The Path Is Lost Upon Me

Kelly Gordon Weeks, modified 4 Months ago.

The Path Is Lost Upon Me

Posts: 90 Join Date: 8/9/20 Recent Posts
Hello Fello Meditators,

I'm going to keep this brief. I began meditation about a year and a half ago. I practiced mainly samatha and was quickly thrust into the path of insight. The path was very clear for me. I cycled several times (I think 5). The last time that I had any apparent path related experiences was last summer. I went through the DN and EQ. It was textbook. It seemed as though I was about to reach cessation but then the path become lost upon me. 

Since then my practice (60 minutes per day + qigong + WimHof) has been pretty dry. I still enjoy it though! I mainly practice the samatha jhanas 1-4.

Is the path of insight no longer relevant? Why was it so profound in the beginning and less so now?

Thank you for reading this!

-Kelly
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: The Path Is Lost Upon Me

Posts: 1742 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Your story reminds me of my path. Shamatha for 3 years, Qigong and Ki-breathing. All cool and very insightful and calm and blissfull. Then one day all went away and I could only feel misery and panic as my lovely meditation has gone terribly wrong. I could not find the way back to it no matter how hard I tried. Got once again to what felt like EQ but wanted to hold onto it and this shot me back into Dark Night. After 3 years of daily meditation I rolled up the mat never to return to spirituality and ignore it as if I never meditated! Guess what? 
I lived miserably and created misery around me and much confusion. 
Until several years later I decided that I could not take this suffering anymore and I opted for the one thing I never had any respect for; the Noting practice emoticon the most uncool of all practices on this planet emoticon I even did it with open eyes and noting aloud as well as sitting on a normal chair as oposed to sitting in some cool posture emoticon It paid off after 5 moths of daily practice.
Noting 1-5 sensations a second for the entire duration of the sit, without lapse, which was all from 45 to 60 minutes once or twice or three times a day (usually would inctrease sits when I felt lots of unpleasantness arising).

Just sharing and it might not have anything to do with you of course emoticon it just reminds me of my path, thats all.

best wishes!
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Tommy M, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: The Path Is Lost Upon Me

Posts: 116 Join Date: 12/1/20 Recent Posts
Hiya Kelly,

I cycled several times (I think 5). The last time that I had any apparent path related experiences was last summer. I went through the DN and EQ. It was textbook. It seemed as though I was about to reach cessation but then the path become lost upon me.

Based on this alone, I'd suggest that you've probably crossed the A&P and began cycling. Without continued practice and attentiveness, the cycles can seem to go away, or at least be less impactful, but it's pretty much guaranteed that they've continued regardless.

Since then my practice (60 minutes per day + qigong + WimHof) has been pretty dry.

That sense of 'spiritual dryness' or lack of results is typical Dark Night stuff, so don't worry. Is your meditative practice still samatha, or have you incorporated vipassana?

Is the path of insight no longer relevant?

Unlikely. It may just be that the Mahasi-style noting most commonly practiced on here just isn't suited to you. On the other hand, the strong possibility that you're cycling through Dark Night territory may make that sort of momentary one-pointedness less easily accessible to you.

Why was it so profound in the beginning and less so now?

Standard progression for everyone who crosses the Arising & Passing Away, so don't get too hung up on it. The fireworks and profundity often lead people to think they've attained Path, but it's usually the case that they haven't even gotten close. Instead of focusing on what was, just turn attention to what's happening in this moment 'cause that's where the real profundity will be found. Don't try to grasp after those initial experiences 'cause all it does it to pull you away from remaining relentless present and attentive to what's happening in your direct experience in this moment.

Practice well.

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