Using Four Step Insight – Drukama RadioTM Episode 8

This week on Drukama Radio Daishi goes through his 4 step insight process and discuss the application behind each of the steps.

Insight Meditation: Four Step Insight Practice - Drukama Radio™ Ep 8 - Drukama Teachings™

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Episode 8 Extract

Using Four Step Insight (Insight Meditation)

“Four Steps:

  1. Notice the suffering/dissatisfaction
  2. Find the source cause
  3. Cut it off
  4. Find the root cause”

Drukama™ podcast extract – Ep8

Full Transcript of This Episode

Adam: Welcome back to Drukama Radio. Thank you very much for being here with us tonight. We’re thrilled as always to be joined again tonight by Raz. Raz how are you brother?

Daishi: I’m doing great thanks for having me. I appreciate it and I look forward to talking to you about these four steps we’ll go through tonight.

Adam:  This four-stage insight practice you came up with is outstanding and it’s going to give people a baseline of tools for dealing with rhythms or issues that come up with life. A really nice way to kind of step back from that egoic attachment, really evaluate what is happening.

Daishi:  Absolutely yes.

Adam:  Before we jump into them I just want to ask you for thought purposes how did you come up with this?

Daishi: This process was to solve a challenge that a lot of the initial practitioners would have when it came to understanding; number one becoming more aware of the process that’s happening within them on a more subtle level, and two to give them an actual practical application that could be used again and again when the rhythms came up and the reactions of emotions followed the kind of crazy mind stream that we seem to have, that comes alive from moment to moment. And so this is a basic very simple process that then of course leads to a much deeper more involved contemplative process later on, obviously.

Adam: It’s a really helpful piece and when you get to break it down and look at it, it’s amazing. So, I’m going to start, we’re going to dive right in. You’ve got four steps, your four stages practice here and we’re going to go through the steps you are going to kind of riff on each one and then we’re going to get into some practical application, because that is always helpful.

Daishi: Sure.

Adam: Step one in the four-stage insight practice (insight meditation) – notice suffering and dissatisfaction.

Daishi: Okay so the first step would be the moment that I recognize. So, preamble to this the moment – I recognize that there is a rhythm (and we talked about rhythm before in the past and the rhythm is when I get pulled in either in a high positive way or hell of a negative way a rhythm comes in both ways). When I get pulled into an outside circumstance – this can be anything, any engagement that pulls me in and I find that I may be reacting to it in an unconscious way – and so if I can catch myself then I would notice there’s a problem. So, and this can also go with benefit, with pleasures and all that but we usually use this for suffering, for prosper issues and angst and those kinds of conditions. So, I find myself in a situation in the outside world with somebody, or it might just be happening within myself, and I find angst or suffering or some problem, something’s going on and immediately take notice with my awareness of the subject the actual issue that’s coming up, and not – and this is the important part – what seems to be connected stories the other person the you know the story that’s being created by my mind or the story that’s being created by the outside world etc. I want to really focus in on where is my state, and that’s important in that first step is just where am I? How do I feel? Like an assessment it also brings awareness there.

Adam: Again an assessment or just taking stock really of what is happening right, being able to kind of qualify what actually is going on. And that leads us to step two, which is find the surface cause. So, what does that mean to find the surface cause?

Daishi: They’re going to be deeper rooted issues here that come up and this happens again, now we’re taking a portion of a longer process and we’re just analyzing that portion of it. So, as we went forward there would be deeper-, we would investigate contemplate and find deeper reasons for the state that we’re in. So I call this the surface cause this is something that quickly I can kind of find, and the association would be as an example; stop. I feel anger right and that would be the first step me being aware of my state is anger, regardless if somebody made me angry or I’d like to accuse somebody outside of me or if I’m in the middle of an argument that pops up and I’d get dragged into it I stop I see anger and then I contemplate the overall feeling of why. So why do I feel anger, right? And it makes me stop to recognize my own process which is really hyper important so that I’m not acting unconsciously, most importantly without any presence of what’s going on, and in a state that causes karmic reaction. So, stop, notice the anger and then ask myself in a very contemplative way, a very feeling way, why anger? Where is this coming from? Why is that the reaction? That’s step two.

Adam: Step two deals with the surface then and not the deeper-seated issue.

