To what extend can/should someone design their spiritual path?

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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 7:22 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 7:22 AM

To what extend can/should someone design their spiritual path?

Posts: 358 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
I'm curious to get DhOs thought on the role of intention to cultivate specific things in a spiritual path. It seems to me, to some extent, that different practices influence you in different ways. For example, when you meet people who do a lot of metta, they are generally nice. The exact extent of how much different practices affect you vs push you down a perennial path isn't clear to me. They may affect you on different levels as well (view, psychological, perhaps perceptual beyond the standard upgrades?). Does it make sense to look at different practices/traditions and say I want X, Y and Z and then to reverse engineer a spiritual path? Is having clearer goals/objectives helpful in the sense of sustaining interest in practice over the course of years and decades?

For me personally, I've taken a somewhat haphazard  (or we could say organic) approach to meditation. I got into it because of my therapist and COVID, and I started with TMI simply because that's what he recommended. From there I got into zen, simply because that's what was on the bookshelf of my local used bookstore, and MCTB because 1. I liked Daniel's attitude, 2. People online said it worked fast towards SE. I stuck with that kind of stuff until now, because my experiences after started to align with what they said and it seems to me "to work". From there I've been slowly expanding into emptiness, mostly because it seems to match up with peak experiences/the vibe of vipasanna, and I like it (intellectually speaking). But clearly this is a "show up and see what happens" style, and it clearly depends a lot on what I have easy access to at the time.

For me, I want the MCTB attainments. I want to go deep and figure out "the truth". Personality wise I'm very analytical in meditation, I love taking the engine of reality apart and seeing how it works, I want to get rid of suffering, and I'm a psychonaut. Should I be designing things more with these considerations (anything you'd recommend me looking into?)?
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 7:36 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 7:36 AM

RE: To what extend can/should someone design their spiritual path?

Posts: 5164 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
I love taking the engine of reality apart and seeing how it works, I want to get rid of suffering, and I'm a psychonaut. 

I think you've just answered your own question.
Adi Vader, modified 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 8:25 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 8:25 AM

RE: To what extend can/should someone design their spiritual path?

Posts: 291 Join Date: 6/29/20 Recent Posts
"1. I liked Daniel's attitude"

Traditionally treatises and books are written with very clear open statements of attainments. I really enjoyed the fact that Dr Ingram wrote his book with an up-front statement of his attainment. So yes I too liked Dr Ingram's attitude in that specific sense emoticon

"I want to get rid of suffering"

Nice! I believe that this is a true and genuine motivation and it acts as a thread that holds together the entire practice journey. My suggestion is to pick this one thread and set aside ... for now ... the notions of taking apart reality. Once you are on the 'other shore' you can do all the deconstruction that you want. But chances are you may no longer be driven or motivated to do that.

"Should I be designing things more with these considerations"

For now, stick to that one pure clean motivation of ending suffering. It is very very sustainable and it will keep you on the straight and narrow. My advice can only come from my understanding and my experiences. Hold the line! emoticon

Once on the other shore, you can do whatever you want.

​​​​​​​Good luck!
shargrol, modified 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 10:13 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 10:13 AM

RE: To what extend can/should someone design their spiritual path?

Posts: 2409 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
You choose your practice, you recieve your path. Based on the results of your path, you choose your practice. (Repeat as often as necessary.)

Everyone's practice is different, everyone's path is different.
Martin, modified 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 1:14 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 1:14 PM

RE: To what extend can/should someone design their spiritual path?

Posts: 796 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
I really like this topic and so I spent quite some time trying to say something about it. But the three answers you have gotten so far say it all, so rather than adding extra strokes to a clear, well-drawn picture, I hit delete :-)
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 3:23 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 3:23 PM

RE: To what extend can/should someone design their spiritual path?

Posts: 358 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Spiritual gradient descent
shargrol, modified 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 3:38 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 3:38 PM

RE: To what extend can/should someone design their spiritual path?

Posts: 2409 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
"Your path" is what actually happens, i.e. how things go wrong and then right, while attempting to do "The Path".  emoticon

Traditions/schools/teachers that say "you must be doing it wrong" when "Their Practice" doesn't result in "Their Path" are truly the worst traditions/schools/teachers. emoticon
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 3:44 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 3:44 PM

RE: To what extend can/should someone design their spiritual path?

