Author Topic: Stop Following Instructions  (Read 1059 times)

Zara Songull

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Stop Following Instructions
« on: January 11, 2022, 06:11:55 am »
Here are my instructions for how to stop following instructions.

Follow these steps when you encounter a new practice, meditation, or contemplation youíve never tried before.

1.) Read through the instructions carefully, and try to grok their intended meaning. Many ďspiritualĒ practices are trying to get at something abstract or subtle. Sometimes theyíre attempting to guide you to an experience that defies description. So the words are often open to interpretation. Make your best guess, which is usually as good as it gets.
2.) Read the instructions again, trying out each step, awkwardly if necessary. Try to figure out how to put the words into action. Perhaps even read through a third time.
3.) If the instructions already make sense to you at this point, do a little fist pump to celebrate your grasp of the new practice, and enjoy its benefits. If you can discover the real essence of the practice, you can often get back to that essence without needing to go through all the steps.
4.) If the instructions donít make sense to you, see if you can create a new version that does. Play with each instruction. Tweak them, vary them, and rearrange them to suit you better.
5.) Basically, if the instructions arenít working for you, stop following the instructions. If the instructions already got you to the intended destination, stop following the instructions.
6.) As a final step, there is no final step, because you should have already stopped following the instructions by now!

The problem is that you really canít know if you got it right. Even if you think you got it, you donít know if what you got was what you were meant to get. On the other hand, you may be certain you got it wrong, so you made up your own variation. But that variation may get you closer to the intended mark anyway. You canít know.

And the real reason you canít know if you got it right is that the person giving the instructions may not have gotten it right either. Why do you assume they know what theyíre doing? Either they just made the practice up, or they learned it from someone who learned it from someone who learned it from someone who just made it up.

The idea that thereís a right way has to be a myth. Just think back to what it must have been like in the olden days.

The first yoga teacher training, as Iím sure you can imagine, was a total bust. None of the asanas had been invented yet, so there was nothing to teach!

The first dude who tried to do the tai chi form kept kicking himself because he couldnít remember any of the movements. But then he remembered that there were no movements to remember. No one had yet come up with any!

Meditation practice wasnít any better. Everyone kept looking around at each other trying to figure out if they were doing it right, but there were no instructions yet, so no one knew!

For every spiritual practice thatís been around for years or decades or millenia, someone was the first person to try it. Someone had to innovate every single form of meditation, every yoga asana, every tai chi movement - and every other practice you can think of. To come up with it in the first place, they messed around and experimented and happened upon something that seemed to work.

That was always Jedís process, and itís mine as well.

He would be trying to investigate something curious or mysterious. Heíd mess around and make up a new practice that was always partially ripped off of something else he picked up along the way. Heíd try it on himself, refine it, maybe give up on it and return to it later, and finally try it out on his friends. He didnít know the one true way. He just came up with one possible way.

Then he was faced with the task of figuring out how the heck to write down the instructions. Heíd do his best to craft precise words, knowing they would resonate instantly with some students, not make any sense to others, and be exactly the wrong practice for some people anyway. He almost always emphasized that students are better off reading the instructions carefully and repeatedly. Then at least you have a chance. But he knew the instructions would only ever get them so far.

Just because it worked for Jed, or works for some of his students, doesnít mean itíll work for you. If it doesnít, you can probably come up with a better way.

None of the people who invented any of the practices youíve learned, including Jed, were any more qualified than you. No one who later improved upon those practices, or came up with interesting variations on them, was any more qualified than you. Everyone is equally qualified to study their own nature, to investigate how consciousness works, to find out how energy seems to move through them when they channel it this way or that. You are as qualified as anyone, and significantly more so when it comes to finding out what works for you in particular.

As a disclaimer, I should probably say that in the spirituality business, a lot of people believe that the only way to get where youíre going is to have a live teacher, maybe one who will transmit something to you that can only be transmitted in person, or perhaps just someone who can correct you individually until you finally get it right.

But I wonít make that disclaimer because around these parts, there is no right way to follow. You have to find your own way. Recruit help from whatever quarters you can find it, but itís still ultimately going to be your way.

Everyone learns differently. Some people seem to like a lot of guidance and to try to get all their numerous questions answered. Some people like the rules and structure to be given to them by someone in authority. Thatís a fine place to start your journey. The journey gets way more interesting, however, once you start to do your own experiments, when you make it your mission to figure out the stuff no one can teach you anyway. Itís always a solo journey that gets you the rest of the way home.

So, when youíre picking up something new, squeeze whatever you can from the instructions as presented. Then stop following instructions and find your own way.

This is particularly true of the instructions I am giving you right now.