Daishi: This is why there’s another whole side to this. So when we look at step two I know that I’m angry and I can say instantly at my level of consciousness why I’m angry. Now I’ll give an example because it’s an excellent question. Let’s look at it for a minute. I could say the person said something rude to me, so and so, my partner, anybody, and that hurt my pride and the reaction was anger. Okay now pride inevitably as we get further along in this contemplation and we get deeper with our awareness, we’ll notice that it really was more than pride it goes deeper than that okay. But for now, it’s enough at this level of this practice to simply say I’m angry ,got that, and why, because of pride this person hurt my pride. That’s enough for now and again you know we can subsequently do another show if you’d like to and get to that next deeper level it should be interesting but for now that would be enough. I’ve become aware I’ve become present I’ve noticed why I’m reacting I’ve noticed that I am reacting I noticed why I’m reacting and that would be the most important part of those two steps.

Adam: Number three is very simply cut it off so what does that mean and how do you apply cut it off?

Daishi: You’re not going to be typically able to stop the rising fire of anger just by saying stop but you’ll find that as you begin to become very present in what’s happening in your process you’ll find that you can dim that fire way down. Because instead of continuing to grow and blaze you’ll find that just your temper tempering this fire by looking at and saying okay anger is coming, and anger is really not what I need to make us be productive and just by noticing that it will sort of start to calm. That is the cutting off part is just “Let’s start to just take notice of right now.” Let that anger calm down. Okay, it’s not going to be helpful to whatever you’re doing, we know that if that reactions are not going to help and again with the whole point here of becoming conscious to our process, doesn’t matter somebody said something rude or not, that’s irrelevant. It doesn’t matter that the person might have their own issues they have to deal with. I’m not here to correct their issues, but my reactions and the way that they pull me into the argument, and the way that my pride is enacted anger, and the way that I create an unconscious violence will cause me trouble. That’s going to cause me great suffering because of the direct cause and effect of that. That will cause more dramas coming back into my life again, and again, and we want to cut that off. We want to stop that from happening. So, the minute I say, “Hey anger, why pride?” Okay, well I know pride is silly. Let’s just slow down, okay, slow down. Now I have a situation where I’m aware of my process and then I can go into a deeper set of actions once I get good at that ,and that would be the first three. I’m able to just simply slow down this fire, okay, kind of take charge.

Adam: So, you’ve slowed down the fire, you have taken in charge as you said, and now we get to step four which is find the root cause. A little bit more descriptive step but I still want you to go into exactly how it’s applicable and what it means.

Daishi: Yeah, now this contemplation is going to require that you have some reflection, because in a normal state we’re not used to really being so heavily conscious of our own process. So, for people who would be new to this, it would take them a little while to get really used to being this involved in their own process, because we’re usually involved in other people’s processes. In other words, the moment that this person in our scenario made me angry, typically what happens is unconsciously I’m blaming them and judging them. I have nothing to do with my consciousness into my own process or judging myself.
We never judge ourselves that much. We always judge the other person. Although judging them and arguing with them will do nothing to better me, it’s going to hurt them inevitably. We’re going to cause war and it really doesn’t come to any good. So, turning around my awareness, stop reflecting, judging, abstracting, and going after them, then turn it on myself. It’s okay. Stop. I’m angry. It’s because of pride, at least on the surface. “I’ve gotten hurt by this person, that’s why I’m reacting in anger.” Taking a second to calm that down, then if I had time to organically do this process at the moment great, if I don’t this is enough and later I can reflect on it and I should.

But number four is for me to find out, is it really pride? Is that really what’s going on? Because now that I have the intention to have insight much deeper than that surface level, I can start to see that the process of what’s happening underneath the covers and that will reveal a lot, in fact that’s the beginning of digging up that a rabbit hole that’s going to inevitably show me all kinds of beautiful things about myself. Where am I in all of this, am I the intellect, or memory, the awareness, the senses? What part of those separate operations are me etc? What is pride really? Where does that come from and when I do that kind of investigation and I have an awareness and an aspiration to know myself better. I’m going to find out some beautiful things that are going to lead me much deeper on this kind of quote-unquote “spiritual process” or spiritual path and so these insight steps they do a lot. They make me aware of myself and make me focus on my process rather than others. Let me judge a little bit of my process rather than always judging someone else’s process. They turn the mirror around on me and in that I become responsible for the way that I’m flailing around my emotional energy. Unconsciously that starts to correct my habitual unconscious reactions a lot. so there’s another benefit there. Inevitably one of the biggest benefits is it shows as I dig down deeper how I’m operating, and I need to know where I am with the self in all of this which will inevitably help me become something much greater than I am today.