Posts: 5164 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Those are teachers in name only.
brian patrick, modified 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 8:00 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/19/24 8:00 PM

RE: To what extend can/should someone design their spiritual path?

Posts: 51 Join Date: 10/31/23 Recent Posts
Some people say there is no practice. Thats true in a way, because there is only "your practice." Meditation in its broadest definition can end up part of the practice but only as an aid to seeing what it is that must be dissolved, more clearly. That which has to dissolve includes the thing wondering how to organize a practice, make it more efficient, or even which practice or tradition to follow, among other things. 

follow something if you want. Don't if you don't. Try things if you want. Or don't try things. That the seed has sprouted it keeps growing. 

I got caught for a while in thinking the universe was magically feeding me what I needed. It wasn't that. I just noticed things that had always been there. 
 
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Dream Walker, modified 2 Months ago at 2/20/24 7:50 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/20/24 7:50 AM

RE: To what extend can/should someone design their spiritual path?

Posts: 1687 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Sha-Man! Geoffrey
I'm curious ---Great
get DhOs thought ---Whos?
on the role of intention to cultivate specific things(----um specific things? what specific thingy stuff like that other vague...)
in a spiritual path (--- what is that to you?spirits? pathy stuff?)

MCTB because 1. I liked Daniel's attitude, 2. People online said it worked fast towards SE.---ok, hows that workn for ya?
I stuck with that kind of stuff(stuff?) until now, because my experiences after (after what?)started to align with what they (who are they?)said and it seems to me "to work". (Work how?)
From there (where?)I've been slowly expanding into emptiness (what is emptyness and where in MCTB is that or what the heck do you actually do?), mostly because it seems to match up with peak experiences/the vibe of vipasanna, and I like it (intellectually speaking). But clearly this is a "show up and see what happens" style, and it clearly depends a lot on what I have easy access to at the time.

For me, I want the MCTB attainments. (what attainment?)I want to go deep and figure out "the truth". (truthyness?)
Personality wise I'm very analytical (um ok, can you analyze what you wrote?) in meditation, I love taking the engine of reality apart and seeing how it works, I want to get rid of suffering, and I'm a psychonaut.
Should I be designing things more with these considerations (what considerations?)
(anything you'd recommend me looking into?)?
Set a clear goal
Follow a clear recipe to get that goal
Educate yourself to recognize clear results
Post less, do more, be specific and clear in your questions/curiosity

How does any of this actually going to effect your next weeks worth of sits? I wish you well and would like to be able to know more clearly what you are actually asking.
Good Luck,
~D
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Month ago at 2/23/24 2:25 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 2/23/24 2:25 PM

RE: To what extend can/should someone design their spiritual path?

Posts: 2730 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
"Sati-Pa" (mindfulness-profound)

as in profound mindfulness, as in knowing clearly what is arising matter of fact as it arise-passes. Contacting the experience fully by knowing what it is!!! Clearly comprehending matter-of-fact arise-passings. If its unclear, then clearly note the unclarity! If it is dull, then clearly note (comprehend, be mindful of, pay attention to, notice profoundly) the dullness. 

Emptiness is full of shit!!! Look at it again!!! Is it empty? If so then WHY DUKKHA? STOP telling yourself that you have been stuck in "emptiness" and just wakefully NOTE (even if aloud) 3-5 (or more) sensations a second for the duration of a 45-60 minute sit! Screw the "Ive been sitting 3 times today, 2 hours each, went organic" emoticon Organic my ars! emoticon Its not quantity but quality! 

When such a narrative as "Im stuck in EQ" or "Im stuck in empiness" comes up go back to the basics!!! Go back to the body sensations as a starter and spread out from there! This backing off into body sensations can be done every few minutes during the sit, or every few seconds. Remind yourself to do this every so often and spread out from there. 

Just say to the self talking about EQ and Emptiness "ok friend but what about we check if there are any body sensations happening right now" ... NOTE IT!! emoticon 

Best wishes and may you note more matter of fact and less be in EQ and Emptiness! emoticon 

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