Mike, I agree with some of what you are saying but not all.
For me, I have been encouraged by the feelings "given" to me in situations above to follow the practice method which (in this case by Inaba sensei) is also given.
So the feelings have value. However, I am totally in agreement with you that we must develop our own understanding for any lasting value.
In this respect, one of the most important yardsticks by which I measure a dojo/teacher is by how good the senior students are - this shows whether the teacher has a good method and has been able to impart it (and thus there is a chance for me too to learn).
I particularly like it if the senior students are not just carbon copies of the teacher! (Underlying principle is the same but they express the principles in their own manner consistent with body type/interest etc).