in the background and this is common to everyone present. Use the computer analogy- that different computers share the same operating system which works in the background, but have different contents of their hard drives. Similarly our minds have different contents in our memory banks, but our minds work in the same way, hidden from our awareness.

Tips: Here are some lessons I have learned in engaging young people in the enquiry process:

  • Children are smart. They understand things quickly, if they are asked the right questions. It is worth respecting that.
  • The key is to make them discover the truth of something by themselves. That has far greater significance, than just giving it to them as information, on a platter. Make them work it out by asking questions.
  • The questions you ask should lead them from the particular to the universal- to how our shared minds operate.
  • Make it clear there is no good or bad, or right and wrong as far as the enquiry is concerned – it is an enquiry into what is- and each one of us is a scientist. See the chapter on Obstacles to Enquiry, in the book, for more pointers.
  • I would make it clear that everyone in the group, including the facilitator shares the same mind, so is on the same level as everyone else.
  • It is also helpful to focus on just uncovering the facts. They then act in the background and bring their own change.
  • Try and get everyone to contribute, particularly the silent ones. This may mean getting the ones who want to speak all the time, to hold back.
  • Allow the enquiry to take its own direction. Follow it. Bring people back to exploring the universal, by asking questions.

If you can record your experience with this enquiry group, please share that with us, so we can put a link on this website.

Good luck. They key is to just begin. All good things flow from that. If you have any questions please get in touch.