The 3 I’s

One of my main meditation practices of the day is to identify the “3 I’s” and what they continue to teach me. Read this article and see if it makes sense to you. Then you can begin to practice the  “3 I’s”.

Before we go into this, let me describe the practice that brings me to the “3 I’s”. When I get in bed for the night after a long day of activities, my first practice is to take six deep breaths followed by noticing where each part of my body makes contact with the sheet. I start with my heals and work up my legs to my hips, hands (which are on my hips), lower back, all the way up the the top of my head. Then my mind moves to the forehead, eye brows, eye lids and then to the eyes.

I acknowledge, “Eyes closed from looking and seeing,” and this is where I open to the “3 I’s”. I acknowledge, “Insight opening, investigation opening, imagination opening.” My eyes are closed and this allows for the arising of insight, investigation and imagination.

Insight is the facility to look deeply into the truth of what is going on in our lives. With insight, we recognize feelings as feelings and there is nothing to be attached to in these feelings. We recognize perceptions and perceptions and don’t get lost in evaluating whether they are real or not. We just allow our perceptions to be just as they are. We recognize thoughts as thoughts and don’t get lost in the downward spiral of following them. They pass through us like clouds pass through the sky or sound passes through our ears without being attached to them. The same is true for memories, plans and regrets.

Investigation is the capacity to take what we learn from the insights and deepen our understanding. We can also investigate the causes and conditions that have led to the situation we are investigating. We examine what is before us without going down the rabbit hole in our thinking.

Mindfulness Breaks

Imagination is the skill to visualize our lives developing in wholesome ways using the skillful means at our disposal that may have developed from insight and investigation. Imagination can also stand on its own and allows us to manifest our desires to come true as long as we remain detached from the outcomes. I have written a lot about imagination in my book, Mindfulness Breaks: Your Path to Awakening, which you can download here.

There is a sense in which imagination can lead to investigation and then into insight, so the “3 I’s” are deeply interconnected. They reveal a lot about our true nature and how we can transform our lives for the better.

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