« Last Edit: January 11, 2022, 08:16:16 am by Zara Songull »

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Re: Stop Following Instructions
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2022, 05:52:13 am »
Wow, what an eye opener. Thanks Zara for this post :)


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Re: Stop Following Instructions
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2022, 10:00:39 am »
I am so grateful. Thank You!!!


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Re: Stop Following Instructions
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2022, 01:25:24 am »
Thanks Zara for this.

My observations: The doer, who thinks is doing the contemplation, wants some specific outcome will always create diversions instead of keeping things simple.
Trying and trying it fails. However, there are few moments when you are not trying to do anything, relaxed and contemplation happens in auto-mode.
You just watch.
Some changes/dissolving happen, little by little, towards the shore.


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Re: Stop Following Instructions
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2022, 09:02:43 am »
Thank you, Zara. Love you.


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Re: Stop Following Instructions
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2022, 10:10:42 am »
So perfect!  For a return to form, from a form which has been rendered somewhat...nay, mostly (by comparison)....progressively formless.

TY Jed!  *sigh*. For.....everything.  Your death was time-fully timeless and, as per what may be inadvertently implied by the post-ghosted heading, was and is....of course...impeccably inserted into the middle of my suspended instruction.  TY....Infinity!  You are the (my) Peerless Prankster, always and forever, amen :D

The husk is gone, the seed is born...I'm the many you left in your passage.  It's born in me, that's for fcking sure!  I indulged, of course I did!  To the max, baby....pedal to the metal...Thelma and Louise, over the edge with foot firmly on the gas....karma burned bright, and on both ends to boot!....twice-as-strong and half-as-long, in the words of the Maker (before being unmade by his creation) to his "son", The Replicant.  And thus burnt...and thus burnt out.....and thus, gone baby gone.   There's nothing left!  Where is it....this historical slavery to my desire?  My compulsions?  Just where TF did it go?!  IDK...I really don't

Halfway through Nav....mid-breath....thunder-struck, shock and awe.  Where's the rest?! I screamed....WTF?!! I'm empty, Jed!  Where's the goddam rest?!  Where's the line...the GD plot line?!  Cheshire Cat smile, as you disappear in the branches of a fever dreamed, rabbit-holed, rainbow-limned tree.   Ha!  :D. You know, ofc....well, ofc you don't...but that's the beautiful point, n'est pas?  You know that you don't know!  And left me to un-figure that one out on my own...all alone.  Even your helper/collaborator left my mail box empty (poor sot....too unruly for you?  Too unstable, too ...too disruptive?  Too distasteful.  You better un-figure this sh1t out...before it's too late).  In the hands of who?  IDK, who cares?  Not me :D. I was left hanging, and that's the beautiful point.  Your hapless Counterpart (great tip, on that show....the point of which escapes me and finds me from day to beautifully bristling, bustling ways, unknown).

You're the only one who left me be myself.  All the way, baby...pedal to the metal (you get it, don't you?  You paradoxical gear head-loving/carbon emission-loathing conundrum, You!).  An indulgent mo-fo, left to indulge to the bitter find the sweetness just beyond.  You let me FINISH....gave me the space to find the empty, liquid center at the bitter end of myself.  You let me tip, destabilized and careening amidst my own, living, folly-born and foolishly-expressed involutional micro-myth....Crazed and Rabid Coyote Man....across my own event horizon to be spagettified and ego-crushed....stripped and thinned to my primordial essence as I approach my own singularity...OMG, this pit is BOTTOMLESS!

Fck procedure!  Fck the cloying, smug, repugnant, lifeless "instruction"....fck the Left-Overs left to silt and sediment....left to ego-orchestration....left for dead for historians and archeologists to dust and brush and mutter over for what? for god-knows-how-long.  Scat masters, all of them.  The living thing....the only one that matters that they'll never ever see or find....not that they care long gone....eating the ripened fruit of life itself, it's so long gone.  Let them have their dried sh1t to break apart and feed into all that cutting edge, high tech, waste of ingenuity.

From high-tech, to low-tech, to no-tech. the way.  The Way.  No more looking and picking and fiddling about.  That's done :). "How To Meditate"....jeeeezus fcking christ on a crutch. 

I'm on it, friend.  Live through me, as you wish....whatever's left.  Live and breathe through this aging, youth-ing body born to die.  I'm all growns up, Mommy...I'm all growns up!  I feel supple and intelligent, flexible, formless, limber, new born babe with thinning/graying hair.  What a freak!  LOL!  I'm approaching the End, Jed...and all I seeing is theever-emerging, fractal-zoom stamens and petals and stamens and petals and.....of an ever, blooming beginning which ends and begins and ends and begins and ends and begins again and again.  Like Billy, freaked and released by his own future-self rendezvous saying "Hello....Farewell....Hello....Farewell...Hello"....on and on and on, forever and ever....