The first stage of a spiritual journey has to do with becoming aware of the possibility that a spiritual search can be a directive force in our lives. . . .

The search can't start until the question [who we really are] arises. If the aspiration for enlightenment has not manifested; if the doubts we are confronting are not a matter of life and death; if, indeed, there is no question; then obviously there is no answer. The question needs to come up if genuine practice is to begin.

John Daido Loori, Riding the Ox Home