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Understanding the do'er?

Trying to make sense of what I'm learning but not sure how to make it a question..

There is a do'er which I identify with as self but that do'er is just a part or a system among a bunch of parts and systems that is the body-mind complex. What the do'er does is a result of cause and effect. Parts and systems causing and effecting.

This do'er can still influence the parts and systems but it is not me any more than a bike's wheel is a bike. This do'er can get a little heady and absorbed in itself whilst doing its function. Taking more resources than needed. Taking them away from the other parts and systems and somehow getting tangled up into thinking it runs the show and owns things and has desires and dislikes.

The do'er likes to come along everywhere with those misapprehensions in tow. So when the eyes see, the do'er sees too. When the nose smells, the do'er smells too, when the hands work, the do'er works too. It doesn't have to, but it forgot that or is too infatuated with wanting to. Problem is, that do'er mucks stuff up for me. It mucks stuff up for the eyes, nose, mind, etc. It likes that sight, doesn't like that smell, is frustrated by that thought... What it likes goes away too soon. What it doesn't like lasts too long and it anguishes. But it doesn't have to. It chooses to or has forgotten how to not anguish.

So for me, I remind it. "Hey, you don't need to attend this one. You can go." So when the eyes see, it is less the do'er seeing through the eyes an object which it likes or doesn't like. It is more the eyes seeing the object. More than that, when the do'er leaves, the object of focus is all there is. When that is all there is, it can be seen/heard/smelled/etc more clearly than when the do'er comes along. When it can be seen/etc more clearly, it can be understood more deeply.

Is this right?



  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    What you wrote can be a functional and experiential breakdown of meditation when viewed through the sense gates.
    Whatever we cling to, are repulsed by or deliberately ignore will affect how we experience any phenomenon, with suffering being the inevitable result.
    I would only suggest to watch out that the do'er doesn't end up getting shunned within your own meditative process and that all the other sense gates are simply given the same equal stage spacing that this former star performer was formally commanding.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited October 2022

    The do'er equates to the I am and makes it's bike wheel or chakra or sense gate or monkey mind the dominant being. Or dower do'er, ego, impediment etc.

    Good advice from @how.

    We attend to the sitting, eating, watching, hearing and thoughts BUT with equanimity rather than indulgence.

    How? This way …

  • Awareness is fundamentally non-conceptual before thinking splits experience into subject and object...It is Empty and so can contain everything, including thought...It is boundless ...And amazingly it is intrinsically knowing

    Yes it would seem that awareness is the key...

  • Is this right?

    If you were your own teacher, what would be more right? Or more correctly; correct? The dharma and the companions and comparisons of the jewels of Buddhism, allows us to go several stages beyond our current capacity. Walking in the light, towards the right light.

    The important thing is to make it right. Right?

    Others will travel the same track, that you are expressing. Will you help them? No doubt if you are answering … It is a singular question …

  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited October 2022

    You are a doer until you become aware that " you" are actually not the doer. The doer and the doing are just part of the experience. "You" are the experience itself. Not apart from experience and nothing more than that! Whatever awareness becomes aware of is an experience that is produced from causes and conditions.

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    The doer is part of cause and effect, part of the patterns of the Tao. Our minds, our memories, everything we think are part of the patterns. So we are just left with being in harmony with the Tao.

    “The scholar gains every day, the man of Tao loses every day.”
    — Lao Tzu

  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran
    edited October 2022


    There is a do'er which I identify with as self but that do'er is just a part or a system among a bunch of parts and systems that is the body-mind complex. What the do'er does is a result of cause and effect. Parts and systems causing and effecting.

    From my own perspective, I would advise sitting with this for a bit.

    When someone mentions a "doer" I like to throw in a reminder to practice pausing between stimuli and reaction so we see the difference between responding solely through conditioned response and acting mindfully. Eventually, that pause may get smaller and smaller and abandoned like the raft to the other shore.

    The fifth of the Five Remembrances is that my actions are my only true possessions and are the ground upon which I stand. A fatalist view would seem to fly in the face of Buddhist practice.

  • @how said:
    What you wrote can be a functional and experiential breakdown of meditation when viewed through the sense gates.

    Is it of benefit to describe these types of functional breakdowns in a community setting like done above?

  • howhow Veteran Veteran


    "Skillful means" is a term sometimes used to describe a Dharmic transmission being shared in the exact right time & place that one is amenable to receiving it, in contrast to
    all the other times & places where that same person and that Dharma seemed to be ignoring each other.

    It is not so much about saying something just because it's true. It's about getting enough of the selfish self, ego or identity out of the picture to no longer have that be the obstruction or obfuscation of anyone's Dharma.

    Given that there are probably as many different expressions of meditations as there are people......(even though you & I both share the sense gates as an investigative tool)
    one way that some Buddhists judge whether something is of** benefit** to others (especially on a Buddhist forum) is to look to see if that something is in accord with or in contradiction with, the four seals of Buddhism.

    These four seals are sometimes expressed as

    Everything conditioned is impermanent.
    Everything influenced by delusion is suffering.
    All things are empty and selfless.
    Nirvana is peace.

  • Time is fluid and we are all swimming in it. What we perceive as the conscious mind is the small mind of surface thoughts and responses. Sometimes it can be thought of as the infamous monkey mind. Yet we have a deeper aspect of our "conscious mind", it contains our greater thoughts and "overrides" the "Monkey Mind". But together, they still comprise the conscious mind. Then we have the true Greater Mind which is within both the conscious and the subconscious which enables us to rise above what we perceive as our reality to actually envelope our life, our mind and our environment to create value and elevate our life and our mind.

    Peace to all

  • Row, row, row your boat
    Gently down the stream
    Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
    Life is just a dream.

    No rower without the rowing,
    No doer without the doing.
    The doing creates the doer!

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