About the Project
This is a notebook with a hole through which a question is shining.
This is a tool for focusing and self-regulation.
This is a notebook that combines psychology and Zen.
WHO IS THIS NOTEBOOK DESIGNED FOR?
For those who love creating.
For those who seek their authenticity.
For those who wish to be authors.
WHY IS THERE A HOLE WITH A QUESTION?
In order the question to be continuously available without having to copy it from page to page.
The hole with a question permanently turns the writers back to themselves. It serves those who want to formulate Their Important Question without any mediators.
The hole with a question is an anchor in the stormy sea of everyday life. It holds coherence and direction in the din of information.
The hole is the vertical, spiritual time. Space, time and writer coincide in this hole.
The hole brings a sense of emptiness in the Buddhist sense: emptiness filled with the charms of the unmanifested.
The question provokes a sense of reality, a sense of presence here and now.
The question is a friend. It’s here so that you are not alone as you write.
The question is broader than the statement and it attacks all hard-set perceptions.
Staying with a question brings us to examine our image from the outside, peeling down the roles and situations to which we tend to attach. It works for our de-attachment. It leads to the core which connects us to something much bigger.
This notebook is a tool for taking distance from the literalness of the daily routine. The question contains energy. It breaks the pages and examines life.
The constant presence of a question or statement brings added value to writing.
The question wears out all the chatter, depletes the rational answers and penetrates into the intuition and the subconscious. Writing next to a question is expanding on the inside, being honest.
Besides, you may not spoil the question with an answer.
Answers get tired.
Just like questions do.
The foam of the days spills over the pages of this notebook. The experiences, the secrets, all you believe you are. Until the question disappears. And YOU appear.
YOU are the answer.
HOW TO USE THE HOLE WITH A QUESTION?
The hole cuts through the pages of the notebook from cover to cover. At the bottom of the hole there may be a question, a message, a photo, a drawing, a small object, a mirror or nothing at all.
The writers are the ones who determine how long they will stay with a question by writing it on a sticky piece of paper and sticking it on the hole after one or more sets of pages. If they still need to be accompanied by the same question, they move the paper with the question after several more sets. If they want to change the question, they stick another paper with another question further in the notebook. So the already used question remains as a reference point to the core of the writing. And they can write simultaneously on several questions by allocating the sticky papers along the pages of the notebook, intersecting several different questions in the hole. But it is always good to start with the question: “Who is in?”.
HOW DID IT ALL BEGIN?
Buddhism is passed along from master to disciple. One way to do that is by working with koan. This practice has inspired the “Satori” process, aka “Who is in”. I experienced Satori for the first time with Ganga Cording in 2005. For seven continuous days, thirty six humans drilled on the question “Who is in?” for ten hours a day. The rest of the time we remained in silence – we worked in the garden and in the kitchen, we ate, contemplated the Danube river, meditated and observed “Who is in?”. A bell would wake us up in the darkness at four o’clock in the morning and, still sleepy and brushy, we were asking each other the question “Who is in?”. On the fourth day our mentor changed my question to “What is love?”. Two days and nights I kept asking myself “What is love?”. On the third day I experienced Satori. I felt as if the visible world fell apart and huge streams of love poured over me. I had no boundaries. I was an infinite state, loving everything I saw. I felt overflowing gratitude. I expanded myself to that state only after my brain had exploded, absolutely exhausted by answering the question “Who is in?” and then “What is love?”. I am grateful to this process and to Ganga Cording who has given me so much over the years.
Actually the notebook with a question appeared as a way to keep the impact of this practice in everyday life.
At the same time in 2005 I started individual work with Prakash Belval.
Besides my body, I would bring my questions to the practice:
– I’m stressed by the constant feeling that I have no time: I wake up in the morning and immediately the fear that I have no time bites its teeth into my diaphragm.
– Time for what? – asks the master.
I leave his question gnawing at me. What do I really need time for? What do I give my time for? What do I do? I want to create. I want to paint. And don’t leave myself any time for this. I do other things, I give my time only to help others in carrying out their mission, and there is no more energy, time and space left for me. Helping has become more important than myself, than my mission in this world.
“Time for what?” – Time to create.
So that’s how our personal meetings would take place: while doing yoga I shared what was in my mind. My teacher would bring it back to me in the form of a question. And I stayed with these questions. In order not to forget them, I began to write them down. I knew that the question was only an occasion to focus on myself, to be more conscious. Thank you, Master!
DIARY, BUDDHISM AND DESIGN MEET IN AN AIRPLANE
History of the creation of the notebook with a hole:
I have been writing up diaries since I remember. It’s clear that I’m a real maniac in every detail: form, paper, cover, pencil, violet ink! I touch them as living beings. I bring life into them. My notebooks sit tightly gathered in huge boxes, one decade per box. I use their pages to return to myself when I’m lost.
So in October 2009, while flying in an airplane, I was gnawing on the question: “Who is the master?”. Answering page after page, I had to keep copying the question in order to be able to see it all the time. So there, above the clouds, it occurred to me that instead of copying the question I could simply make a hole in the notebook and write it on the bottom.
So I started drilling holes in my notebooks, answering to the question in the hole or just writing what interested me at the moment.
THE NOTEBOOK WITH A QUESTION AS A TOOL FOR SELF-REGULATION IN MY THERAPEUTIC PRACTICE
Usually the people who enter the therapist’s office are lost – they don’t know what they want, they have forgotten who they are. In order to begin from somewhere, we need a picture of what it is. Questions appear in the process of working. Formulating the customer’s important question is the core of the therapy.
HOW DO WE FORMULATE A QUESTION?
“Who am I?”, “Who is in?”, “What is love?”, “Who is the master?”
“What separates me from my spontaneity?”
The question must be sufficiently broad and positively formulated.
It isn’t recommended to include negation unless you have targeted to consciously work over an area that does not work. For example, “Why do I keep postponing?” leads to “What prevents me from acting?” which can be transformed into: “What am I like when I’m brave?” or “What am I like when I act?” and you can continue keeping the diary about the statement “I do!” or the question: “What is the new thing that I do?”.
Another example: If you ask the question “Why am I always broke?” or “What am I like when I have no money?”, then you can continue with “What do I spend money on?” or “What am I like when I have money?” and then you can continue writing about the statement “I contain” or the question “What is abundance?”. You can also write about the statement: “I am rich with…” or “I have enough.”
“Staying” with the question means that the customers have to often ask it to themselves between the sessions. They literally take up the role of their own therapist until the answer finds them.
That’s how the notebook with a question turns out to be a wonderful tool for self-regulation:
It goes around the client’s resistance and protections.
It wins the client on the side of our mutual work.
It provides valuable observations.
It accompanies elegantly the psychotherapy.
And it can also mark the end of the psychotherapy.
It leads to a grown-up Self that doesn’t need so much external attention, as it already generously gives it to itself, before re-turning it to the world again.
Sooner or later the question is forgotten. What remains is a refreshed sense of centering. Because it’s not about the question or the answers. The important thing is that the ability to communicate with ourselves has been restored: communication with both the Great and the Insignificant self.
The notebook is made from simple recycled materials. It is stitched together in a way that it opens to the maximum and doesn’t strain the hand that moves along the sheet. The hole has a diameter of 27 mm. It provides a 3D dimension to the notebook. It pierces the pages horizontally which represents the material living, and adds the vertical, spiritual dimension.
The presence of a hole in the sheet of paper makes me write up the pages more densely, so I become mingy on the space for writing and my drawings always include the hole.
Those who use the notebook and work on various questions can communicate on the Facebook page
For questions and consultations you can write to