Adam: You mentioned off air – and I wondered if you could talk a little bit – about how this is not just applicable to things that cause anger, or sadness, or tragedy, you know, the other end of the spectrum, this can be applicable there as well.

Daishi: You can actually utilize this in all of your unconscious processes. So, we don’t think of pleasures as being unconscious. We love them and we accept them we always think aversions, you know, apathy, anger, resentment, you know all the negative stuff. Typically, when we start, we’ll go after those negative rhythms because they’re easier for us at first. We don’t really want to tinker with the pleasurable ones but we can also do this process when we get a little bit of strength a little bit of courage toward the more pleasurable ones. So, when someone’s making me really happy and I’m just giggling and laughing and I’m sort of unconscious in how, you know, I can also wake up there and say “Okay, let’s also look at this.” Because this is also a part of me that may be unconscious it doesn’t mean – I’m not suggesting – that either side of the rhythm is bad or good. I’m not judging it that way. I’m simply saying anytime we’re not really conscious of our process, we may be inviting a lot of chaos into our lives through the karmic cause and effect. So, as soon as happy happens, bliss happens, those things are fine just like anger and pride come up, those are okay too but am I awake to it, and why is it happening? Do I understand why? These kinds of questions allow us to get to know ourselves. If we get to know ourselves we’re going find some beautiful things under there that will allow us to continue this path in an enormously beneficial way. If we don’t look at that process really carefully we’re going to be blindsided by it consistently and we’re going to create a life filled with chaos and suffering.

Adam: One more time so you have noticed the suffering and dissatisfaction, find the surface cause, cut it off and then find the root cause. Simple well explained and I want you to go through a couple of practical applications just because those are often the most relatable. So, oh go ahead.

Daishi: Yeah I was just going to say we can do a happy one. So let’s look at sensuality, love, romance, okay. I’m with somebody and we have a romantic relationship, and you know a lot of times when we’re in a fresh new romantic relationship we lose ourselves in it, because it feels good to know somebody loves me, and you know, I love somebody and all that feeling is wonderful. All good stuff but a lot of times we’re lost in that. A lot of that reaction is going on and we’re not sure why, or how, we just sort of say “Who cares you know. It’s all good. Let’s just enjoy it.” But for the person that really wants to understand themselves, it’s not to cut off love or get in the way of romance, no. it’s just to understand what’s happening. Yeah I want to know this process that’s all. So, the investigation of the spiritual path is really a scientific journey. So, in doing that we also look at the good and the bad. When I see romance and I know that I’m unconscious, I know that I’m reacting unconsciously as I wake up and I notice okay I feel excitement, right, why? Well you know why that’s a good question. Maybe its pride, maybe I’m proud that somebody loves me and finds me attractive or so-and-so, and on.

There we just discovered something, when I start to take a second and look at this, it’s not necessarily that I want to stop the feeling of love. That’s not it, but I might want to stop the feeling of the kind of love I’m taking from the person, or the way I’m potentially using the person and these are just questions. This leads to some profound insights in our relationships – we talked about this a little bit in the past, how our relationships can become like, you know, business arrangements instead of really loving relationships. We may want to look at those things so that we’re being really honest forthright and clear with our partners or potential partners, and we may want to say, you know, yes I do want to have love toward you, and I just want to understand why I’m having it, right? I want to have it for the right reasons. I don’t want to have it because I’m selfish getting something from you. So, in order to know whether that’s true or not we have to be able to look at ourselves. So, in a positive way there’s an example of course the negative way we definitely want to look at these because these can cause major chaos.

Reactions, like we talked about anger, we can have depression, which is a big one. So someone calls from work “Hey, I think you’re going to lose your job.” Hangs up the phone and boom, utter anxiety, utter depression comes over you. “Oh my god” you know, “what am I going to do? I knew this was going to happen.” But stopping that and saying “I feel it. It’s there. Oh, it’s really palpable and where is it coming from?” Well probably the way that my co-workers will see me, or maybe it’s fear. I’m going to pay my bills, notice that. Those things are, and I gave a really strong example because it would be very hard for somebody new with this to actually look at that and be conscious enough to analyze that in the moment that’s a big deal. All kinds of fears would come up, but to be able to look. Just hold on a second, because freaking out it’s only going to use up my time and my energy in a really negative way. So, do the best you can right now to cut that off. Say “Okay, yes, I have the right to be a little panicked that’s okay but let’s just be conscious to it and then take a second.”

