Inconsistency & Looking


When eyes are open, one looks at the physical objects in one’s environment. One associates sound, odors, tastes and touch with these objects.

When eyes are closed, the physical objects and their associations go away, but mental visualization of them could still linger. There could also be pictures of such objects coming from memory, and from dreams. There may be thoughts, feelings, emotions, etc., associated with these pictures.

When one looks at the physical and mental objects, one usually becomes aware of things that grab attention because either they are unusual, or there is something not quite right about them. These are inconsistencies as detailed in Knowledge and Inconsistency.

Underlying each inconsistency there is something that is out of sight. Thus, it is always the inconsistency that guides looking and pulls it along.



When one looks at an area of the mind, recognition takes place of what is there. This brings to light not only the mental objects, but also the inconsistencies present.

As one follows the inconsistencies, various assumptions, beliefs and unverified considerations start to surface. Hitherto, these things were being taken for granted, but as soon as one becomes aware of them, these assumptions and beliefs get revised and aligned with the background knowledge.

These inconsistencies are mere appearances. They disappear when viewed closely. For example, when you perceive a problem in its entirety it ceases to be a problem. When you recognize some confusion in its totality, it ceases to be confusion. Such appearances persist as long as the underlying reasons and assumptions remain hidden.

When looking is practiced, the appearance of problems, confusions, difficulties, etc., peel off like the layers of an onion.



When there is thinking going in the mind then observe it without participating or interfering with it. If any ideas pop up, then notice them, and acknowledge their presence. Recognize inconsistencies for what they are. Don’t do anything else. Let the mind unfold itself completely.



Feelings and emotions, which arise during looking, are flows that are jammed up. Simply dive into the center of that feeling or emotion, and experience it fully. When one looks at them closely, they out pour or discharge. If ideas, thoughts or inconsistencies come up during this process, treat them as in the previous sesction.

Past experiences of overwhelm may make one cautious about diving into unpleasant feelings and emotions. But that happens only when one digs into the mind to find the cause. The mind will never bring up something that is overwhelming or harmful, as long as you do not search for causes. Simply let the mind unfold itself naturally.



The senses provide us with sensation. Effort is the sensation of pull and push. Sensations also act like jammed up flows. When looked at closely, they also out pour or discharge.

Look at sensations by diving into the center of them as above. Sensations may cause some physical discomfort. If such discomfort becomes too much you may change or adjust your body position. The uncomfortable intensity may lessen and eventually disappear as you persevere with mindfulness.



Sometimes some thoughts, feelings, sensations, etc., continue to persist despite looking, and do not go away. Maybe a bit of distance or detachment is needed to view these mental objects thoroughly. This may be accomplished in either of the following two ways.

(1) Assign a location to the mental object (persistent thought, feeling, sensation, etc.). Pick a location that seems natural for that mental object. Then view the mental object at that location.

(2) Alternatively, make copies of the mental object (especially a picture), and place them all over the place. This will make you look at it repetitively but differently each time. Do this until detachment takes place.

Once the above is accomplished, the persistent mental objects may then dissolve into the background.


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  • Chris Thompson  On April 15, 2012 at 12:56 AM

    Use TV snow to demonstrate the difference to yourself.


    • vinaire  On April 15, 2012 at 5:56 AM

      Chris, please document your TV Snow procedure here for posterity. Thanks. 🙂




  • vinaire  On April 17, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    I have now totally revised this esssay (KHTK 4A), because I was not happy with the earlier vesion.

    I hope the essay makes better sense now.



  • vinaire  On May 8, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    I have realized that any fixation is an inconsistency.


    The Buddha says: ‘To be attached to one thing (to a certain view) and to look down upon other things (views) as inferior – this the wise men call a fetter.’

    Once the Buddha explained the doctrine of cause and effect to his disciples, and they said that they saw it and understood it clearly. Then the Buddha said:

    ‘O bhikkhus, even this view, which is so pure and so clear, if you cling to it, if you fondle it, if you treasure it, if you are attached to it, then you do not understand that the teacher is similar to a raft, which is for crossing over, and not for getting hold of.’



  • lizabeth  On June 4, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    Yes, something that doesn’t make sense. Realize an inconsistency, look at and let it go, dissolve naturally. Excellent.

    “……. the teacher is similar to a raft, which is for crossing over, and not for getting hold of.” Buddha. A favorite!


    • vinaire  On June 4, 2012 at 6:51 PM

      It is wonderful to see that you are resonating with Buddha’s materials like I am.



  • vinaire  On February 20, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    I have cleaned up this post a bit to properly align with other KHTK documents.



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