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Along the path
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12/16/19 9:12 PM
So I've been practicing for a couple of years. Mostly Mahasi noting, three speed transmission, kasina and some fire kasina. I practice two hours a day and three to four on the weekend days. I've been on the spiritual path for about ten years. All the years on the path were mild in waking up compared to the last two. Meaning my life has changed tremendously since really getting deep in meditation. I have had a couple of experiences in the last year that have shaken the background so to speak. Less anxiety, trauma that use to come up in daily life gone, happier, content, more confidence, more loving, less resentful. Less me. Less me. Less me. Here lately practice ahas been up and down and down and up and cycles within cycles and weird fractal like stuff and on and on and on. Lol anyway it's not really a lot about that. I kind of enjoy the strangeness of the path but what I notice is I don't feel like I'm growing spiritually. Like I could eat better, watch less violent shit on tv, serve others more, exercise more, gossip less, silent scorn less, slack off at work less etc, etc... There's all these things I want to do to be better but it's always on the back burner and I'll always get to it tomorrow. But that's really the way it's always been and now I'm really waking up to it. I notice here lately that I always have a story going on about what needs to change in my life. And honestly I'm not sure all of it really needs to change. I do believe some of it should becuase I know ultimately there's a lot of self in all that and at a certain point will need to be eradicated for further growth. Really I'm just wondering what others have experienced along the way. Like I can sit everyday no matter what and practice but this daily life stuff seems to elude me. I guess I have gotten complacent. It's so easy why change type of deal but I notice that it's not going to work for long. The mind is kicking my ass here lately. Any thoughts are appreciated. 

RE: Along the path
Answer
12/17/19 6:11 AM as a reply to Dustin.
One thing to ponder that strikes me this morning...

How much of this could be reobservation? --- seeing all of your triggers and worries and limitations and failures and really feeling how it bothers you deeply. Sounds a bit like the "rolling up of the mat" or the "quitting and leaving the temple" stage. 

Basically, you probably already know all of these different critiques about your self. Nothing new, but now they seem to be hitting all at once and you have much less hope. But maybe you're basically okay, but are daunted by the long path that seems to be in front of you. That would be classic reobservation. So tempting to just say all of this is impossible...

If you allow yourself to feel it and not get sucked in, usually it passes with a bit of crying and deep acceptance of the reality of how flawed we are --- but it doesn't need to stop progress. Reobservation is a wonderful teacher that humbles us and keeps us honest. For better or worse, it's like holding a mirror up to our self and really getting a good look. 

It's fairly common to get this clear view and then have to do some more clean up in the dark night nanas. More fear and misery and disgust and desire for deliverance --- but each time through it becomes more about learning and understanding the mind... and less about just suffering through it. 

So this could be a good sign, if you think about it that way.

Anyway, just an idea for what it is worth. 

RE: Along the path
Answer
12/17/19 6:55 AM as a reply to shargrol.
That's funny you say all this because after practicing last night and going through stages that were classic reobservation and crying at the end for a few minutes I get up and do some things around the house and then sit down and write this post but not until I lay down I think this is some dk symptoms and I see them real clearly. It seems like I know I'm in these stages and there some real clarity to them but there is also a lot of okness within in them which makes it hard to say that that's where it's coming from or some kind of denial that keeps me from believing I'm going through this again (daunted by the long path). Anyway everything thing you said makes a lot of sense. And comes right after what we chatted about last week so it lines up pretty well. Thanks

RE: Along the path
Answer
12/17/19 1:04 PM as a reply to Dustin.
Thanks for sharing. I definitely see some parallels between your description and my own experience. 

What struck me most about your post, though, were the expectations for spiritual growth. I mention this because reconciling my expectations with actual consequences of insight experiences has been a big part of the learning process. I'd be delighted for someone further along to jump in and say how some path attainment resulted in a better diet / more exercise / etc, but my working hypothesis is that those are very different axes of development.

So when you write "I'm not sure all of it really needs to change" I actually read that as a sign of progress, as in accepting that you're attached to an imperfect, hungry/horny monkey.

Of course this could all just be me projecting my own rationalizations for bad habits onto you, so grain of salt and all that ;)

RE: Along the path
Answer
12/17/19 2:35 PM as a reply to mrdust.
Yeah man I think I'm finding out path attainment doesnt lead to growth in some areas. I think I had some expectations that it would make me more perfect than human and it's the opposite. Seems to make me more human and accepting which for me is really strange. I have chased the spiritual path for so long trying to be perfect that being ok with not being perfect seems wrong. Haha 
I don't really know what to think about awakening. I have all these plans and ideas and they get shattered sometimes. In a good way it seems. Thanks for your input.

RE: Along the path
Answer
12/20/19 5:49 AM as a reply to Dustin.
A friend pointed me to this interview with Kenneth Folk today. The section below resonated and reminded me of this thread, so thought I'd share.

But there does come a time when you can see the relationship between emotional maturity and spiritual development. Because when you’re coming from the heart, which develops later … First off, everybody is coming from the body, from the pants. As you develop, you eventually come from what I call the head, which is the transpersonal, but you are somewhat dissociated from your life.

But then it goes further. The energy comes back down into the heart, into the body, and now it is integrated. So you don’t have to reject your life, the people around you, or your baser desires. Those are all seen as arising and passing, and you are also able to see that the absolute is the ground in which all of this is arising, just pure awareness. It is awareness that is not other than the entire manifest world.

And so you get this integration and at that point, because the ability for empathy is so enhanced, the ability to express compassion is enhanced. And so now it becomes really interesting to say, “Well, I don’t need to get any more enlightened, but could I be a person? Could I learn how to be a person? And can I learn how to be a better community member?”—all of those things that are really not that interesting if what you’re focusing on is moving your energy up the ladder.

RE: Along the path
Answer
12/20/19 6:43 AM as a reply to mrdust.
Good 'Ol Kenneth. Which version was that from? 1.0? 2.0?  emoticon

RE: Along the path
Answer
12/20/19 8:22 AM as a reply to mrdust.
Thanks! That's the same type of stuff Vince Horn talks about. Waking up and then waking down. Makes a lot of sense.