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Doer, knower, and continuity

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Doer, knower, and continuity
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4/1/20 9:30 AM
In the recent Guru Viking podcast, Daniel talks about how 4th path shattered the illusions of the doer, the knower, and the sense of continuity:

https://www.guruviking.com/ep40-daniel-ingram-pandemic-edition-guru-viking-podcast/

I first heard Daniel speak about these things a couple years ago, and I didn't understand at all what he was getting at. I kinda saw that they were illusions in some abstract sense, but I didn't get that the point of meditation was to shatter them in a real, visceral sense.

I'm not at 4th path yet, but these things have been showing up in a rather clear way in my practice now and then. What I'm realizing is that they were always there, but I had been ignoring them because I was misinterpreting them. I had been thinking that they were signs that I was practicing incorrectly, but now I'm kinda thinking that they are signs that I was actually practicing correctly.

However, I wish that these concepts had been normalized earlier in my practice. It might have made certain transitions less stressful.

Hopefully, this can help someone else:

- Notice how it can be frustrating when you don't know clearly what's going on. When you try noting and you lose the object before you are able to give it a label. When you aren't quite sure whether something is a thought or an image or a sound. When you aren't quite sure whether that sensation is in your leg or somewhere else.

- Notice how it can be frustrating when you can't control your thoughts or your movements. You try to sit still, but you get distracted and suddenly find yourself swaying back and forth. You try to sit up straight, but you suddenly realize you've been slouching. You try to keep your face relaxed, but for some reason it keeps tensing up. You try to pay attention to your foot, but the attention keeps moving back to your head, on its own.

- Notice how it can be frustrating when the target seems to keep changing. First, you are absolutely sure that the goal of meditation is to calm yourself down. Then, you become absolutely sure that the goal is to stay focused. Next, you have an epiphany that the goal is to experience maximum suffering with equanimity. Then, you suddenly realize you just can't sit still, because the existential angst and sensory overload is just TOO MUCH right now. It all keeps changing, and you don't know why what seemed to be The Way Things Are yesterday no longer makes any sense to you.

The technique says "be aware of what's happening", and sometimes that works, but sometimes it just doesn't.

The technique says "sit still and be equanimous", and sometimes that works, but sometimes it just doesn't.

The technique says "stay on the path and do the technique", and sometimes that works, but sometimes it just doesn't.

That's how it's supposed to go. You're supposed to try, experience some success, then experience some failure, then get frustrated, and then realize you weren't quite doing it right initially, and fix it. Over and over again. That's how you develop wisdom.

I wish that every teacher who gave the above instructions also gave that warning, every single time.

I hope this can be validating to anyone who has been frustrated with their practice.

RE: Doer, knower, and continuity
Answer
4/1/20 10:02 AM as a reply to spatial.
Very nice instruction.

RE: Doer, knower, and continuity
Answer
4/1/20 12:04 PM as a reply to spatial.
Nice! Something always sucks, it's always changing and not me. 

RE: Doer, knower, and continuity
Answer
4/2/20 7:20 AM as a reply to spatial.
Would you say then the challenge is in the relationship to the frustration, not what's happening?

RE: Doer, knower, and continuity
Answer
4/2/20 9:44 AM as a reply to punto.
punto:
Would you say then the challenge is in the relationship to the frustration, not what's happening?


Yes. If you're able to see the frustration as an object independent of its content, then that's very helpful.