After you’ve sorted the problem, challenge comes up right. Because everything’s just a set of challenges that lead to another potential benefit in your life, if we look at it the right way. Then later we can look back and say, you know, although the work thing’s solved and that’s gone, like all of our problems, they always go away, there’s “this too shall pass” kind of attitude. At some point in the future, we can look back and say what was it really? Was it really pride that freaked me out or was it fear? Well kind of fear. What was it a fear of? Really analyzing and looking at that with an opened sense of feeling, an open kind of organic digging is really beneficial. Because it starts to uncover bubble by bubble, little pieces of ourselves that we can turn over like these stones, and sort of say “Wow you know what? Here that I felt I was able to kind of follow that back to me being scared of my parents not having jobs, or not having money, or me not having anything as a kid and it struck a chord with me when I feel that there’s a tension or fear in my finances etc. Of, course I’m just riffing as you say this right now. It could be a myriad of things, but as an example, that leads us to a lot of uncovering, and the more stuff that we uncover and we look at with clarity, the more we can wash it away. It doesn’t have to reside there and keep bothering us and keep reoccurring in our lives.

So, the more that we dig and we really find out what’s going on underneath the surface, the more we can set it free. Because I’ve uncovered it and I’ve discovered it, it no longer serves a purpose. And because of that it can go now. It doesn’t have to come back and be a cycle of nightmare that happens over and over again in my life. I’ve seen it, I’ve lived it, I’ve experienced it and it’s gone and that’s the benefit of having that deeper insight and so those are a couple examples that- we could do a hundred but I’m not sure it would serve the point. The idea is that, that process itself leads to a significant understanding of ourselves and the discovery of the underlying root causes will free them so that we can slowly pluck away the karmic seeds, and eventually things will become more even and easier and that’s really what we want, and that’s how we establish the foundation to get into the more advanced spiritual applications.

Adam: Truly just great stuff. Before we get out of here I would like to just run through one more with you if I could. I’m going to give you a scenario and then I’m just going to have you do each step quickly and obviously, this isn’t actually happening to you so it’s somewhat speculative especially when we get towards the tail end but I’m going have you speculate just for the purpose of the process here.

Daishi: Sure.

Adam: So, someone could see it laid out and so I’ll say my better half and I have wedding anniversary coming up, and planning this elaborate dinner. Kids are gone they’re staying at Mom’s, all the stuff, you know, this whole hoopla of an evening planned out. And 30 minutes before she gets home, I get a text message – she’s going go out and have tea and do some meditation with a friend. She’s not going to be home till late. Someone’s instant reaction might be – and I’m sure I’ve been there too – all of a sudden be seething, yes. So, can you walk me through the four steps quickly?

Daishi: Sure yeah. So, well there’s a couple things right. So first we have to look at
did she know dinner was coming or was it a surprise?

Adam: No, say she did know she was aware.

Daishi: Okay then you’re going feel let down immediately. Okay see you plan a special dinner and person said I’m not interested in it. So, wow okay, that’s a big one, so you’re going to say oh you know, that’s heart ache time. So right away you got to stop and say “Wow feeling multiple things here,” right. What was the first thing you would suggest comes up in a situation like that, resentment?

Adam: Yeah and anger. I would say it would be a mix of resentment and anger. What you said you know. I can’t believe I went through all this trouble and then she did something else.

Daishi: Absolutely. So, and how rude, you know. Wow, and so there’s some pride there so immediately, okay, resentment, anger, and you know that’s tied to my pride, definitely pride. Because now I’m wow, you know, like how can they do this to me? And okay, well that, and this is the big one, that would be tough, so even for an experienced person to sit and say “Jeez I’ve missed something big time here, because I thought we we’re on the same page. I’m making dinner. They agreed to come. At the last minute they tell me and they are blowing me off to go sit and have tea. Yeah, wow, it hurts. So, stopping all that. Just sit with it. Let it calm down. Calm down, okay, breathing, relaxing, okay.

That cutting off period is really a burning period where you’re going to let it express itself until it’s dying down. Now you’ve cut it off to a certain extent, you’ve stopped it from becoming what could be disastrous. Okay, you’ve stopped it you’ve noticed it but this is really isn’t the deep issue, and there is some really heavy deeper insights that would happen in step four here, and boy could we go through a whole show or ten on this, right. There was some point prior to this that the person became unconscious and didn’t recognize there was a rift that got put in this relationship to cause that kind of a reaction. That would be where the insight would lead them. That you know what somewhere along the line my understanding of the relationship and her understanding they were in totally opposite directions. How could I let that happen? What happened there? Where did I go unconscious? Where I was floating off in happy land and she was going down to find anything other to do than be with me. That would be the unconscious point we’d want to find. We’d want to find why that happened, where that happened, through our insights. But also looking at this is a deep one, because if you’re talking about a partner you’re saying what was my expectation level? And why was it set so high, all right? The reason you’re upset is because you had in your mind a story that was going to play out perfectly and that story didn’t manifest the way that your mind told you it was and so one of the deep-seated issue is now the freak out is I can’t even trust myself. “I thought I planned this perfectly. I had the perfect scenario and it did not happen.” That is a very high level of fear and anxiety, because if I cannot generate in my mind a scenario that’s going to work, right, who can I trust? If I can’t trust my own mind, lord, I have nobody.

This is something that practitioners go through all the time and understanding that that mind is not going to be a place you can trust and find solace in, is a really important discovery because it will let you down a lot. Now mending the relationship, finding out what’s going on with the other person all that that’s a whole different kind of world. There are ways to deal with that. Dealing with us, is to say “I have set up an expectation in my mind and I went unconscious believing that expectation was the only probability the, only possibility. Why would I think that? What led me to held one probability out of an infinite number of probabilities and why did I glue to that and why did I get set up so hard on having it come through, or else I was going to fall apart?” These are all kinds of relationships we have with causation that need to be examined and need to be detached and untangled.

Adam: It’s funny because if it really truly if you apply these and you get to that point where you’re almost objective about this and you are not attached, right, emotionally attached to this, someone could say you know “What I just got – I just got extra sushi and the night
home alone without kids.”

Daishi: That’s right. There’s a great spin yeah I love that. Okay I love that

Adam: That could be a fantastic gift. I have the night to do whatever I want and I have twice as much food, this is you know.

Daishi: It’s, yeah, or if you’re not coming up, my buddy’s coming we’re going to watch the game and enjoy our sushi and let’s do it.

Adam: Exactly. There’s so much value in this but I will just say for me the biggest value is that dissipation of anger and because we’re taught even if you’re taught and you’re trying not to be angry so often we’re conditioned to go about it the wrong way we’re taught to stuff anger. Just pretend you’re not mad instead of just embracing. “I’m pissed, you know, I’m mad and working through it .” We’re taught to just jam it down, and then two weeks later when they leave the cap off the toothpaste you explode.

Daishi: Yeah, you’re absolutely right Adam, and more importantly the “I’m angry” is where we want to discover the error. If it was you who is the anger, is the sadness, is the depression, then you would never choose those things. You would never choose the anger it’s not a fun feeling. You would choose bliss. Okay, so you can’t say that it’s you. It’s something, it’s a reaction happening that I don’t really have control over, that’s fair. But it isn’t really you, so that “I’m angry” is just “I am feeling anger,” okay. I’m feeling anger and yes, I wouldn’t want it but it’s here. I don’t know why because I don’t know myself well enough but it’s there that’s the reason we go looking. Because if we’re having emotions that come up we don’t want, then who’s in charge of this thing. Who’s in charge of your vehicle. Like if it’s not you, and you’re just a slave to it that’s a problem that has to be fixed, right? And that takes real deep insights, and that foundation has to be really understood before we go heading off into the deeper side of mysticism. We have to get a handle on that we have to become poised and understand that we got to take back control of the ship, and so these basic steps lead to those deeper steps and eventually the way we feel is dictated by us because we’re not invested at all in these kinds of scenarios. If we make dinner for somebody, in a normal scenario, I made dinner for you. Oh well I’m going to go have tea with my friend oh that’s going to make you even happier than my dinner then mission accomplished right. Because my whole point was to make you happy. So, if tea is better, then boom, I’ll eat the dinner go have tea. You’re having a better time that I could even create for you what a blessing. That’s a tough place to be though right, because we still have the me, my, I, self, in there and that’s the part that causes most of the suffering trouble that’s the problem.

Adam: Awesome and to be honest that’s a great way to end. We don’t need to end anywhere else or insert anything you’re absolutely right. The idea that someone else could make whoever X in that scenario the spouse happier doing that because of that attachment is such a hard pill for people to swallow because it’s pride and ego based.

Daishi: Yeah.

Adam: Thank you for being here brother as always.

Daishi: Yeah, you’re so welcome enjoy thanks so much for doing this obviously.

Adam: Yeah it’s absolutely my pleasure. Thank you everybody for listening. Please rate and review on iTunes. You can get a hold of us Take care everyone and until next week be well.